The 411: Bluetooth headset for those who are hard of hearing

Every two weeks, senior associate editor Nicole Lee answers your questions about cell phones, smartphones, and all things mobile.

Welcome to the 411, my column answering all your questions about cell phones and cell phone accessories. I receive plenty of questions about these subjects via e-mail, so I figured many of you might have similar queries, too. At times, I might solicit answers from readers if I'm stumped. Send your questions and comments to me at nicole.lee@cnet.com. If you prefer to remain anonymous, let me know in the e-mail.

The Sound ID 510 is even better with its EarPrint app that lets you customize the volume and tone of incoming audio.
The Sound ID 510 is even better with its EarPrint app that lets you customize the volume and tone of incoming audio. Sound ID

Question: My wife is hearing impaired and uses hearing aids--but not when on the cell phone. I purchased a Motorola H560 for her to try. She can hear the conversation without any problem, however, the voice prompts generated by the cell phone--an LG Accolade 5600--are too low in her audio registration to be able to use the unit hands-free. Are there any Bluetooth headsets available with a tone/pitch adjustment so that the pitch might be increased into her audio registration zone? Any help on this would be great as I have not yet come upon a unit that has this type of feature. -- Josh, via e-mail

One particular headset stood out to us as a great option for your wife, but it might be dependent on you getting a BlackBerry, Android device, or iPhone to go along with it. The Sound ID 510 is a great little Bluetooth headset with decent noise canceling, A2DP, multipoint connectivity, and voice prompts. Voice prompts are generally more pronounced when it's built into the headset, so that feature alone might be useful.

However, it gets even better with the help of Sound ID's own EarPrint app. The app adds plenty of functionality like a Find My Headset feature plus an Environmental mode that lets you listen to the sounds around you while the headset is plugged in--this might even act as a sort of hearing aid for your wife. Most importantly, the EarPrint app has a Personal Sound mode that acts as a personal audio equalizer, letting you fine-tune incoming audio by adjusting not just the volume, but also the tone.

But, as you might have guessed, the additional features of the EarPrint app are not available if you don't have a compatible smartphone. I still think the Sound ID 510 would be a great headset for her, but you could try looking for any headset with voice prompts if you would rather not get her a smartphone. Many headsets have the voice prompt feature these days, including the BlueAnt Q2 and the Plantronics Voyager Pro Plus . Readers, if you have any other suggestions, let us know in the comments!

 

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