Netflix Subtitles Are No Longer Necessary
I received my new hearing device about 10 days ago. The first time I put it on I exclaimed to my carer “amazing! I didn’t know how much my hearing has deteriorated.”Shayna Orbaum, satisfied BeHear ACCESS customer
In April of this year an article about our assistive hearing products was published in The Jerusalem Post, Israel’s most-read English news website and best-selling English newspaper. As a result, we were flooded with inquiries and purchase orders for our products in our local market. One such customer, Mrs. Shayna Orbaum, filled out our customer feedback form. Her comments are reprinted below, with permission.
Before I was able to use the device I had to do the set-up, which included performing my own assessment of how each ear received the different sounds and tones. And also pairing it with the Bluetooth on my smartphone.
The accompanying instructions are very clear with pictures and big writing. Very easy to follow.
I am able to enjoy TV so much more.
I found myself tuning in more and more to Netflix [just] so I could read the subtitles. I still love Netflix, but now am able to pick out movies from the VOD library and hear every word loud and clear.
I used to have the volume up to about 45, when now I don’t need to raise the volume to more than 28, which is comfortable for my carer.
Phone calls: what a pleasure to be able to hear so well. I don’t even have to hold the phone to my ear. The phone sits on the table or desk and I just speak normally as though I am speaking to someone nearby. I still have to try out the slow speaking mode.
I have tried medical hearing aids about 3 years ago. I just could not adjust, always hearing an echo or other noises. I went back to the audiologist about 6 or 7 times and it was determined that my ear canals are small and hearing aids are not suitable for me. I was refunded the 8,000 shekels without any problems.
I thank Hillel Fuld for his article in the Jerusalem Post about Wear & Hear.
Keep TV Volume Lower; Converse without Asking to Repeat
The measure of the BeHear Access’s capability was my wife’s request that I put it on any time she could tell I wasn’t wearing it.
Bruce Brown, editor at HealthTech Insider, recently reviewed the BeHear ACCESS personalizable hearing amplifier. With his moderately severe mid-to-high-frequency loss in both ears, Mr. Brown was well-positioned to benefit from the assistive hearing headset, which has a fitting range of mild-to-moderately severe.
“The BeHear Access hearables improved my ability to understand what my wife was saying without always asking her to repeat herself. We could both watch TV at a reasonable audio volume as I could just crank it up a bit with the hearable’s volume control.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is disturbing lifestyles for most, if not all, of us. Those with hearing loss may feel particularly affected due to social distancing, which exacerbates hearing difficulty, increasing frustration during communication attempts. Mr. Brown was able to appreciate the Wear & Hear BeHear technology in these situations. He writes:
I used the hearables’ Bluetooth connection successfully for smartphone calls and video conferences. Still, in these days of self-imposed residential sequestering, the most telling benefit for me was in conversation and watching television.”
Schoolteacher Finds Silver Lining in Pandemic
Brenda Guy, a middle school teacher in the Midwest, lately shared her experiences with Wear & Hear products in a video:
Here’s Brenda’s story:
If there’s any kind of a silver lining to the current pandemic we find ourselves in across the world, it’s me finding the Alango BeHear ACCESS and BeHear NOW. I’m a schoolteacher and I started noticed issues with having to ask my kids to repeat themselves. I would think “they are just mumbling”.
You really don’t realize what you’re missing.
There were some other things I realized I was missing, but it’s hard to know what you’re missing! You really don’t realize what you’re missing. One day, actually over a year ago, I was in another teacher’s classroom and people were talking about this annoying noise, and I kept standing there thinking, “I can’t hear it”. And so finally I actually asked “what do you mean, what noise are you hearing?” Apparently it was a high-pitched noise that was just out of my hearing range, and I had not realized there were so many things that I was not hearing.
