Soundbars have become popular in recent years in part due to the declining quality of speakers that come with TVs. After all, today’s flat-panel TVs tend to be so thin that there is nowhere to put good-quality speakers anymore. That’s especially a problem for older TV viewers and others with hearing difficulties.
AccuVoice is a TV speaker from audio device manufacturer Zvox that goes a step further than one of its soundbars. That’s because AccuVoice has been specifically designed to help people with hearing loss hear dialogue from whatever show or movie they’re watching on TV. The aluminum speaker is only 17 inches wide and about 2.5 inches high and is simple to hook up because it only has one connecting cord.
The speaker also uses virtual surround technology to create realistic, room-filling sound, and –- even more importantly — features proprietary, patent-pending AccuVoice technology that mimics the function of a hearing aid by isolating voice frequencies and lifting them out of background sounds. The speaker’s advanced digital processor analyzes a soundtrack, and when it detects voices it instantly activates computer algorithms that bring voices forward. That means the user hears clear dialogue, even at low volumes.
AccuVoice ships in September at future pricing of $249.99. But Kickstarter backers can order one now for a pledge starting at $135 for early birds. Xvox is out to raise $30,000 by Aug. 26.
There is a huge potential market for AccuVoice –- especially if the speaker indeed makes it much easier for those with hearing difficulties hear TV voices better than a TV and even a typical soundbar. An added advantage is that, unlike many products out to get crowdfunding, AccuVoice comes from an established consumer electronics manufacturer with proven success. Therefore, those consumers who tend to be cautious making a pledge to unknown product makers may be more willing to give it a shot.