Improving Your Hearing
Hearing is just as important as seeing— try watching a movie with the sound turned off and it immediately becomes evident that both sight and hearing need to be working together. But many people have found as they aged that their hearing is suffering to some extent. It’s become harder to hear a conversation when in a restaurant surrounded by other sounds, or finding that the nuances of voices on the TV have become more difficult to hear. A trip to the doctor might be called for, but what if the person feels they can forego that by getting a hearing aid that will help to amplify the sounds they encounter on a daily basis? But ZVOX’s VoiceBud VB20 Hearing Amplifier could be an alternative to a conventional hearing aid as it combines powerful aural features with familiar app-based control.
The VoiceBud comes prepared for use in either the left or right ear. Much of its appeal is due it having been designed by an A/V company well known for TV sound bars — in other words they know how to present sound so that people can hear it dynamically, clearly and succinctly. So this same attention to detail is found in the VB20 which, while FDA registered, doesn’t require permission from a medial professional to purchase and use.
One of the biggest complaints about “over the counter” hearing aids is that they don’t allow for any tweaking — they’re sort of a “one size fits all” device where the person has to accommodate the hearing aid and not the other way around. But ZVOX used their expertise and experience in presenting sound to go a different route: an app is used for personalizing the experience. Having the VB20 controlled by an app doesn’t just enable an easier route to accessing the options while wearing it — it also keeps the physical size down since there doesn’t need to be a mess of buttons or confusion as to how to switch between modes (since looking at a smartphone screen provides for a large viewing screen).
Enhancing The Quality of Sounds
The VB20 is small and unobtrusive — being placed behind the ear — and contains a wealth of technologies for improving one’s hearing. Two microphones are employed, one facing forward and another towards the rear, and their purpose is to create a greater angle of hearing, with the resulting sound field being more natural yet still enabling the sound the person is interested in hearing to take center stage. Additional technologies reduce loud distracting and non-voice sounds (for example, a loud fan or bumper-to-bumper car traffic), as well as controlling/avoiding feedback (i.e, squealing). A wide frequency range combines with 12 different frequency bands to work in tandem for accentuating voices over the rest of the sounds that the world is making.
Similar to a sound bar, you are not restricted to using a single mode when donning the VB20. There are four different sound modes, each with their own specialized method for handling sound. Besides the normal or “standard” setting, there’s one designed especially for a noisy room where it’s necessary for the VB20 to focus on a more narrow area to pick up what the person is looking towards and so ignore surrounding background noise. Another setting is for traveling in a car where sound is more confined yet interposed with surface noises (like engine hum, wind, etc.). The final setting is for use outdoors — here you don’t have walls to bounce sound off, but instead wide open space and so the hearing aid must work to pick up the wanted sounds from all the extraneous “noise” surrounding it. The app lets you further tailor the way the hearing aid reacts as well.
The VoiceBud VB20 Hearing Amplifier comes in an assortment of 4 colors and includes various sized ear domes in both an open (for a more natural sound) as well as a closed design (highlighting voices sharper). Also included are extra sound tubes for converting a left ear into a right ear or vice versa. There is also a cleaning tool, a tube changing tool, set of 6 batteries (as batteries last on average 3-5 days) and a zippered carrying case for keeping it all together.