I did find myself asking other people “what” more often, to repeat themselves, Sometimes it would just take me a second to figure out what somebody had said. It would take me a second to process it. I would hear it, but I was missing some of those quieter sounds in the language, and so it would take me a second for my brain to kind of put together the missing pieces to figure out the whole message. So I finally, in a visit to my doctor, we talked about it. She sent me for audiology. I went in over my winter break from school, and actually found that my right ear, was mild-to-moderate hearing loss. My left ear: moderate-to-severe. So, then they wanted to send me for an MRI, because of the imbalance of the hearing issue. They were concerned there may be a medical issue. So that was in Feb., I went for the MRI. Everything came back fine, medically.
So just about the time I was thinking I was going out to start looking for hearing aids, and thinking I’m going to spend anywhere from $5000 – $7000 for hearing aids, that’s when we completely shut down everything: schools closed, businesses closed, so I was kind of at a standstill with it. So during that time I was home, after I had been home for a while, I started looking for something online. I realized there were some other hearing assistive devices out there and I started looking into some of those, and looking at reviews. And in my looking I found Bose Hearphones, and that’s of course a well-known brand and it sounded wonderful and it was I think around $600, $700, so it was cheaper than hearing aids, but I did start looking at other reviews of the Hearphones, because I wanted to know what it actually did. And in doing that, I ran across a comparison of the Hearphones and the Alango BeHear.
It appeared that the Alango had more features and was less money.
It appeared that the Alango had more features and was less money. So, I did as much research as I could online, I read what was on their Web site, I looked for things outside of their Web site on the company. I found things about the founder, found things about the company that the impressed me and I signed up on the Web site to receive news from the company.
I was impressed with the personal service of it.
Within just a short time, I mean hours, I had a reply, not a robo-reply, an automatic reply to my e-mail request, but I had an e-mail from someone from the company saying they would be pleased to answer questions that I may have. I was impressed with the personal service of it.
Over the next about 2 weeks or so questions went back & forth, were answered very patiently and again, reading all kinds of things that I could find about it, and when I did decide to purchase and it was much cheaper than the Hearphones. In fact, I made the decision to buy both a BeHear NOW and a BeHear ACCESS. Part of that was because some of the reviews I’d seen online said that people had bought a second set just to make sure they had one in backup charging. It does have about a 12-13 hour charge on it, depending on what you’re doing with it. Either people that already bought one were saying they wish they had, and they were planning to. So I actually got both the ACCESS and the BeHear NOW. The ACCESS has the T-coil capability, which I’m not sure I’ll need very often, but it does have it. It also has larger buttons, it’s a little bit easier to control, and I actually do like it a little better than the BeHear NOW. But I like both of them, they work very well.
I can hear better when I’m watching TV, I hear better in conversation, I hear better when I’m talking to people on the phone.
As far as the hearing, they both do the same. I can hear better when I’m watching TV, I hear better in conversation, I hear better when I’m talking to people on the phone. It has Bluetooth capability so I can connect it to my phone, I can connect it to my computer (which I did for virtual meetings). Since schools have been shut and communicating with kids it’s made it much easier for me to hear. I like that even if I’m just listening to music on my computer, or video on my computer, I can still hear what’s going on around me. I’m not completely blocked like I am with over-the-ear headphones. And while the sound is clear and it’s great. I do like to know what’s going on around me and not be completely closed off. I recently ended up going in for a training at school, which was socially distanced, with masks, but it’s in a room in the school where I work, where I normally have a great deal of trouble hearing. The acoustics are not good in the room to begin with, and with my hearing issue it makes it even harder.
I was sitting in the back of the room and I had no trouble at all hearing what was going on or following the training.
And it was the first time I’d had a chance to have the BeHear in that room. And I have to say that I had no trouble at all. I was sitting in the back of the room and I had no trouble at all hearing what was going on or following the training. So that was very nice.
I don’t say “what?” to my husband nearly as often. I can hear the alarm when it goes off on the microwave when it dings.
I can hear the timer on my stove in the kitchen which I normally before could not hear unless I was in the kitchen and it’s a very loud sound, so even if I leave and go to another part of the house I can still hear it, which is kind of a safety thing — it’s nice to know I can hear that timer.
