Sound World Solutions – Sidekick

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SUMMARY: The Sidekick is a customizable personal sound amplifier that also includes Bluetooth capability. It is designed to look like a traditional behind the ear hearing aid the Sidekick (unlike Sound World Solutions CS50 that is made to look like a Bluetooth device). Using a personalization program on the Sound World Solutions Customizer app you can create a customized sound profile by adjusting the treble, mid-range and bass frequencies . The app can be used with Apple iPhone, Android, or desktop computers. If you prefer not to use the app you can still use the device by adjusting the volume and pre-set environment options through buttons on the unit itself. You can wear it in one, or both ears and it comes in three colors, black pearl metallic, steel grey metallic, or white gold metallic. It has a rechargeable battery that can last up to 18 hours on one charge.

 

PROS:

  • Great customer service
  • Simple to customize at home
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Good battery life
  • Great sound and the Bluetooth makes it easy and convenient to listen music or audiobooks

CONS:

  • Some users who aren’t comfortable using apps and smartphones may need help with the customization (although you don’t need to use the app to use the device).
  • You can only pair one device at a time with the Bluetooth, so if you have two units you will only hear from one device when using the Bluetooth app.

The Sidekick by Sound World Solutions is a great option if you are looking for a low cost hearing aid alternative. Sound World Solutions first started putting out quality amplifiers in 2013 after a number of years of research and testing. The goal of the company is to get affordable hearing solutions into the millions of people around the world that needs it. What makes the Sidekick different than a lot of hearing aids that you will comes across is it’s relatively low cost. If you have been on the Sound World Solution website and looked at the models listed, you will have seen a model called the Companion. The Companion is the same product as the Sidekick, but the Companion is registered as a hearing aid with the FDA. It comes with a one year warranty and is a little more expensive than the Sidekick. While the Sidekick is not registered and is labelled as a hearing amplifier and comes with a 90 day warranty.

How it works

The Sidekick allows user to customise their sound preference using their smartphone or computer, or if you would rather not use a smartphone, there are pre-sets on the unit that allow you to customise directly on the device. It has a rechargeable battery that is easy and convenient. The integrated Bluetooth also lets you take calls or stream music directly to the device. It uses directional microphones and allows you to save different profile settings for various environments, so you can ensure you are getting the best hearing experience in every situation.

The App

The most cutting edge hearing amplifiers let you customise your hearing device by using an app to find the sound that works best for you. It is similar to what an audiologist does when you go in for a visit, but you can do it in the comfort of your own home on a smartphone. To use the app you need to ensure that you have the right operating system and once installed the app takes you through how to set up a customised sound profile. You can adjust settings for treble, mid, and bass frequencies and the volume using a slider.  If you don’t want to personalise the device, you have the option of using three pre-set listening profiles: Everyday, Restaurant, and Entertainment.

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Design

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The Sidekick is designed as a slim, behind-the-ear style, similar to many traditional hearing aids. This is different than SWS other major model, the CS50, that looks like a Bluetooth device.  The Sidekick comes with a zippered carrying case for storage. It also has different sizes of ear tips (small, medium, and large), so you can try each one and find what is most comfortable and what gives the best seal. It is important to get a good seal to help reduce any feedback.  In the kit you get two rechargeable batteries and a charging station that you can use to charge the unit by using the included power adaptor or by connecting it to any USB-enabled computer.

Uses

The Sidekick is a personal sound amplifier, so the intended types of situations to use it in are:

  • Dining out with friends
  • At work
  • Conversations with friends and family
  • Bluetooth headset and for streaming music, watching a video on a computer, or for your phone
  • Restaurants and other noisy environments

What is the difference between the CS50 and the Sidekick?

The main differences between the CS50 and the Sidekick are:

  • The CS50 has a Bluetooth device appearance, while the Sidekick looks like a traditional hearing aid
  • The Sidekick comes in three colors, the CS50 only comes in black
  • The Sidekick has a 1 year warranty while the CS50 has a 90 day warranty
  • The Adjustable tube length is 1.0mm of travel on the CS50 while it is 1.4mm on the Sidekick

Price

You can buy the Sidekick as either a right- or left-ear version. Sound World Solutions offer a  a 1-year warranty. The company have a great reputation for customer service, so if you have any trouble with the device ensure that you contact Sound World Solutions.

Battery

The battery is a rechargeable battery that you charge with the included micro USB cable. The battery will last approximately 18 hours. If you are using the Bluetooth, quite a lot the battery life may go down an hour or two on each charge. To charge the battery, all you have to do is plug the included micro USB cable into the base of the unit itself.

The Bottom Line

The Sidekick’s low price and risk fee 30 day money back guarantee are a great option for individuals who would like to do something about their hearing concerns, but aren’t ready to invest in an expensive hearing aid. The rechargeable battery also helps reduce the cost and inconvenience of having to constantly change hearing aid batteries. Also the option to customise your own sound profile give you a product that can significantly increase your ability to hear and take control of the device and discover your ideal hearing solution.