Review: W&H BeHear® NOW
Review: W&H BeHear® NOW…If you put on the Wear and Hear BeHear® NOW headphones on without doing anything, they channel sound like every other pair of headphones. Anyone who puts the on BeHear® NOW headphones like any other headphones will be missing the point.
- Creates a personalized listening experience.
- Enhances hearing and hearing-related work (and life).
- Magnets help manage cord spaghetti A lot of options for good ear fit.
- Controls less awkward than other neck-work headsets
- Neck design with cords quickly looking dated next to wireless earbuds.
- Similar features arriving in wireless earbuds for less.
- Bulky case (but well-made)
Unlike other headphones on the market, BeHear designed its $249.99 headphones to meet personal hearing needs through advanced profiling and customization.
This Bluetooth stereo headset offers assisted hearing, provides personal digital sound amplification and delivers environmental tuning via on-headset controls. The accompanying app steps up configuration options with configuration control over vibration feedback and defaults settings.
The best BeHear® NOW experience begins with a personal hearing assessment. I found that my right ear was no longer as adept as my left ear. Now that BeHear® NOW knows this, it can compensate by boosting the frequencies coming through that channel.
What I like
BeHear® NOW headsets help people hear better. In multiple situations. It’s as simple as that. Wear and Hear goes out of their way to say they aren’t medical devices or designed as hearing aids. But they do use related technology that amplifies ambient sounds. I find them extremely useful in planes and in large group meetings. Anyone who ever wanted bionic ears will find the BeHear Now headset a bit of wish fulfillment. I won’t say they have spy level audio enhancement, but it kind of depends on what you are spying on.
In some situations, such as when people are talking fast, or when someone speaks in a foreign language not well-known to the listener, the EasyListen™ technology slows down the incoming voice stream to help make it more comprehensible.
Other vendors are offering similar features for amplification and ambient sound management. JBL, for instance, offers the $149.95 Live 300 TWS earbuds with ambient sound control and Talk Thru mode (versus the W&H ListenThrough™ sound enhancement technology) that amplifies voices with a tap on the earbuds.
Unlike true wireless earbuds, the BeHear® NOWheadphones won’t suffer from random loss as they fall out of your ears. W&H also cleverly includes magnets so the buds adhere to each other when not in use, reducing the spaghettification of the cables while traveling. So on one hand, they aren’t true wireless earbuds, but on the other, they are less likely to get lost.
Special kudos to W&H for delivering a product in almost plastic-free packaging (save the retail hanger).
BeHear Now: room for improvement
I’m not a big fan of controls placed in awkward places. All the wrap-around headsets I’ve tested put the controls in places where you need to create a mental map in order to remember the various functions. While the BeHear® NOW headset also makes this design choice, the engineers, fortunately, constrained the number of options.
The right-side of the headset controls ambient sound, while the left-side control regulates volume and handle phone calls.
Over time, the BeHear® NOW technology will likely shrink to fit inside wireless earbuds, and with that, the controls will switch to the earbuds as well.
When I use the controls, especially the on-off button on the main battery and logic pack, I find the charging port cover comes loose more often than I would like. I also find the clips designed to hold the earbud cables to the side of the neck control don’t work well for strenuous activities, like moving your head from side-to-side.
The included case offers good protection but proves a bit bulky for relatively slim headphones. Besides holding the headset, the case does include a pocket for a charging cable and a large variety of silicon earbuds, ear hooks, and wind protection covers. Owners will not need these accessories once the headset fits well. So just put the headset in your back and travel forth without the case.
The BeHear Now Bottom-line
Most headphones treat every person the same. The BeHear® NOW headset understands personal hearing profiles. That establishes a key differentiator against all other headsets. They compensate for hearing differences like binoculars adjust for discrepancies in visual acuity between eyes. All personal technology should be this personal.
All personal technology should be this personal.
Anyone who travels on a plane should put these headphones in the mix, though many other brands, like Cleer and Sony, also deliver ways to better hear flight attendants when they ask if you want your Biscoff cookie. Wear & Hear brings a more rounded hearing enhancement experience for those who want to listen better in meetings, hear comments better during presentations or just listen to birds sing off a second-story balcony.
W&H provided the BeHear® NOW headset sample for review purposes.