Dave Taylor Reviews BeHear PROXY Neck Speaker
Imagine a pair of earbuds that combine with two speakers that can sit comfortably on your shoulders. Add a great microphone and some assistive listening tech and you’ve got the BeHear PROXY Shoulder Speaker and Earphones from Alango Technologies. Tech expert Dave Taylor of www.AskDaveTaylor.com checks out the BeHear PROXY and finds that there really is a lot to like in this slick integration of assistive hearing tech, hearing aid circuitry, a Bluetooth speaker, and much more.
Summary of review points – pros and cons:
This is the BeHear PROXY shoulder speaker from Alango Technologies. At its most obvious, it’s a pair of speakers that you can put around your neck, and you can listen to content. But, there’s lots of hidden features:
Let’s start out with just the music.
I’ve paired, via Bluetooth, with my smartphone, and I’ll just put on some music. And there are controls on this side to let me go to next and previous track and pause and play. All those features are really great, and obviously it’s super convenient to have this here, particularly when you can go up to 10 meters (or 33 feet) away from your Bluetooth source device.
Built-in ear buds for private listening and hearing amplification mode
I can put those in my ears, so then I’m going to turn the music back on, and then there’s a little switch on the side that lets you choose which audio output you want. I got to say, it sounds really good. All of a sudden, there’s way more bass. The ear buds come with a lot of ear tips, which is great. Different shapes, different sizes. As always, take the time to figure out exactly the ones you need to get the best sound.
And there’s little buttons you push, and they retract these back up, and I can obviously switch it back to speakers. And you can also get into, “hearing mode” and it will amplify the sound around you, so these are also, like a hearing aid device. Really cool!
Pairing BeHear PROXY with a Bluetooth device
You can pair PROXY with your mobile phone and then you can take a phone call… It sounds really good. Now, remember, I’m about a foot away from my phone, but I could be up to 33 feet away, so I could be outside gardening or something, and still be chatting with someone, I’d hear them through the speakers, and I’d be talking to them through the microphone. Pretty slick design.
The BeHear PROXY speakers are also tuned for TV dialogue. There’s a big mid-range boost here. They aren’t designed to really be simulating a discotheque or night club, so you you’re not going to get all that full, rich sound (you do with the earbuds – that’s another story) but again it’s really great if you have a TV with a Bluetooth transmitter. This will do a great job of bringing up that mid-range, that center channel, that ability for you to hear what the heck people are actually saying, and that’s what’s weirdly hard on modern TVs now. You can use these with or without your own hearing aids, if you have them. It’s Bluetooth 4.2 pairing with your Android or iPhone, or other Bluetooth device. It is a multi-point connection, so if you have it paired with your Bluetooth on your TV, you can also simultaneously have it paired with your phone, so if you get a phone call you can just take it without having to disconnect and reconnect and mess around…
It supports aptx Low Latency, so if you want to use these while you’re watching TV or something, then the words and the voices are not out of sync with what you’re actually seeing, whether it’s on your phone, or your tablet, or obviously your television.
It charges via a micro USB
Points off for micro USB, I really much prefer USB C, because then you don’t have to worry about the orientation of the plug.
Battery life: it is 1050mAh which means if you use this as a loudspeaker, you get about 10 hours of playback on it. Switch to the earbuds, and you get 40 hours of playback. If you want to make phone calls with this, using the earbuds, then you’re going to get 45 hours, and if you want to use that sound amplification, where it’s basically using the microphone, boosting the voice and audio, and then putting it through your earbuds, then for that you can get 50 hours on a charge.
BeHear PROXY control buttons
On the outer right-hand side there’s pause, play, louder, softer, next track, previous track – all of those multi-function buttons. On the inside of the right side is a retract button for the ear buds, and then there’s the power charging spot. And then power itself, which is kind of like a funky little button which is not an off/off slider – it’s a slider when you put it into the other position, and then hold it for a couple of seconds, and then it will say “power off” or it will say “power on” or similar. On the the inner left side, is the simplest of all, it has the retract button, and then on the outside of the left, is the speakers vs earphones button. Most of it’s on your right-hand side, sorry if you’re left-handed, you’re probably already used to this, but the good news is, as with all of these devices, if you want to, you can just control everything from your source device, and it’s really easy. And really all you need to remember is pause/play. So, pretty darn easy. It also comes with a really good guide, it will help you get up to speed.
