RCA Symphonix Personal Sound Amplifier

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2 Responses to “RCA Symphonix Personal Sound Amplifier”

  1. Js Banks says:
    33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    80% solution, December 30, 2011
    By 
    Js Banks (Mountain View, California) –
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    (REAL NAME)
      

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    This review is from: RCA Symphonix Personal Sound Amplifier (Electronics)

    I’ve used the Symphonix for 10 days now, and will be updating.

    By “80% solution”, I mean that the symphonix might be 80% as good as a sophisticated, calibrated hearing aid, for 15% of the money. This device homes in on the frequencies of speech, to improve intelligibility.

    I am 64 years old and my hearing in both ears has dropped down to 65 decibels at 3K hertz. The audiologist says I could use hearing aids now and will almost certainly need them in another year or two unless my loss plateaus (unlikely)

    What this means personally is that I have to turn up the TV, not to horrendous levels, but higher than my wife likes. Wireless headphones take care of that nicely. But in a noisy environment, a party or restaurant, I have to really concentrate, and I miss a lot anyway. Yes, everyone sounds like they are mumbling, but if someone actually IS mumbling, I can pretty much forget a conversation unless I ask “what?” after every sentence.

    I don’t want to wait for the update to give initial impressions. The real test will be a party or noisy restaurant. Nonetheless, I am impressed. The television can have a lower volume for dialog, and conversation is more understandable. This thing does not give me super hearing, and, in fact, after as little as 60 seconds, I have integrated the better hearing so thoroughly that sometimes I check to see if the device is on. The effect is subtle and really seems to be aimed just at those frequencies in speech that define the “t’s” and “s’s”. I like the way the effect ramps up slowly, and seems to “know” when I am listening to speech. The circuitry seems sophisticated. My hearing loss is moderate, your mileage may vary.

    There are three levels of enhancement, and the lowest one does the job for me. There is a tiny recharger. If you set it in the recharger, forget using it for 6 hours because it goes through a discharge-recharge cycle that lasts that long. I have not worn it longer than 8 hours but the manufacturer claims it will last most of the day.

    Comfort? That is odd. I walk around all day with earbuds and and ipod, so I figured the tiny plastic doodad in my ear would be no problem. However, after a couple of hours, there is some fatigue. My ear seems to feel a little hot. If I take the whiskery plastic extension out of my ear for a few minutes, I feel fine, and can reinsert. The insert is a very thin plastic tube with a vented cone at the end. It is easy to put in. Update on the comfort. I am used to it now. Not a problem anymore.

    Appearance? I don’t care, but my wife did not notice I had the thing behind my ear until she saw me fiddling with the on-off switch.

    Will update after a noisy superbowl party; that will be a real test.

    UPDATE: Superbowl party with lots of people and noise. Only had to say: “What?!” once. I think it helped. The directionality provided by many “grown-up” hearing aids would be welcome, but is, I suppose, asking too much of such a (relatively) inexpensive unit. Also, I agree with Loren on the noise suppression; I will be walking along the street and the traffic noise gets amplified into this constant mechanical grinding that is somewhat annoying.

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  2. Wayne Rudolph "take-1" says:
    10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Nice….for the Price, March 31, 2012
    By 
    Wayne Rudolph “take-1” (BELLE MEAD, NJ, US) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: RCA Symphonix Personal Sound Amplifier (Electronics)

    After trying 3 major brands of “Aids”, and at least 16 visits to the Drs. Office in attempts to adjust them, I almost gave up hope. A friend recommended this RCA unit. I’ve been using it for a little over a month and I am quite impressed with it. While not the ultimate solution, it has performed better then the $2,000.00+ units that I tried. I wear the RCA anywhere from 10 to 14 hrs each day, and at times I forget that I have it on….the comfort is that good. The real test was in restaurants with lots of chatter, screaming babies and dishes clanging. I was very impressed with how it filtered out the unwanted noise….better then the pricy counterparts.
    Don’t give up hope just yet. Give this RCA aid a try. It could be a very surprising alternative to the mega buck units. Comfort is great and almost undetectable unless I actually point it out. Great three level volume switch and an on/off switch for sudden, or unwanted changes in sounds around you. The only negative point is the 6 to 8 hour charge time between uses. I purchased a second RCA aid so that one is always charged and ready. There have been a couple of days that I’ve worn these units for 16 to 18 hrs in total comfort. I have recommended this Aid to at least three other people without hesitation.

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