I will be returning my SoundBite on January the 23rd; my 60 day clinical trial will be coming to an end. Kinda sad .
My experiences during this time with the SoundBite are as follows;
IN QUIET CONDITIONS:
- I have noticed that speech recognition is almost perfect on both sides in quiet environments. I originally thought I didnâ€™t need a hearing aid in these kinds of environments but after trying the SoundBite I noticed a difference, the voices and sounds are much clearer.
- Definitely helps with the directionality.
- I can hear even the quietest sounds, for example, when someone is whispering on my deaf side.
- While I am watching TV and someone is talking to me on my good side I can still hear the TV, which was a problem without the device.
- If I am chewing while watching TV (i.e. crackers or something crunchy) I can still hear the program, without the device I would sometimes have to stop chewing in order keep from missing something. It would seem that the SoundBite filters the sound of chewing.
- If I fall sleep over my AN side (while wearing the SoundBite) I donâ€™t have feedback.
- I can wear a helmet and ride the motorcycle without any problems. I donâ€™t get any feedback or discomfort.
- I can wear hats or beanies without any complication.
- When my husband is seated next to me, he likes to caress (by rubbing) my shoulder. Without the device, if he rubs my shoulder on my good side the sound would sometimes annoy me to the point where I would have to stop his hand. When I wear the SoundBite it does not bother me, I guess because I have hearing on both sides and my brain doesnâ€™t concentrate on only the sounds from my good side.
- It is more pleasant to attend a lecture, everything is clearer.
- I can hear the noise of my rubbing fingers in my deaf side.
- If I lay down over my good side while wearing the device I can still hear.
- I can speak on the cell phone using my bad ear but sometimes I experience feedback.
- I donâ€™t have feedback when someone gives me a big hug.
IN NOISY ENVIRONMENTS:
- It is very helpful in the theatres; I can usually hear, on my deaf side, when someone is whispering in the next row. I can also hear my husband commenting about the movie when he ends up seated on my deaf side.
- It helps in restaurants, I am able to hear what the waitress is saying and I am able to hear the person seated on my deaf side.
- While attending a concert (Metallica :-O ), I had problems holding a conversation while they were playing (I had an ear plug in my good ear) but my husband said that even for him it was next to impossible.
- At the supermarkets or grocery stores, as I have mentioned before, I consider my hearing to be about 55% of what it would otherwise be on the deaf side when wearing the SoundBite. I donâ€™t know why but it seems that the sounds in supermarkets and grocery stores are just weird that way.
- Walking on streets with traffic and talking with someone on my deaf side is not a problem.
- When washing dishes while wearing the SoundBite, the sound of the running water from the faucet is less distracting, especially while holding a conversation with someone.
- I have noticed that the sounds of the ambulances or police cars are not as annoying while wearing the device, without it those sounds drive me crazy.
- The other day I heard a noise while driving my car which I could not hear when I took out the device. When I asked my husband to check the car he was surprised that I could hear the noise at all. It turns out the noise was not that loud and was coming from the tire in the back.
To wear the SoundBite is simple; the ITM (In The Mouth) is easy to wear and does not affect your speech or eating. It is not visible when you are smiling.
The BTE (Behind The Ear) is almost unnoticeable, the sound tube is transparent and thin and the part which goes behind the ear is small.
The doctors at Sonitus told me that the final device will be improved in both design and functionality. As I have posted before, in my 30 day follow up appointment I received a new ITM (I think it is part of the study plan). The new ITM battery has been lasting a minimum of 5 hours and I am told that by the time the final device is ready for market it is expected to get up to around 7 hours.
Cleaning is easy, just rinse the ITM with water or clean with dental cleansing wipes (the ones used for retainers). The BTE is just cleaned as needed with a Q-tip.
I am very pleased to have been part of this trial and to have been given a chance to try out such a promising device. This device continues to give hope to a huge group of us with SSD who are waiting for something non-invasive. I am glad that the doctors are working on improving the lives of people like us with SSD.
SOUNDBITE IS SIMPLY AWESOME!
Thank you everyone for your comments, personal messages and encouragement. I will let you know if I have anything more to share.
For sure everyone is now waiting to hear from Carolyn (she will start the trial this month on the 18th), I know I am. Please share with us your experience Carolyn.
Best wishes to everyone,
PS. I wanted to enclose a picture wearing the BTE but I don't know how.