In my testing, it worked as expected. It operated better when used at the minimum volume level, which seemed about right for somebody with my hearing condition.
When I first stuck it in, the Songbird Clear made some feedback and whistling noises. So I added the included foam ring around the ear-insertion piece. That tightened its fit into my ear and mostly stopped the reverb and feedback. But nothing got rid of the light fizzling sound that I heard constantly.
It comes with a micro-sized “312” zinc hearing aid battery, and you can insert it by pulling open the 1-inch-plus amplifier. I fumbled the battery a few times. The package came with two batteries, and one of them was DOA. Luckily, these are cheap (less than a dollar each) and available at drugstores.
You turn it on with a tiny power wheel on the back of the unit, then you set it to an appropriate level somewhere between 1 and 3 on the dial. The wheel’s volume numbers are so small you might need a magnifying glass to see them. It’s more of a “by feel” thing.
After placing the device behind your ear, you insert the attached ear bud into the ear. It’s fairly simple and you can do it with one hand. You have to make sure the bud is tightly in your ear, or else the feedback starts right away. Once you have a tight fit, you barely think about it — unless, like me, you wear glasses. The frames on my eyeglasses loosen the device when it’s lodged behind my ear, which is a downside.
Oh yes — the included ear-wax removal device is essential.
Photos by Jon Snyder/get-gadget
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