A critical review of Clear Voice™ – and other things

First of all, let me introduce Advanced Bionics Clear Voice™. Then I want you all to know that I have tried and used this software product less than a week. And I absolutely love it 🙂

But; it is not perfect. It is designed to do it’s job in noisy surroundings, to help bringing out human voices, and that is one complex mammoth task! In order to be perfect, it would need to have a conscious intelligence, and that is as far as I know, still science fiction. I know next to nothing about the workings of this piece of software, so I will end this paragraph with a question: Does anyone have information as to the programming language and the algorithms used? Is fuzzy logic part of this software development?

noise_cancelling_phones I notice its imperfection in the absence of heavy noise. It takes away some information in speech which actually makes it harder for me to comprehend and grasp sentences. It kind of lies in the nature of the program; it is designed to remove some sounds, in which most of it is useless to the implantee. It depends on the nature of the noise. But of course, some of the frequencies the noise consists of, also is in the speech frequency range. Thus the software has no “choice” but to reduce some of the speech sounds too.

Clear Voice will occupy one of the program slots (Harmony only has 3), but since I so far only had use for 2 programs, it’s more than welcome 🙂 I often switch program, and then forget about it. That is also my problem with Clear Voice; in normal private surroundings, the voices become somewhat garbled and harder to understand. It takes me a little bit of time to remember to switch back to my primary program without Clear Voice to get back to “normal”. This is my own problem, in reagrds to switching the program and remembering to do so, but it’s still an inconvenience.

In real noisy environments, this application has already become essential to me, nothing less. I can listen better and speak more freely while driving the car, it’s easier to have a conversation on the phone while in the shop, out on the street or in other crowded public places. It takes away A LOT of the effort I previously needed to put into understanding speech in noisy surroundings!

It is my hope that this piece of software will save me from fatigue and help me heal more and better/faster in terms of prolonged exhaustion.

Clear Voice does not cure my tinnitus. 🙂 It’s funny when I think about it, but some of the noise I hear, also in noisy surroundings, is actually my own tinnitus… Clear Voice will, I believe, in the time to come, help me understand better the effect my tinnitus has on me in various sound surroundings. I have a theory that the tinnitus worsens in noisy situations, because noisy situations induces stress (why wouldn’t it?) But since the CI is a powerful nerve stimulator, it “drowns” or masks the tinnitus to the extent that the brain doesn’t notice it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gone… That depends on the origin of the tinnitus; does it emerge from the brain, or from the other parts of the nervous system?

I will use Clear Voice every day, and I will probably become better at remembering to switch the program on and off, as I grow to get used to it. Definitely a recommended piece of software for anybodys Advanced Bionics CI.

End of review, and over to the other things:

I a currently in the process of establishing a new place of residence. It was a worn down flat, which my girlfriend and I bought relatively cheap, and are now well underway in renovating. We’ve ripped the place apart, short of the walls and ceiling. Everything else is new. New coat of paint in ceiling and on walls (on top of new glass fibred wall paper), new wooden floor, new doors, new kitchen, and to top it off, we hired a bathroom renovator specialist to take care of the bathroom and WC.

In the midst of this, we have been moving all of my girlfriends stuff, and are still working on my stuff. So now you know why it has been silent on this blog for some time 🙂

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