One of the more impressive pieces of technology I had a chance to check out at E3 2015 was Turtle Beach’s revolutionary HyperSound Clear hearing healthcare device, which despite its full name isn’t just meant for the medical field. In fact, it has the potential to change the way family’s deal with hearing loss when it comes to one or more members requiring the volume on the TV, or stereo, to be cranked up to ear drum bursting levels just to hear sound. With that being said the HyperSound Clear also has great potential in homes where one must be quiet while gaming, but also doesn’t want to have to wear a headset for extended periods of time.
I for one can personally vouch for the need to have a better solution for sound delivery for people with hearing loss, because for nearly all my life my Dad has had to wear hearing aids due to ear damage from years of using heavy machinery and listing to super loud music. This led to our family having to have our own ear’s blown out if we wanted to all watch TV or listen to music in the same room, because he needed to turn up the volume to ridiculous levels just to hear faint sounds. This obviously caused friction, which led to my Mother, Sister, and I using one area of the house to watch TV, while my Dad was banished to another so he could make the walls shake with his required decibel level. This obviously isn’t conducive to the family thanks to the splinter group effect, which is why I was so intrigued and genuinely impressed with what the HyperSound Clear can do after demoing it on the E3 show floor.
The device consists of two ultra slim speakers that look like space heaters, as well as a receiver. It can be integrated into your home theater system without compromising the sound of your existing speakers and setup, which is a key feature in my opinion thanks to the fact that both family members with hearing loss, and those without, can sit in the same room and use the same audio setup while also not degrading the experience for others in the room. This is achieved through the amazing technology of the HyperSound Clear, which can project an ultrasound beam from its speakers that allows sound to be carried through the air like a laser.
Think of the speakers as flashlights that project a sound beam rather than a light beam, so anyone in the beam’s field will hear impressive 3D surround sound that only can be heard while in the target area. This means that whoever is hard of hearing in your family can sit in the beam and hear audio that is projected at high enough frequencies that their damaged ears can hear, while the rest of the family can listen to the existing speaker setup at a volume level of their choosing, eliminating the need to be in separate rooms to enjoy music, TV, Movies, or gaming together.
I imagine this may sound like a gimmick on paper, or just too good to be true, but I can assure you that the HyperSound Clear works. To test it out I was placed in a small meeting room and sat in the “beam zone” while an X-Men movie was playing on a TV. While in the zone I could hear the TV’s sound perfectly, and it even had a surround sound effect, but if I leaned my head slightly out of the zone the sound went completely away and I could only hear the barely audible TV sound. It was like someone plugged my ears when I moved from the beam field and then unplugged them when I reentered it. The effect was truly amazing, and thoroughly convinced me of this device’s uses for people with hearing loss, especially because I could draw upon my own life experience and think about what it could’ve done for my family when my Dad felt the need to blow the speakers out while watching a movie together.
If you consider what the device can do then it should be clear that the HyperSound could also be used for gamers with sleeping children, gamers with roommates, and gamers living with shared walls. Sure all of these potential candidates could use headsets, but how many people want to wear one for hours on end? I personally can’t stand wearing a gaming headset and prefer my ears to be free while gaming, so the HyperSound would be a much more ideal solution for me if I still had roommates, or shared a wall with another human. This way I could crank up my sound without the need of ear muffs, and without the fear of having the cops called on me for a late night noise complaint.
Turtle Beach definitely has a winner on its hand with the HyperSound Clear. It may have first been designed as a hearing healthcare device, but it definitely has potential for gamers, music buffs, film buffs, and TV junkies that want to enjoy being entertained with their hearing loss friends and family without having their own hearing compromised. It can also be used by individuals that need to be somewhat quiet, but also don’t want to have to wear a headset thanks to its brilliant and very futuristic sound beam technology. If you are dealing with hearing loss on your own, or within your circle of trust, this device may just be what you’ve been searching for, because it truly is revolutionary for hearing healthcare.
At this time an official release date and pricing details have yet to be revealed, so stay tuned for more updates as they’re released.
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