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Assistive Hearing Headset Review (MSRP $349.00)
These earbuds look like a normal set of around the neck Bluetooth wireless headphones. See photo 1. They are a Assistive Hearing Device that can boost your hearing and serve as your own personal sound amplifier if you are a little bit hard of hearing. They are also a set of Bluetooth earbuds designed to wirelessly supply the audio when you are listening to music or watching a movie on your smartphone, tablet, or Bluetooth enabled television.
The assistive hearing features of these earbuds will get most of the attention in this review. The BeHear Access earbuds can boost your hearing even if used directly out of the box without linking them to a smartphone. However, they will give you the most functionality if you set them up using the W & H BeHear app; a free download from the Apple or Android online stores. The app includes a hearing test that will tune the earbuds so they provide you with the best possible hearing boost for your type of hearing loss. I suggest if you decide to purchase the BeHear Access Earbuds you read the manual, not just the quick start guide, to fully understand how to get the greatest hearing assist boost while using them.
Reasons to Drool
New sound systems that are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act have induction loop technology that can directly feed sound to hearing devices that have telecoil (T-Coil) receivers. You will find T-Coils in most hearing aids, cochlear implants, and also in BeHear ACCESS wireless earbuds. When the T-coils are activated you can actually receive the audio from the roomís induction loop technology sound systems. In exclusive mode you will hear without any background noise or other types of environmental interference. Itís as if the microphones in your theater, lecture hall, house of worship, etc is physically wired to your hearing device. When a hearing loop system is present, a simple press of a button can activate the T-coils in exclusive or transparent listening mode on your BeHear Access earbuds. In the exclusive mode you will only hear what the microphones alone transmit to the sound system. To improve hearing when you answer a cellphone call these earbuds allow you to slow down the speech that you are hearing through the earbuds. When I checked customer support response time to email questions it was very good.
Not So Cool
The BeHear Access earbuds donít have an auto shut off feature so you must manually shut them so they donít drain their battery. When you are using them for audio from your phone or tablet these earbuds have a tendency to announce disconnected and then connected even though they are working properly. Common to all hearing aids you also hear what you are saying at an increased volume. It is important that you let people know you are wearing a personal sound amplification product so they donít think you are being rude wearing your earbuds while out to dinner or on a date. Customer service informed me that when they are used as earbuds for Bluetooth audio the hearing boost function canít crossover. So like most other earbuds volume is capped at 100 dB. I also learned from customer support that these earbuds do not have a formal water resistance rating.
Assistive Hearing Device Rating 4.5
Used as an Assistive Hearing Device
Earbuds for Phone Audio