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Special Bluetooth earpiece needs: hearing toubles (my ears, not device) and range issues

I am about to upgrade to a new cellphone. Money is not an issue. I am most likely going to go with one of the flagship models, such as the new HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5, or LG G2. I need a BlueTooth earpiece for working, and driving, while on the phone; I need three, in fact, because I use them so much they run out of charge all the time. I also have terrible hearing. It is not just a matter of volume, but clarity. When voices are not clear, or there is other background noise, my brain sometimes processes the words incorrectly. Furthermore, I live in the Bermuda triangle of cell phone coverage, so reception is poor to begin with, and only one carrier works withing a tiny, one mile radius of my home. Plus, I have ADD and pace all the time, as well as forget my phone in the car when I go into gas stations to buy things while I'm fueling up, and then get disconnected from important calls when I exceed the 10 meter Bluetooth class 2 rating specs. I can't do much about the reception where I live (except buy a signal booster), and there's nothing I can do about my hearing. However, I recently read that, Bluetooth capabilities have changed, and some devices support up to 100 meter range, those being class one. I guess the technology has been around awhile, but only recently integrated into a few of the new smartphones. As I understand it, for two way communication, it is necessary for both devices to be of the same class, or the range capability is only as good as the lower class device. Consequently, I need to know where to find out which of the flagship Android phones feature class 1 Bluetooth, and which earpieces do as well. Because my hearing is garbage, I need the earpiece to also be of high quality in terms of speaker volume and clarity, but do not know what the specs mean. What numbers should I look for on spec sheets when shopping? Also, the cellphones often do not list which class they are, just which version (i.e. 2.0 vs 3.0 vs 4.0). So, does anyone know of models that are class 1? Same goes for phone, they never seem to specify. Any guidance on which models feature class 1 or where to find out would be great. I have read reviews on websites mentioning devices with class 1 capability, but that was before I realized I needed it, so I did not take note and save the pages or names of the devices. Finally, when it comes to class 1, does it drain battery faster? I need a great earpiece in terms of sound quality, but might sacrifice the class 1 if it is going to dramatically reduce my phone's battery life if I leave it on for extended periods of time. Does class 1 Bluetooth have that feature that makes it sort of "passive" and not high-power consuming, when it is turned on, but not actually transmitting a signal? Or, only transmitting intermittently? I've asked about this in a million stores, and no sales reps have any clue what I am talking about, so I came here. I'm only 33 years old, and this hearing degeneration is new to me and really tough, so any help would be appreciated greatly. Ironically, while I do not care about budget when it come to the phone, I would rather spend the minimum to get what I need on the earpiece, as long as it is very good. Just doesn't have to be some price-driven-by-brand-recognition model, such as Bose. Spending $100 would be fine. No more than $130.

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  • Luke Miller
    Luke Miller Jun 01, 2014

    I have been to an audiologist, and an ENT, and had a full range of hearing tests done, but that was mainly because I also have tinnitus, and I am too young for it to be age related, and don't listen to loud music, so I wanted to see if there was a cure or diagnosis of the cause. There wasn't. However, it was determined that I do not really need a hearing aid, and I don't think I do. If they have them that are good to use as Bluetooth devices, that might be good for me, but only when talking on the phone would it be necessary. I assume a proper hearing aid would cost quite a bit of money though, and I metioned that I didn't want to spend more than $130 on a Bluetooth earpiece. Maybe if my hearing gets worse, I can get an audiologist to prescribe a hearing aid, and then I can use it as a Bluetooth earpiece with my phone after my incurance company pays for it. :) Thanks for the tip though.

  • mpr9798 Jun 01, 2014

    Reality check is in order!. First, as of this date and for the forseeable future, no insurance company will pay for hearing aids. Beware of "storefront" hearing specialists who do not have the expertise of an ear, nosr, throat MD and/or a PH.D. Audiologist. Now that you have to have medical insurance, make an appointment with an MD specialist. It sounds like you may have nerve damage an this is not cureable but it can be helped with proper equipment. If you were going blind, would you set a dollar limit on what you could see? Then why do it for your hearing. The new class of hearing implements utilize "loop" technology and I assure you it is worth every penny. I have been wearing hearing aids for more than 50 years and they have enabled me to have a very successful career and family. Find a reputable MD first for a full evaluation (insurance should cover cost) than go to a PH.D. Audiologist vendor. I have found the vendors at Costco (#1) and Sam's Club (#2) to offer the latest technology at the lowest price and service. Other vendors may offer same service

  • mpr9798 Sep 12, 2014

    Also since you mention that you appear to be a multitasker and have ADD, PL:EASE do not drive and use any thing that needs hands or any of your attention to the road and streets. Start with a full hearing evaluation, get top quality hearing aids and then start lookking for the equipment you need.

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I too have a severe hearing problem and run into many of the clarity problems you've described. Please have your hearing re-evaluated by a certified PH.D Audiologist, not a store front ":hearing Aid specialist". Many new aids have state of the art blue tooth connectivity and clarity. I know it helped improve my understanding of electronic speech.

Posted on May 10, 2014

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