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BeHear PROXY a Game Changing Audio Wearable
(MSRP $189.00)

     If your exercise routine has you pounding or pedaling the pavement on open roads PROXY is for you. If you are just tired of stuffing earbuds into your ears or getting sweaty ears from earphones during gaming or online classes PROXY is also for you.  See photo 1. Last but not least if you are a senior citizen who is slightly hard of hearing PROXY, in privacy mode can work as a digital hearing aid and improve your overall ability to hear in all kinds of situations.  See photo 2. If you have hearing loss and are not interested in the neck speaker feature I recommend you check out BeHear-Now.
     The big question is what did Wear & Hear incorporate into this new product that makes me feel that it can be enjoyed by such a diverse group of people? PROXY has different modes to meet different people’s needs. As a neck speaker with good quality speakers it can deliver fantastic surround sound precisely to each ear. The other half of the equation is its built in microphone that can clearly transmit your voice during a game, Zoom session, or phone call.
     For the person who is slightly hard of hearing, the engineers at Alango Technologies, in Israel, designed special sound improving algorithms that have been incorporated into PROXY. To take advantage of the full capabilities of PROXY’s hearing aid features you need to download the free BeHear app from Google Play or the Apple App stores. The app includes a hearing test, see photo 3, that you can take to fine tune PROXY so it can adjust the different sound frequencies to improve your hearing. This is accomplished by uploading the hearing test results to PROXY. Once done the system is ready to use its built in algorithms to enhance the audio that will come to you from the neck speakers or the earbuds in privacy mode. As neck speakers you get ears free audio from any Bluetooth enabled device, SonicVibrance ™ enhanced stereo, hands free video and mobile calls, and EasyListen ™ which can slow down speech during phone calls. In privacy mode you get all of these features plus the personalized amplification identified by your hearing test and a feature called ListenThrough ™ so you can hear sounds from you environment. When you want to hear sounds from your environment I would suggest using PROXY in its neck speaker mode unless your goal is privacy during a conversation. For full details see illustrations.
     To use PROXY with a TV that isn’t Bluetooth enabled you will need to purchase a Bluetooth transmitter. To test PROXY with our TV I used the BeHear HearLink Plus transmitter which is a product I reviewed last year. If you need a Bluetooth multifunction transmitter just click HearLinkPlus read that review.

Reasons to Drool
     The coronavirus ended my gym membership and so far I have traded a treadmill for open roads that I must share with distracted drivers. I feel that the neck speakers have made road sharing less dangerous because my ears are no longer blocked by earbuds. Another exercising plus of not wearing earbuds is I don’t end each session with sweaty ears. Listening to music through the neck speakers even in other situations has instantly made me feel much more aware of my environment. Twelve hours of testing was done on one battery charge and the battery still shows a reserve of 34 percent. My last check of the battery showed that approximately 2 hours of use, in the neck speaker mode, resulted in a drop in battery reserve of only 3 percent. If used in neck speaker or privacy mode while watching TV it can allow the wearer to have more volume than other people in the room who have better hearing. With so many children doing Zoom classes from home PROXY can also allow you to privately listen to a TV show while others in the room do their school work.

Not So Cool
     The PROXY neck speakers weigh 9 ounces, a little more than ˝ a pound. Wearing them for hours didn't bother me at all but something you should be aware of if you have neck problems. Today’s movies and many TV shows have sound effects that drown out the dialog of the actors. So even though PROXY was able to compensate for my partial hearing loss by raising the volume it is not able to separate the sound effects from the speech of the actors because they are combined into one stereo soundtrack. It is a very nicely designed system that I assume can handle sweat and humidity; but it does not have any waterproof rating.
Overall Rating
Providing Resources on New & Emerging Tech for Technology Literacy
Alan J. Pierce EdD
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