Hearphones - Review after 1 month
I'm in my 50s and have the following hearing issues:
- Hearing loss – primarily high frequency, more so in the right ear.
- Tinnitus - Sometimes very severe to the point it downs out other sounds.
- Hyperacusis – sensitivity to sounds in certain environments (especially crowded areas)
The ringing in my ears and the occasional sound sensitivity have always been my biggest complaint and I used sound masking audio tracks with headphones to get tinnitus relief and wear special ear plugs when crowd noises became too intense. The Bose Hearphones seemed worth trying since I could play low level masking tracks (sounds of rain or water) and also control the level of input from surrounding sounds. I'm really not at the point where I need to have full-time hearing aids and my insurance does not cover them.
When they first arrived I immediately put them on. It took some time to get used to as I suddenly could hear high-frequency sounds that I've been missing for a number of years – things like change in my pocket, my feet along the carpet and even my joint cracking. Outside I could hear all sorts of bird sounds that did not seem to be noticeable before. A bit overwhelming at first. I then installed the Hearphones application on my cellphone and paired them. The app is what really allows you to customize your hearing environment. For me it was fine tuning the treble gain and balancing the right/left levels. A really useful feature are presets that you can setup for various environments and access with just a press on the app.
It took me a few days to get used to the “extra” sounds and how my voice sounded when wearing them. I found out from my wife that I tended to talk too softly with the Hearphones on. At first I noticed a hum, especially when focusing the microphones to the front. This is no longer noticeable after a few weeks and after using them for about a month I have to say they are great. The focused sound feature allows me to easily follow conversations in noisy locations (bars, restaurants, etc.). Being able to turn down/adjust treble input really helps deal with hyperacusis.
NOTE: For the first few weeks I thought the ear buds were falling out at times and I kept pushing them back into my ears. As a test, I clicked on the “World Volume” speaker mute in the app and discovered they were in my ear properly. They were not falling out – they were simply that comfortable.
Few minor negatives:
The neck band can tend to twist towards one side if you are active. I always wear the Hearphones when bowling and have to regularly adjust them back to be centered around my neck.
If you go out of range of a paired device (phone, computer, etc.) the Hearphones will constantly notify you if “lost” or “connected”. Would be nice to turn it off from the Hearphones.
Wind noise can make them less useful outside
The noise canceling circuit will occasionally POP loudly in response to a sudden event like a hand/item slapping down on a surface or the clapping of hands.
The battery only lasts for about 4 -10 hours. Low number when streaming
SUMMARY: Highly recommend. Had them for about a month and they have really helped with my high-frequency hearing loss as well as helping cope with tinnitus. While the battery issue can limit t use, it should be noted that you could buy 2 sets of Hearphones for the fraction of the price of a single hearing aid. When with friends/family let them know what they are for and that you are not tuning them out and listening to music - even if you are 😉