Conclusion: I’m actually pretty impressed with BeHear PROXY
I’m pretty impressed with the speakers, the microphone, the ear buds quality and everything. Really good, rich sound range, really good presence for the ear buds. And I tried listening and chatting, like I said, on a Clubhouse call, and that was perfect. So, that’s a lot of people talking all at the same time, and then I could add my two cents too. And that worked out really well. So I could listen, and enjoy the conversation, and when it was my turn to talk, I could just unmute on my phone and talk, not having to worry about having my phone really close to my mouth, or anything like that. Really, really convenient, and since Clubhouse is the kind of service, like podcasts, where you’re mostly listening, if not almost exclusively listening, having it come out of these speakers while I was walking around, or doing housework, or cleaning up, or doing garden work, or yard work or something – all of that, super convenient. Really, really cool.
They’re a little “spendy” because they are on the assistive hearing side, they’re not just Bluetooth speakers. They are $189 and you can pick them up at www.WearAndHear.com. If you are just looking for a pair of Bluetooth speakers these might be a little overkill, but if you have someone in your family that needs the voice, needs the audio to be a little bit louder for them to be able to fully participate, these are a great option, because – among other things – they give you so many other features. Hearing aids are super expensive. And for some people, it’s not really what they need yet. So, something like this is a really great transitional hearing device, hearing assistive device (got to get the right phrase). So, definitely worth checking out.
BeHear PROXY neck speaker reduces listening fatigue
Seema uses BeHear PROXY neck speaker to reduce listening fatigue at work, when receiving travel requirements from clients on the go, and at home, to enjoy TV without disturbing the other family members.
With BeHear PROXY I can hear all the details…
My name is Seema, and I’m a travel consultant. I mostly deal with business travel clients. My clients typically call me in the middle of the day, often from very noisy spaces.
The success of my work totally depends on my not missing any details while receiving travel requirements. Sometimes, even the tone which is used when relaying details will determine the type of services I choose to offer.
I have a small hearing loss in one ear. I do not wear hearing aids, I’m not quite there yet, but I thought it would be really interesting to try the PROXY. I have completely fallen in love with this product. It’s a dream come true.
The BeHear PROXY neck speaker is comfortable and convenient
It’s very light and comfortable on my shoulders, around my neck. Its features are very accessible – the volume, turning it off and on, moving from earphones, which are very comfortable and stay in my ear, they do not fall out. And they are put away very easily.
BeHear PROXY enables me to work hands free, which is incredibly important. I can get up, I can move around, I can write, I can copy, I can research, while I’m listening. The clarity and the sharpness of the sound is incredible. I don’t miss a single word of any conversation.
When I’m in the office, I use earphones, for privacy. And when I’m alone, at home, I work without them. Since having PROXY I have not gone one single day without using it.
“I never imagined I would love BeHear PROXY more than my Dyson!”
I have to say that I also noticed that I feel so much less tired at the end of the day since I apparently am exerting so much less energy focusing and concentrating on hearing. The BeHear PROXY neck speaker reduces listening fatigue.
Watching TV has also become a pleasure. I can hear at my own volume. I do not bother anybody, no one else disturbs me. And no one hears me saying “shush” anymore. Thank you so much BeHear PROXY for this incredible experience!
“I can’t imagine having just my hearing aids, anymore”
In this blog post we’re sharing comments from Beth, a singer and music teacher who explains how PROXY helps her hear better with hearing aids. She started using the BeHear PROXY neck speaker a few weeks ago and was amazed by the sound quality, comfort, ease-of-use, and flexibility of the multi-functional hearing amplifier. She uses BeHear PROXY to listen to music and podcasts while exercising, speak hands-free in mobile calls, and tutor students over Zoom.
I decided to get hearing aids when I realized I was becoming a burden
My name is Beth, and I’m a cantor, which means that I chant religious services, and I also prepare young people to chant and sing religious text. And this means that I really need my ears.
About 4-4.5 years ago, I noticed a drop in the hearing in my right ear. I noticed this because if I held my phone to my right ear I couldn’t hear so well, but if I moved it to my left ear, I suddenly heard very clearly.
So I went to an audiologist and I was diagnosed with a hearing loss. They told me I wasn’t quite a candidate for hearing aids yet, so I waited a while, and I wondered about it, and asked myself “do I want hearing aids?”
Eventually, there really wasn’t a choice; when you’re going “what, what, what?” every other sentence, you realize you’re becoming a burden to the people around you.
So then I took on the process of researching hearing aids, because there are so many kinds, and which one do I buy, and it’s a big investment. And I finally settled on a brand, and I’ve been wearing hearing aids now for about three years, and I enjoy them very much, they’ve made a huge difference in my quality of life.
With PROXY I don’t always need my hearing aids in to hear better
Then I heard about the BeHear PROXY. When I first looked at the videos online I became intrigued, because it seemed like it was offering a middle ground; I didn’t always need to have my hearing aids in to hear well!
