Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How I like ClearVoice

I've had ClearVoice for about two weeks now. My stand with it is, so-so. While I definitely prefer it in public, like at my job, because it drowns out all the annoying background noises, but still allows me to hear people when they speak, I don't prefer it in otherwise quiet situations.

My first encounter with it in public was at a baseball game. I recall that they are usually really loud in a muffled way due to the thousands of people talking. I remember it was usually so loud at the games, I had to lean in close to understand my husband next to me. But with the ClearVoice, human chatter was reduced dramatically. If I were to rate the level of sound before ClearVoice at a 9 out of 10, with ClearVoice, it is a 3. Absolutely no complaints about this difference.

At my job, it has tuned out a number of noises, including the air conditioning system, general loudness of human chatter, and even this floor waxer that use to be pretty loud. While this can be kinda nice, because I'm sure even hearing people wish they had the option to tune out annoying sounds like that, and I'm not going to lie, I still embrace being Deaf to some things, but at the same time, I kind of miss those noises. They let me know that I could hear things again that I wasn't hearing prior to the implant.

In quiet situations, such as in my living room where I like to sit with the TV on low, while reading a book and semi-paying attention to the TV, it has also tuned out general sounds like our A/C system, cars, the usually obvious to hear garbage/recycle trucks, and so on. But more importantly, it has reduced the quality of sound from the TV to much lower. Not only do I have to turn the TV volume up louder than I use to, but I even have to turn my implant volume up to get it where I like it.

As for voices, is it making them clearer like it's intended to? No. In fact, I have not noticed any change in my ability to interpret speech, in person or on TV. Although I believe its main intention was to reduce environmental sounds so that speech stood out more. We can either hear everything, or we can hear people so we can communicate better. Usually, we just want to communicate better, so ClearVoice does allow this ability, especially in public situations. However, I am personally going to go back in for another mapping and ask to have a ClearVoice setting for public, and the non-ClearVoice setting for quiet situations. When I'm alone, I feel like I need to be audibly alert. I like to know when the garbage man comes and goes, when there is a faint knock on my door, when my husband is awake, and when small things just make sounds.

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