Echo Frames from Amazon helped me deal with tinnitus

I had little interest in Echo frames enabled for Alexa until Amazon loaned me a pair to review. After all, does anyone really need Alexa on their glasses? But as I continue to ponder the merits of Alexa throughout the day, I found at least one compelling use for Amazon’s smart glasses: as a surprisingly effective tinnitus aid.

First, a bit of information: I have been dealing with mild to moderate tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, for those who are fortunate enough not to know, for about six months. Basically, it’s a sharp “eeeeee”With varying degrees of tone and volume. On good days, I hardly notice the sound; on bad days, it’s pretty much on my face.

Tinnitus is a distressingly common ailment and is usually a symptom of hearing loss, either natural (due to advanced age, I am 52 years old) or otherwise (such as prolonged exposure to headphones at full volume ). Other causes range from ear infections and certain medications (including NSAIDs, like aspirin) to high blood pressure and even (ugh!) Brain tumors. While some episodes of tinnitus are temporary, others are permanent.

There is no cure for tinnitus (at least not yet), but there are treatments, and among the most common are in-ear devices, similar to hearing aids, which emit specially tuned sounds that mask ringing in the ears.

eco frames side Amazon

Amazon’s Echo Frames have, in addition to Alexa on board, small speakers built into their arms.

In addition to an in-ear device (which is usually prescribed by an audiologist), you can also use an earphone or even a speaker to produce soothing sounds. But walking around in the day with a screeching Bluetooth speaker (cricket sounds work best for me) or AirPods stuck in your ears can be difficult to handle, not to mention distracting others.

Get into Amazon Echo Frames, which, in addition to coming with Alexa on board, also has four “micro-speakers” built into the arms (also known as “temples”) of the glasses, two for each ear. These outdoor speakers are designed to direct sound into your ears (using a technology called “beamforming”), and if you set the volume correctly, you will be the only one who will hear the sound.

When connected to your phone via Bluetooth, the Echo Frames ($ 250) act much the same as a pair of Bluetooth headphones, and it’s easy enough to dial in your favorite sound to mask the tinnitus and stream it through the microphone’s speakers. Frame.

Even better, the frames are discreet; I don’t feel self-conscious when I wear them in front of my family or on the street. To the outside world, I am simply wearing glasses (and you can order prescription glasses for them too).

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