Since I’ve been using this I don’t feel like I need to look for hearing aids.
I didn’t try any other solutions before this. Since I’ve been using this I don’t feel like I need to look for hearing aids. This has taken care of my issue at this point. It may be in the future that my hearing gets to the point where I need something else but as far as now I don’t. I like a lot of things about it. The phone app is easy to use.
One of the things I like about is that I’m kind of in charge of setting it and controlling it, and I can adjust it and modify according to what I need without going and making an appointment, which is really great since I wouldn’t have been able to make an appointment for anywhere at this point, had I gotten something just before we all shut down.
I did the “Advanced” hearing assessment. It automatically programs the device according to the frequencies you need. It’s not just an overall volume is louder; it actually does adjust for the frequencies, so you’re not hearing things that you normally can hear at a much higher volume level, but it does enhance the frequencies that you are weak with…It does have a capability of me going in and actually inputting the values from my audiology report. I haven’t done that, I haven’t felt the need to do it. I feel like it’s good as it is. I like the fact that you can go in and kind of adjust it, if you want to, save it in the Library, and then you can compare the settings. You can actually save it; it’s easy to change from one to the other. So, if you change something and go “well, it was better before”, then you can go back to the one that you had before.
I kind of forget that I have it on.
I have told people about this. Most people don’t even notice that I have it on when I’m in a virtual meeting. Sometimes I have, at the end, kind of raised up the controls and said “hey, these are my bionic ears, these are my magic ears” because a lot of people I work with knew that I was having a hearing issue. In fact, they actually knew to come stand on my right side when they talked to me. So it is unobtrusive, it’s not that noticeable, especially since a lot of my colleagues have also been wearing some sort of earbuds in the virtual meetings just to have the sound directly from the computer, and maybe not disturb people around them, if they’re working in a shared space. When I did go the training there was no one who asked about it at all. There were quite a few people there, a lot of people that knew me, people I hadn’t seen in a long time. Not one person said anything about it. I kind of forget that I have it on. I thought it might bother me; the earbuds, I typically don’t like to wear earbuds, they bother me. The fact that these come with adjustable buds that you can put on the ear piece of make it easy.
There are different size hooks, so you can put whatever type of earbuds you like and what size hook works best. So, it’s very easy use, and very easy to put on. Working at a middle school, I think the kids will just think I’m wearing earbuds, when we’re always telling them not to…and I also work with kids with disabilities. And I have a couple of kids that are coming in this year who have hearing issues and they will be on my case load, and I think it will help them know that I also have issues to help build a relationship with those kids.
What I like about it? I like so much about it. If someone were to need hearing aids I would really encourage them to try something like this, just because of the expense. Like I say, the customer service has been wonderful from the company. No problems that had to be taken care of. Even when I ordered this in the middle of the pandemic, I was a little bit impressed because I ordered it I think on a Wednesday or Thursday, and I had it at my house by Monday. I also ordered the HearLink PLUS, which you can use with the TV. It plugs directly in the TV and then you can then connect through Bluetooth.
I think the main thing I like about it so much is it actually does do what I need it to do. To be able to hear effectively, that power of being in control to change it, modify it, adjust it — to make it work on a personal level. To make it work, literally for you, for what you need.
Like I say, the only differences between NOW and the ACCESS: I like the ACCESS, that you can just pop it on the charger, and it charges. The BeHear NOW, you do have to plug in, not a huge deal. The On/Off button is actually in the back of the headset. It’s much easier and larger to find, on the ACCESS. It’s up high, in the middle. The one on the NOW is a bit smaller, and underneath. Once you know where it is, it’s easy. You can, although I typically don’t, you can also control phone calls. If you’re connected to your phone, you can take phone calls directly from the headset. You can adjust, you have volume control, you have adjustment automatically in the headset for indoor, outdoor, live music. There are several things that it will cycle through. If you’re outside sometimes you have some of that wind noise. If you’re in an area where it’s crowded, it kind of filters out some of that noise. I haven’t been able to use all of those things yet, because we’ve typically been in lockdown, trying to stay well at our house.
