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bhyde
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Sep 14, 2017

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

     

     

More annoying:

  • 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 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 REPLIES 2
paul2102
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Oct 28, 2017

Re: Hearphones - Review after 1 month

Thanks for the review. I've been thinking of trying these for some time. Your hearing sounds very similar to mine, except my high frequency loss is in my left ear, and tinnitus in my right ear. I also have the same Hyperacusis, especially in crowded areas. 

 

Do you listen to your masking tracks all the time, or can you make adjustments to treble and world noise enough to relieve your tinnitus? Is listening to masking the reason for the shorter 4 hour battery life?

 

Thanks

bhyde
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Sep 14, 2017

Re: Hearphones - Review after 1 month

When I first got them I was using the masking tracks often.    The nice thing with these is that I can adjust the playback to a level that I can still hear everything else through the "world" setting and with the right track (usually a loop of rain sounds) the tinnitus ring is pretty much cancelled out for me.  Several weeks later after using these,  my tinnitus has become less noticable with the Hearphones and I only use the tracks when the ringing gets really bad. 

 

The crowd thing was annoying for me before getting the Hearphones.  It was like 100s of people next to me all shouting at once.  At times people talking directly to me came across as shouting.  Many times I'd excuse myself from groups to just stand outside for a bit. I bought some Eargasm brand ear plugs to help with the audio overload and it helped somewhat.      With the Hearphones I can lower the "world" volume and cancel most of it out and/or use the directional mics to only pick up who I am talking to.    I really love that feature and is great across a table while dining.  Not so good if sitting at a bar or conversation directly next to you.

>>>Is listening to masking the reason for the shorter 4 hour battery life?

I think so and a couple of other things.  When I first got the Hearphones I was always adjusting the levels.  Now I have a number of presets I can select.  The other thing was that I would put my cell phone down on the table at home and walk through the house.   After I left the bluetooth range the Hearphones would start "yelling" and try to re-connect.  Suspect that caused the reduced battery life.

If you're on the fence with these, I'd say at least try them out for a couple weeks.  If a no go just return them.