Three.ie – Competition Winner Week 3

Winner of a set of Klipsch headphones and a Sony Ericsson C902 phone is, Sarah McCloskey from Waterford.

Sarah did great review of ScanSound Unilateral headphones.


The discovery of this useful technological accessory was key to finding a more complete listening experience for my two children who have unilateral hearing (i.e are deaf in one ear). Regular two channel stereo headphones were far from ideal for them and as much of our ‘entertainment’ type listening today involves a stereo or surround but my children have been missing out on typically 30-50% of the available sounds. Whether listening to a guitar solo or the canned laughter of a cartoon, I became aware that they were not hearing large chunks of the total sound experience due to their hearing impairment.
I recall my own mono listening days and reflecting on that painful memory was determined to source a headphone that would allow my children to have the same privilages in entertainment sound as those of us with bilateral (both sided) hearing. This process proved to be far from simple. Utilising search engines including google gaining information was largely inadequate. I eventually disvcovered only one non-specialist manufacturer that provided two channel stereo sound via a single earpiece.
Priced very reasonably from $10-$20 per unit, scansound, a company based in the USA, provide a wide range of this type of earphone. I purchased 5 units, given the tendency of children to lose or damage itmems so easily. The units were dispatched in a tmely fashion and were delivered within a week and although ‘bubble wrap’ was the extent of their packaging the goods arrived in good condition. The package included a variety of removable ear bud covers which included a very broad spectum of sizes from child to adult which meant individual fitting for both children was extremely simple and essentially they were very comfortale. They also came with the standard 3.5mm jack connection.
In my own test of the headphones; I found the quality of sound to be reasonable, but not fantastic. The sound level was only moderate also. However both these points have to be taken with a pinch of salt as in this case the only real judges had to be the children. Their opinions were confirmed to be highly positive. They both immediately noticed that they where hearing elements of songs that they had not heard previously on either their beloved mp3 players or nintendo DS lites. Additionally for people with hearing in one ear what is the point of headsets with two ear pieces, one just hangs lose, unused. They completely fell in love with them. Also I noted on reflection that there might well have been a cap on the sound levels in the one ear to ensure no damage was incurred in the good ear and therefore might well have been intentional although I can not confirm this.
To date my children have continued to used the scansound headphones and have managed to keep them safe and in one piece even when they have travelled or when they have changed them from between various electronic devises. I felt that I must highlight that such an option is available out there for children or adults with unilateral hearing and even if this just means that when some other parent searches google they will find this small review, at least it may help a little in their search.

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