I apologize for being absent all these weeks. I havenâ€™t had the time to check the forum. Sorry about that.
Today has been exactly one month and 23 days since I got my SoundBite and I am ready to narrate my feedback.
As you guys know the SoundBite is composed of two units, the ITM and the BTE.
The ITM (In The Mouth) unit:
I was surprised to find that the ITM was made to wear on my good side, I wasnâ€™t expecting this because in the trial I was wearing it on my AN side. As it turns out this was perfect for me because I prefer to chew with my good side due to my facial palsy issues. I asked the doctor why they chose to fit on the opposite side and she told me that the reason is to get clearer and neater sound.
We all know that it is not comfortable to have something in our mouth, even braces are uncomfortable for me. The ITM is the unit that is going to make users want to hesitate about getting the SoundBite. The piece is does not seem as small as the previous version and I am guessing that it is to avoid swallowing it. The first two weeks I was struggling with the fitting and I was a bit sore, sometimes I just wanted to take it out of my mouth. The good news is that in that short time I have become accustomed to it and now wearing it is A PIECE OF CAKE!!. I donâ€™t even realize itâ€™s in my mouth.
The BTE (Behind The Ear) unit:
I canâ€™t complaint about anything; the piece is a small one and is VERY comfortable. It allows me to wear glasses, helmets, beanies, hats without any discomfort.
HOW DOES IT WORK IN NOISY SITUATIONS?
IN A RESTAURANT. Imagine a room with +- 40 people and a band playing jazz. I purposely sat next to a person on my deaf side. The resultâ€¦. I could hold a conversation! Sometimes when the band was too loud I had to cover my good ear and I realized that in these situations, with my good ear covered while it was too noisy, I was actually able to hear very well on my deaf side. I tested my hearing many times, with and without the device, and it does really make difference because without the device I was almost completely deaf.
IN A GROCERY STORE; I can hear the cashier, even though I can't perfectly hear, it is clear enough to hold a conversation . Without the device I am practically reading lips.
IN THE THEATRE. While watching a movie, if someone tries to talk to me on my AN side, they have to come closer. You know, in those situations people speak quietly. So, if that person is about one foot apart, I was struggling with the hearing, but when they came closer, the sound was clear enough to hold a conversation. So I trained my husband to talk to me closer. Even if he whispers I can hear very well if he is close enough to me.
IN A CLUB. Donâ€™t get me wrong, I donâ€™t party often, but they recently opened a new club in town and I wanted to see if I could survive a night out on the town. I asked my husband to take me to the club all the while knowing it was a very noisy place but I thought it would be a good test. While in the club, if my husband spoke to me very close, I could hear him and was able to hold a conversation. If he was more than one foot apart it was hard to hear him but I suspect most people with normal hearing would experience nearly the same thing.
IN A LECTURE. The SoundBite is very helpful in these situations. I currently attend college and although my classes are not too noisy, I found that the sound of the heater fan was disturbing my hearing. I always had to sit in the first row in order to hear the teacher over the heater. With the SoundBite, the lecture was clearer and the sound of the heater was less bothersome. One day, while wearing the SoundBite, I had to sit in the very last row and even then I was able to manage to hear the lecture. Oddly, even now, when the teacher assigns us to work in groups it is not uncommon for me to have some difficulty in hearing my classmates in my group. I can only assume the acoustics in that situation are not conducive. The desks are completely round and seat four people but in the class there will be maybe nine round tables each with a group of studentâ€™s discussing aloud. I can only guess it the acoustics because the arrangement is not too different from what you might find in a restaurant and yet I havenâ€™t been experiencing this issue in restaurants. Weird.
IN THE MATH LAB. Labs have tutors who are helping students by explaining and answering questions. Imagine a room with at least 35 students and 6 tutors plus the noise of the heater. I was very impressed when I could hear the flipping pages from the student seated next to my AN side! I must admit it was very close to my ear but still! Imagine! That was awesome.! I was so amazed that I immediately called my husband to share with him this incredible situation. When a tutor was talking to me in my AN side the hearing was almost perfect! Without the device, I could still hear but not that clear.
ON THE PHONE. When I put the phone on my good side, I donâ€™t feel like I canâ€™t hear anybody else because my good side is busy and I am otherwise deaf for the rest of the people around me. When the SoundBite is in I can clearly hold a conversation on the phone on my SoundBite side, no feedback at all, and it leaves my good ear free to hear when someone is asking me something. This I consider to be VERY helpful.
WEARING HEADPHONES. Sometimes I like recording my lectures, so later I can listen to my recordings while doing homework. I realized that when I wear my headphones while wearing the device I can hear on my both sides. It gives the impression that I have the sound equally in both sides. In addition, if I wear the headphone in one ear I can still hear if someone comes to ask me something. I can hear very well if I wear the headphone in my bad ear, so I allow my good ear to hear my surroundings.
IN QUIET CONDITIONS:
My good ear works very well in quiet conditions whithout the SoundBite. However I have to admit that my hearing improves a lot when I am wearing the device.
When I was doing the clinical trial I reported some directionality while wearing the previous version. Sadly, I found out that I don't have directionality with the current SoundBite. I tested many times and I realized that I don't have directionality while wearing the device.
I have to stop here, but I will continue my report tomorrow... It is past midnight...