I’ve been very happy with it!
I am not sure what else to say about it. I’ve been very happy with it and like I say, if someone were to think they need hearing aids it was also quite helpful. I asked about how, if I really were a candidate for this. I sent a copy of my audiology report and did get back from the company that it should work for me with what I showed as hearing deficiencies, and that was before I purchased the headsets. I think that’s it!
Need Amplification, But Not Yet Ready for a Hearing Aid?
If you have a hearing problem but don’t think you’re ready for a hearing aid, the BeHear NOW headset is a great halfway house.
So writes Mark Sparrow, Senior Contributor of Consumer Tech for Forbes. Mr. Sparrow is a technology journalist specializing in audio, computing and photography, and he has written a detailed review of the BeHear NOW assistive hearing headset.
In summary, Mr. Sparrow writes: “The BeHear NOW headset is a very clever device that really can help with hearing problems. It’s ideal for TV, cinema, lectures and even social occasions if you can bear chatting while wearing earphones. The product is well made, and a lot of thought has gone into it and the app. The audio quality is very good thanks to the large driver units in each earpiece.”
Phone Conversations Are Now Clear for Both Parties
“I also find this to greatly help with TV listening.”
♦ We love hearing back from our customers about their experiences with our products. Of course, it is always wonderful to learn that your efforts have led to an improved quality of life for someone, but constructive feedback about how to improve our products is also welcome!
Neil Nedrow is a relatively new customer who shared his thoughts with us by completing our customer survey, and then adding comments in e-mail correspondence.
“In the past, I’ve had trouble understanding people in phone conversations. But BeHear Now has completely eliminated that problem. And everyone has been able to hear me clearly. This is something I highly value. It works excellently. I also find this to greatly help with TV listening. I use the transmitter with headphones and the comprehension is quite good.”
It works excellently. – Neil Nedrow, Satisfied Customer
- Run the earpiece wires from the back part of the device on each side below and slightly behind the ears. That would keep them away from the face.
- Put a magnet at the bottom of each controller piece (where the earpiece wires are currently located) so it would be easier to find at you throat. I’ve taped magnets there and it’s helpful as it keeps everything in place.
“I also think there is a market for people who have some hearing loss who love listening to music and would like a device that would compensate for their hearing loss. Just for listening to music and not as a ‘hearing aid’.”
Before Hearing Aids Try a Hearable
“Even when I was facing the computer instead of her, she could hear me!”
♦ Although Lori Cunningham, an editor at the WellConnectedMom.com Web site, doesn’t have hearing loss, her mother-in-law does.
Lori decided to review the BeHear NOW personalizable hearing amplifier, testing this “hearable” out on her mother-in-law.
Lori reports “I wasn’t sure if the BeHear NOW hearable would work with my mother-in-law. She already has hearing aids and yet we still struggle in our attempts for her to hear us.”
“As BeHear NOW is designed for those with mild-to-moderate hearing, I had my doubts. But I thought, if perhaps this hearable could work, it would be a blessing for both her and my family!”
I’ll never forget the day I put BeHear NOW in her ears. She immediately liked them. She could hear me clearly and the headset was so comfortable in her ears. – Lori Cunningham, Editor at WellConnectedMom.com
“Even when I was facing the computer instead of her, she could hear me! It was truly amazing.
And with the convenience factor built into BeHear NOW, she can wear the headset around her neck to have the earpieces close by.
If she’s at home, she doesn’t need them in her ears, but she can easily tuck the earpieces in her hears when the phone rings or when she goes outside and sees her neighbors.
It’s a convenience she’s never had before because she doesn’t do this with her $4,000 hearing aids that most often sit in their case.
Her hearing aids are uncomfortable, so she doesn’t wear them much. And sometimes, she’ll only wear one.”
