Hearing wearables: We review the BeHear® ACCESS Personalised Hearing Amplifier
Do you have mild to moderate hearing loss but aren’t ready to wear hearing aids? The latest ‘hearing wearable’ – the BeHear ACCESS Personalised Hearing Amplifier – might just be the thing for you.
And with the Christmas season just around the corner, it’s a good time to make sure you can join in on all the conversations around the table.
BeHear ACCESS is a Personal Hearing product (PHP).
- The product uses Bluetooth® to connect directly to your devices. It behaves just like headphones would for streaming music, watching videos or TV and making mobile phone calls – all in one unit.
- It uses the four microphones, one in each earbud and one in each control box, to pick up ambient sounds and cancel feedback.
- BeHear ACCESS comes with an easy-to-use charging cradle and a USB wire which plugs into your power source. It takes around 2 hours to fully charge and should last between 8 to 13 hours depending on your assistive listening mode (for example, listening to music uses more power).
- It also comes with a travel case, micro USB charging cable and a variety of ear tips and ear hooks to fine tune the right size for your ears.
The advantages of the BeHear device
BeHear doesn’t look like a traditional hearing aid
One of the issues that stops many people with hearing problems from taking action is they don’t like how hearing aids look.
And though the latest hearing aid technology has made big improvements around ‘cosmetics’, it’s still a problem for some. The BeHear ACCESS Personalised Hearing Aid looks like a regular headset, similar to ones you might buy to listen to music. They’re light to wear – even fashionable!
The BeHear device can be customised to suit your hearing and your environment
The BeHear ACCESS device is flexible and can be customised using a relatively simple smartphone app (available free for both iPhone and Android phones).
- Once you’ve run an initial hearing test – which checks out what you can hearing well and what you can hearing poorly – you can then make adjustments to suit your environment.
- It includes 4 settings – indoor, outdoor, crowd and live music. You can adjust the app settings until you reach a comfortable hearing level in various situations.
A focus on amplifying voice and reducing background noise
Using the BeHear app, you can adjust your listening experience using a number of specialised settings to help you hear better. They include:
- ListenThrough™ – amplifies some sounds (like voices) and diminishes other noises (like background noise).
- EasyListen™ – slows down speech to help you understand conversations better – great when people speak fast.
- Telecoil – use your device to connect to hearing assistive transmission system in public places like movies, church, to help you hear better.
Helps you enjoy TV
Paired with the HearLink™ PLUS Bluetooth transmitter, you can stream your TV audio directly to your BeHear ACCESS. The HearLink™ PLUS is sold separately.
Inexpensive compared to traditional hearing aids
Though advanced, the technology used in traditional hearing aids means that they cost a lot more than a ‘wearable’ like BeHear ACCESS. So, if you’re just putting your toe in the water to see what you can do to help a mild hearing loss, they’re a great cost-effective alternative.
Another advantage is that you don’t need to wear your BeHear ACCESS device all the time. You can use it when you really need to.
Here’s a summary of how they compare to traditional hearing devices:
Comparing Traditional Hearing Aids vs. BHear ACCESS
|Traditional Hearing Aids||BeHear ACCESS|
|Medical device||Consumer electronics device|
|As small as possible, almost invisible, but you can still see you’re wearing a hearing aid||Stylish, fashionable|
|High cost of manufacturing and precision components||Low cost of manufacturing due to high-volume consumer electronics components|
|High cost of marketing and distribution||Distributed via audiologists, internet, consumer electronics channels|
|Limited performance due to size and power consumption limitations||Larger form factor for better components, rechargeable batteries and powerful DSP|
|Limited connectivity||Uses standard Bluetooth protocol to connect to multiple device types. e.g. smartphone, TV|
How do you know if the BeHear ACCESS will suit you?
As I mentioned, the device works best for people with mild to moderate hearing loss, so it won’t suit everybody.
And even though the app is fairly easy to use, for people who have dexterity problems and hate fiddling with technology, they’re not as useful.
I always recommend that the first step of any hearing journey is to have a thorough hearing test. From there, we can help you choose the best options for your hearing profile, lifestyle and budget.
If you have any questions about the BeHear ACCESS Personalised Hearing Amplifier or about your hearing, please give us a call on 1300 017 732 to make an appointment.
As an independent, family-owned hearing care clinic, you’ll also find we like to look after our clients. We offer affordable and competitive prices on all our hearing solutions.