My favourite Hearable of 2018: Wear & Hear BeHear NOW review
Posted 19th January 2019by Adam Chell
Despite the terrible name, the Wear & Hear BeHear NOW was my favourite Hearable of 2018. I have been trialling it extensively for about 5-6 months. It has become my preferred choice for handsfree and for listening to music on the go.
Wear & Hear…who are they?
I hadn’t heard of them before the trial. The brand comes under Alango technologies Ltd, which from my research, specialises in communication products and software. Historically they have mostly targeted other businesses with their hardware and software (B2B). They have worked with big companies like LG, Pioneer and Yamaha and so they are clearly well established. The Wear and Hear BeHear NOW appears to be the first time they have gone directly to the consumer.
What is the BeHear NOW?
The BeHear NOW is a Hearable device that blends your personal audio experience with the real world. It directly competes against the Bose QuietControl 30 but at a significantly lower price. The devices can be used to amplify speech and block out background noise, as well as play your music or listen to your TV via the Bluetooth connectivity simultaneously.
They aren’t true wireless earbuds because they have the neckloop so it would be unfair to compare them to the likes of the Jabra Elite 65T or the Nuheara IQ Buds Boost. By going for a larger design, they have been able to accommodate longer battery life, better functioning noise reduction, and a more comfortable fit.
Why are they my favourite?
They are my favourite because they are the most comfortable out of all the Hearables I have tried. I can wear them for hours at a time without feeling occluded or blocked off from the world. Occlusion is the feeling of being inside your own head when you are wearing ear buds. It has been the downfall of all the other devices for me because it hinders my ability to communicate rather than enhance it. I haven’t had that issue with the BeHear NOW devices.
Slow down speech with EasyListen™
The Wear and Hear has a feature that is able to slow down speech. I turned this on when I first got the phone and forgot. The first time I received a phone call I was a little confused by the rate of speech but it made sense once I realised what was happening. I was impressed. Slowing down speech is a great way to allow for more processing time for individuals with hearing difficulties. It took a while to get used to as it’s kind of like speaking to someone over a long distance phone line, but otherwise it worked really well.
A nice feature of the BeHear NOW is the ability to perform an audiogram / hearing test. Through the headset you are able to conduct a basic hearing screen to help customise the output of the device. This mimics the functionality of a hearing aid and can help give individuals better clarity when communicating, or listening to words in music. I found the audiogram simple and effective to use.
As much as they are my favourite Hearable of 2018, they are far from perfect. I find that the noise reduction is too aggressive. I end up with this horrible modulation of traffic noise. Other environmental sounds also sound too artificial. I struggled to use the standard programs and so I switched it to the music program. This strips away the noise reduction features and leaves the soundscape with a natural feel. I heard better by just turning up the volume on the microphones in this mode compared to all the other settings.
Not true handsfree
Unfortunately as well you are unable to activate siri or other voice control on your phone using the BeHear NOW which I find is a real shame. A lack of such a simple feature means I can’t use it in the car because I would have to manually make a call using the phone.
At the start of 2019, Hearables still have a long way to go but the BeHear NOW is starting to encapsulate what I envisage for the future in regards to comfort and usability. It’s still not a polished product but it was certainly my preferred Hearable of 2018 and I look forward to seeing what Alango has to offer in the future.
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