Former Hearing Aid Wearer Thrilled with BeHear NOW
“I can honestly say it exceeds all my expectations.”
♦ The following are excerpts from a review posted by a customer on Amazon:
“I’m 90 years old and completely deaf in my right ear. My hearing loss in my left ear is rated as ‘moderate’ in the low frequency range and ‘severe’ in the higher frequencies, not unusual for a person my age.
When my 3-year-old Resound Hearing Aid stopped working I decided to search for a lower cost alternative. After many hours of research I zeroed in on the ‘BeHear Now’ device. Attracted by its reviews and apparent versatility, I ordered it through Amazon and received it 24 hours later.
‘BeHear Now’ is a viable and functional alternative to conventional $3000-$7000 hearing aids. It certainly is for me. – Ed Cornachio, Satisfied Customer
I read through the manual and watched each of the online tutorials. That was five days ago. Now I can honestly say it exceeds all my expectations.
I strongly recommend, however, that you download the W&H BeHear app and pair it with your cell phone via Bluetooth. The app allows for individual customization, adaptable to your specific hearing problem. For me, the app is more than just a convenient accessory. It’s a necessary addition to adapting to environmental differences.”
After 20 Years of Hearing Aids He Prefers BeHear NOW
“I want to thank and congratulate Alango on this extraordinary product. IT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR YEARS.”
♦ The following are excerpts from a review posted by a customer on Amazon:
“Two weeks ago, with great satisfaction, I received my second BeHear NOW set (the first one for forgetting I left it in another city where I have not been able to return because of the restrictions of Covid-19).
I am 75 years old and about 20 using hearing aids because my current hearing loss is profound. Also, I am an electronics engineer, so I can say that I have good experience in the handling and evaluation of hearing aids from the patient’s point of view.
For example, about the last two years I have been looking, analyzing, and testing (when the few distributors allow it) various brands and ranges of hearing aids to replace my old pair that has about 7 years of use. The result is that I have not found one that meets my personal needs more than BeHear NOW. So, my honest review and conclusions about this product are as follows:
- PRICE: There is a huge price difference between most conventional brands, that are above the US$3600 for a mid-range hearing aid pair, and my BeHear NOW (they cost me US$200 plus shipping costs each set).
- DELIVERY TIME: 7 days in total, from the moment I placed the order and the product was ready to deliver to my door. Extraordinary, since it was sent from Israel to Bogota, Colombia, and considering the delays and problems in transport and customs generated by Covid 19 and the commercial inactivity of Easter week in my country. If I had made the purchase from a local dealer, I am sure that I had not yet received them and would not have a date of receipt, or less, of an appointment with a hearing care professional to adapt it.
- ADAPTATION: With all my respect to hearing professionals, the process of adaptation with the test-and-error method used, in my case, has been traumatic and inefficient, perhaps due to the difficulty of accurately explaining what characteristics and defects the patient perceives with a particular graduation of his hearing aids. And when you go out to “the real world”, it’s a totally different situation! So, you must request another appointment for a new review and the time is passing and patience is running out and the famous and expensive hearing aids can end up in the drawer of a desk. Very different is the adaptation and adjustment process used by the BeHear NOW because the patient hearing evaluation and device graduation is made direct and easily by the patient himself using the application installed in his smartphone, in real time, for different environments and as many times and places he wants to do them, achieving the quality that often does not reach through an audiologist, regardless of his experience. Surely, this direct method will be the trend in the next future hearing aids if there are no contrary pressures to do it.
- LIVE CONVERSATIONS QUALITY: In my case, the quality and clarity of voice received directly from my BeHear NOW it´s not perfect, but does not have to envy anything to those of elegant brands. Specifically, I spent more than 10 months (all 2019) trying to get a decent understanding with my hearing aids from a famous and expensive brand, but I never got it; now they’re in the desk drawer.
