The tagline for the Loud N’ Clear personal sound amplifier reads “turn ordinary hearing into extraordinary hearing.”
The company is rather generous in their assessment of my ability to perceive and process soundwaves.
My hearing isn’t quite what I’d call ordinary.
For example, I believe I set some sort of dubious record by sleeping through the shrill fire alarm sounding in Temple University’s dormitory on fifteen to twenty separate occasions.
My auditory faculties are much better when I’m awake, though.
Kidding. I’m kidding.
Jess will ask me something like “Could you run to the market to get something for dinner?” My response? “Yeah, I think Markell is in office now.” We’ll stare at each other for a few moments…. Jess wondering what the hell I’m talking about… me wondering if Markell or Carper is Delaware’s Governor, and why she would ask me a question about local politics. My wife breaks the silence by advising me that I should visit a doctor to get my ears checked. I retort that I haven’t worn them since Jon and Missy’s wedding. Confusion reigns for the next few minutes. I volunteer to head to the market to pick up something for dinner.
Perhaps this earpiece could transform my substandard hearing into average hearing. That would be good. That’s setting the bar really low, though… and selling this product short. According to the advertisement, this inexpensive hearing aid, cleverly disguised as a cell phone accessory, is an unprecedented marvel in making shit louder. It can help you hear a pin drop from across the room! As a bonus, it can greatly boost your confidence (and chances of scoring a menage a quatre) when you eavesdrop on that buxom ginger and her two fit blonde friends raving about your studly self at the…. apartment building mixer?
The implication that using this faux bluetooth might make me the focal point of a foursome was a big selling point for me.
The other was the promise of being able to watch television without disturbing others.
Jess and I operate on schedules that are nearly the inverse of one another. She’s waking up for work about two hours after I head to sleep. When I come home from work, she’s preparing to turn in for the night.
If only there was some…. device… that would allow me to listen to music or watch TV without interrupting Jess’s slumber. Egads! There is such a device!
We test it out. The blue LCD light on the side indicates that it is ready for action.
I insert the plastic tube into my ear canal.
“Does it work?” Jessica asks. Loudly. But, not all that clearly. She sounds as though she’s speaking under water, or like I’m hearing her talk seconds after emerging from a sodium-pentathol induced coma in the dentist’s chair.
“I’m not sure,” I reply. My voice does sound louder.
The television does not.
I crank the Loud N’ Clear’s volume button to its maximum.
For those who would like to hear what everything sounds like through a Loud N’ Clear turned all the way up, here’s a link to a snippet of the song Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle by Nirvana. If you hit the preview button, about five seconds in… it’s a virtual Loud N’ Clear experience. You’re welcome.
Before clicking the Loud N’ Clear off (I wouldn’t want to waste the batteries in such a vital instrument), the neighbor’s dog barked. Of course, Winston decided to holler back.
The verdict? Loud N’ Clear amplifies your own voice… which is worthless. It amplifies dogs barking to ear-shattering heights. It makes conversations sound like you’re listening to the album “In Utero” while scuba diving. And, it does absolutely dick for raising the television volume.
I’ll keep you posted on how it works securing the four way.
Where to Buy: Loud N’ Clear
Wouldn’t the old woman at the start of the commercial still win a prize for having Bingo?: I’m pretty sure she would. Especially if the games are scored electronically. If someone else called Bingo on a later number, she still has the opportunity to yell “Bingo” and split the pot. Half the pot is better than nothing, especially if she’s playing high stakes Bingo… Like a forty dollar buy-in.