What every best has:
WKOW reporter Dan Cassuto also tests Listen Up in several locations. In a fitness club setting that duplicates one of the commercial's claims, Cassuto finds that nearby conversations are drowned out by the sound of the exercise equipment. In a shopping mall food court, a user says that background noise overpowers Cassuto's voice, which could be heard clearly with Listen Up turned off.
Cassuto's findings are echoed in other expert and user reviews. Numerous reports say wearers are more likely to hear their own breathing -- or their partner's snoring -- than TV sounds. Audio quality is also an issue, as many report that the amplified sound is tinny. Many users think the included headset is uncomfortable, and some even say it's unusable. Those ordering direct from the manufacturer sometimes report problems with the ordering process and with customer service. Listen Up is also available in stores, however.
Not everyone is completely unhappy with the Listen Up. In an Associated Content report, Nick Howes, news director for WNSV-FM, Nashville, Ill., says that Listen Up provides marginal assistance in conducting conversations in certain settings, though he adds that it is useless for watching TV. Around a fifth of users at Amazon.com -- and a handful of users at other sites -- say they are mostly pleased with Listen Up, especially after making modifications to the device like replacing the included headset. One user, posting at InfomercialScams.com, explains simple modifications that he made to make Listen Up less vulnerable to common background noises.