- AUDIO FROM SMARTPHONE: Although some brands and ranges of hearing aids can now be connected by Bluetooth with iPhone smartphones, and very few with Android, my experience with BeHear NOW has been very satisfactory. After many years, now I can have phone conversations quite successfully (until now I used only WhatsApp written) and mainly, I have again listened stereo Bluetooth music with an extraordinary richness of sounds and tones. Switching among different devices or modes is smart and smooth. Besides, using the “HearLink” I can now directly listen to the TV with superior quality than with my heavy and uncomfortable Sennheiser HD 175 “over ears” system.
- DEVICE CONTROLS: I can control my BeHear directly from the headset controls, or with the app from my smartphone. Although initially it may seem uncomfortable to use the headset with cables at the back of the neck, with a week of use I easily manage the different controls, when it is not possible to use the smartphone app. Many models and brands only use one of the two control methods which is impractical as you don’t always have your phone handy or the manual controls are very confusing to use.
- BUDS COMFORT: With BeHear NOW you do not need to take molds to fit each hearset to your ears. Your BeHear package contents a variety of types and sizes of “ear buds” that easily adapts to the shape of your ear giving you total safety and comfort. You will not have surprise losses, discomfort or hassles due use them for long periods.
WHAT I’D LIKE TO HAVE ADDITIONAL
- REMOTE MICROPHONE: For conferences and presentations cases (and even in family or friendly meetings) it would be extremely useful to be able to use the smartphone as a remote microphone, or an external remote microphone. As I noted earlier, the quality of the audio coming from a smartphone is quite good. [Our remote microphone, called “YONA”, is already under development. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on its release. – Ed.]
- EXTRA 5 DBs OUTPUT. In my case of deep loss only the “Indoor” mode is useful, with the other 3 modes I hardly hear them. Somebody from Alango Technologies Customers Service informed me that “this extra power could be implemented in some weeks” (I suppose that by some software trick). Welcome this function.
- LONGER BATTERY AUTONOMY. With my BeHear the maximum battery duration is about 8 hours, which is not enough in a normal journey. That’s a pity.”
I want to thank and congratulate Alango on this extraordinary product. IT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR YEARS. – Jesus Campos M.
What’s New in Hearing Technology?
BeHear ACCESS Reviewed as Up-and-Coming Technology Solution for Better Hearing
♦ Following the CES tradeshow in Las Vegas earlier this year, Brian P. Dunleavy published an article for Everyday Health reviewing the latest hearing products introduced there. He asked Beth Humphrey, a doctor of audiology in the department of audiology and speech pathology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Knoxville, to provide her professional opinion of each product he reviewed.
BeHear ACCESS headed the list of Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs). In addition to mentioning the product’s unique features (self-administered hearing assessment for optimum personalization, self-tuned real-time customization capability for live listening, Bluetooth connectivity for mobile calls and audio streaming, built-in Telecoil receivers for use in facilities equipped with hearing loops) Dunleavy noted that BeHear ACCESS was recognized in the CES 2020 Innovation Awards in both the Accessibility and Tech for a Better World categories.
The bottom line:
“This is a flexible PSAP with a range of connectivity options for people with difficulty listening in specific situations” – Beth Humphrey, AuD.
Personal Bundle Makes TV Watching More Enjoyable
“I previously listened to my TV at a volume level 45, now I comfortably have it set at 17.”
♦ The following are excerpts from a review posted by a customer on Amazon:
“After trying many personal hearing amplifiers with lots of disappointment, I am thrilled with this product, it exceeded my expectations.
The app which sets your frequencies is fantastic. It personalizes your hearing needs at frequencies we tend to lose as we age.
I previously listened to my TV at a volume level 45, now I comfortably have it set at 17.
Setup is a breeze, and the different modes it offers is a major plus. Indoor, outdoor, crowd, live music. I absolutely love this product and would recommend it to anyone who is having any hearing difficulties.
No more awkward “what was that” during conversations. I only wish I had discovered this 2-3 years ago. I’ve shared my experience with friends and neighbors who can not wait to get their own.”
The bottom line:
“Truly an affordable solution to hearing difficulties.”