PROJECTS:  AEQ ONE                                                                               HEARING SAFETY TIPS              VIDSONIX WEBSITE

 
         
 
       

  

I would like to share with the world the AEQ ONE, a Personal Sound Amplifier Device prototype I created recently - years after experiencing an incident I was personally affected by (interminably).  Here is my story:

  Back in November of 2012, my wife and I were in Las Vegas for a trade show, staying at a hotel on the strip. On one of the days, there was a Labor Union picketing in the front of our hotel, in close proximity to crowds of people eating on the outside terraces and tables, and others just trying maneuver their way down the boulevard.

     As we were exiting the hotel, I could see people cringing from the very loud noise, but I thought we would be through it quickly enough. However, just as I walked by the striking picketers, a guy with a megaphone/bullhorn turned toward my direction, and, with the bullhorn within a few inches of my left ear, yelled out some rhetoric. I immediately covered my ears and as we walked away, I turned to my wife and said, “I feel like calling 911.” It was that bad. (The guy just kept spewing noise out of his horn, oblivious and ignorant as to the harm he was causing to everyone around him). We stood there for about 30 seconds contemplating what to do. I did not feel any pain or notice any a ringing at the time. Conflicted as to what to do, and having somewhere to be, we finally ended up walking away. In hindsight, if I had to do it all over again, I would have walked back and grabbed the guy’s bullhorn and busted it to the ground in an effort to get the police there (As you can tell, I have a bit of resentment about the whole thing).

This guy had a supped-up bullhorn and he was very careless with it.  Amazingly, a brief cursory check of megaphone owner’s manuals will show that many of the lower cost megaphone manufacturers don’t even provide any warning as to the use hazards of a megaphone.  However, I did read one megaphone Owner’s Manual from a German manufacturer that said it best - “This device may be used only by persons with sufficient physical, sensorial, and intellectual abilities and having corresponding knowledge and experience.” [Thomann M25] Now, I don’t know if something was misinterpreted in their translation, but it does fit my sentiments exactly! 

     Over a period of a year since that day, I started to notice a change in my high-frequency hearing (in that (left ear) only). Then, about 2 years later, I started noticing tinnitus in the same ear. I have since had an MRI and hearing tests (that confirmed the mild high frequency hearing loss). There were no abnormalities in the MRI.

     All of this wouldn’t be so bad if my career wasn’t as an audio engineer and has relied on great hearing. I have designed scores of audio products over my career – some heroes, some zeros. This incident killed my livelihood. I realize life issues are all relative and it could have been far worse – having shared my story I will count my blessings and move on.

     Let me now introduce you to my product that was inspired by this event - since I now desire a bit more treble in my left ear:

 This AEQ ONE (as I have named it) unit is, in its simplest form, a 2-channel equalizer, with Bass and Treble (and volume) controls on EACH (left AND right) channel, designed into a headphone amp.

     This is a customer savvy headphone amp. There are many situations where you may need the utility of having one side louder than the other, need the ability to turn down the volume on one side, correct for the input sound source, or just have the tools or desire to personalize your sound environment. As just one example, in today's tech heavy environment it has become easier than ever to develop a slightly "dominant" ear (i.e. using your cell phone on the same side everyday). YOU now have control to adjust the sound the way YOU want it.

THIS IS NOT A HEARING AID AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS ONE.  IT IS NOT FOR PEOPLE WHO REQUIRE HEARING AIDS. 

<Pre-Order> one here (shipping January 2019)

Or go to my KickStarter page to help this project along.


As with all listening devices, you should adhere to all listening safety guidelines.
 

 
         
   

 

   
   


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