My hearing aids are comfortable, but because of my work, and because of my active lifestyle, I have to have them in from early in the morning until late at night. I can’t be in front of the TV or the computer without them, and my ears get a bit tired wearing hearing aids for 12-15 hours. They also don’t always make my sound 100% clear. My hearing is definitely better with the hearing aids, but there are still certain things that I don’t hear clearly.
When I first put on the BeHear PROXY I discovered that there’s another “space” in this hearing world, and that is one that I can use in my home very comfortably. The ear pieces are extremely comfortable, they’re soft and they fit very easily.
The BeHear PROXY is very light on my neck. That was another thing: when I opened the box, I loved the design. It’s attractive, it’s easy to wear, and the retractors for the ear pieces work so beautifully, and are so simple to use.
So, when I’m walking outside, and I do walk about 3-5 miles every day, they’re really comfortable to wear and to use, and to listen to my music, or my podcasts, and I don’t have to have my phone in my hand, and I don’t have the headphones on, which get tight and bulky, after a while, when you’re walking for an hour and a half, that’s what happens.
The amazing speakers are fabulous for Zoom calls
My favorite, my absolute favorite feature, are the amazing speakers. The sound is so clear, and so crisp, when it comes into my ears, that it’s unlike anything I’ve heard for a long, long time, even with my fabulous hearing aids. So I really really appreciate that, particularly when I’m teaching children on Zoom, or when I’m in classes on Zoom. I have a 3-hour writing class that I’m taking, and that’s a long time to be listening. The BeHear is just a fabulous thing to be using for that purpose.
I also like that I can adjust the volume easily, with the BeHear, and that I have the app that I can do that through as well. Your hearing aids have a set position, and it’s a really good position, but sometimes I feel like I’d like to be able to turn up the volume as well, and I can do that with my BeHear PROXY.
I wish I knew about PROXY before I got my hearing aid
One thing that happened for me, when I found out that I needed hearing aids, was a little bit of difficulty with this change in my self-image. And I was a bit uncomfortable with the idea of having hearing aids. For me, BeHear PROXY would have been, if I had had it at the time I was considering hearing aids, a great way to ease into the transition. BeHear PROXY gives me flexibility; it gives me a really comfortable way to experience hearing amplification.
I think in retrospect, if this had been available to me when I was in my search for hearing aids, and debating, I would totally have bought this. BeHear PROXY is very reasonably priced and would have been a great way to have an experience with hearing amplification without having to invest a lot of money, and get involved, and worry about all of the implications. This is a really comfortable, easy to use instrument, that gives me what I need.
If I had known about BeHear PROXY when I was first dealing with getting hearing aids, I think it would have been a great help in navigating my issues of self-image as I came to terms with the fact that I was going to need hearing aids.
Bottom line: the sound quality of BeHear PROXY goes above and beyond any expectation
I love the sound quality of BeHear PROXY. It goes above and beyond anything I could have expected. While I have good hearing aids, this gives me good flexibility and options that I didn’t have before. I love using BeHear PROXY with my computer, I love using it with my television, I love using it when I exercise, and listening to my cell phone, to my podcasts, to my music. I love being able to answer the phone, when I’m in the house, and it’s completely hands-free. And the sound quality when I speak to people, is good as well. They hear me very clearly, and I hear other people more clearly as well. And so, it’s a great, great product. I’ve really enjoyed using it and I’m so grateful that I have it now. I can’t imagine having just my hearing aids, anymore. I will definitely be using the BeHear PROXY in the years to come.
You’ve really hit a home run with BeHear PROXY!
I am standing in my kitchen now, listening to “Abraham, Martin and John” through the device’s speakers (stereo enhancement turned on). It sounds AWESOME, and yet if I take it off, it is certainly not loud enough to bother my next door neighbors, like my TV used to…
The sound fidelity is crystal clear, the tonal qualities are just right, I can hear fine nuances in the music, it is comfortable to wear and it is so easy to use. I love the fact that I do not have to use the earbuds. I don’t want to stop listening.
Now I’m mellowing out to the sound of Barbra Streisand singing “What’s it All About, Alfie?” I am in music heaven!
A few weeks ago I had created a personalized hearing profile in the BeHear app when I reviewed the BeHear ACCESS. Is it possible to copy that hearing profile over to the BeHear PROXY, or will I need to get my hearing tested again?
I really love listening to my music library, while I wear the BeHear PROXY. It lets me consistently listen to pleasing, high fidelity audio, without the need to use earbuds or headphones. When walking, driving and engaging in other activities, the BeHear PROXY hearing amplifier should enable users to clearly hear, and be aware of, all that is going on around them.
Now, finally, I can enjoy my music at a volume that is loud enough for me to hear it, without bothering anyone. Life is good. You’ve really hit a home run with BeHear PROXY.