Olive SmartEar Plus Interview: Takeshi
Since its founding in 1910, Kimura Glass Co., Ltd. has been involved in the manufacture and sale of a number of glasses with original designs, jointly developed with craftsmen and factories as a "manufacturer without a factory." They also select products with excellent designs from overseas and act as a sales agent. Takeshi Kimura, Representative Director and President of Kimura Glass (79 years old) says, "The unique design that cannot be explained by theory alone is what makes Kimura Glass so appealing." Even though he has used multiple hearing aid support devices, they have left him unconvinced. This is his interview with the Olive SmartEar Plus!
How did you start to feel the difficulty of your hearing loss?
It's been about 20 years now. For example, when someone calls me and says, “Mr. Tanaka is calling,” I answer the call thinking that they said “Mr. Yoshida.” But the other party on the phone was Mr. Tanaka, and that kind of mishearing occurred frequently. At first, I thought I had misheard someone's name, but then I realized that I was having difficulties hearing.
Have you taken any action to improve your symptoms?
I didn't do anything special to fix it at first. I thought it would be a problem as long as I could hear for the most part, but this soon started to become a problem. I used to help my mother buy hearing aids, so I think I finally got one myself after reflecting on it.
How has your experience been with hearing aids?
At first, I could hear sounds clearly. However, the hearing aids are very expensive, so I was afraid of losing them or taking a shower with them on, and since they are not waterproof, I had to take them off frequently.
Eventually, I stopped using them.
Did it take a while for your hearing aids to adjust to your ears?
It took around 10 years. It is more inconvenient to be without them, but for example, when many people are chatting in a pub, I cannot hear the voices of the people in front of me, and I could hear the conversations of people far away. This is why I need hearing aids. After years of using hearing aids, my ears finally became accustomed to the situation, and recently I can finally hear the sounds I want to hear. Even so, I was wondering if there was anything that would make it easier for me to hear.
How did you hear about Olive SmartEar Plus?
I think it was through a Yahoo ad. I saw it and decided to rent it.
How did you like it when you tried it?
The sound is easy to get used to. I bought several hearing aids and sound collectors before the Olive Smart Ear Plus, but they were all difficult to use and did not sound good. Most importantly, the noise is great.
Olive SmartEar Plus is not a hearing aid, but the sound is good.
The fact that it does not look like a hearing aid is the best part.
What did you expect from Olive SmartEar Plus?
I guess I expected it to be comfortable to use since the design is sleek. I wanted to listen with my own ear in one ear and wear a support device in the other, but the Olive SmartEar Plus was much easier to hear and use with both ears.
What attracts you to the product in terms of usability and features?
I find it very easy to hear sounds when talking on the phone or watching Youtube. The other thing to consider is the price. The Olive SmartEar Plus is cheaper than the price of a hearing aid, but the sound quality is comparable to that of a hearing aid, which I think is very attractive.
How did people around you react when you wore Olive Smart Ear Plus?
I've been trying different products for a long time, so I didn't really have any surprising reactions from others. I guess it's just that I've been doing this for so long now at work that everyone is familiar with it. It's already an essential part of my life now, both in my personal life and at work, to be able to have conversations with the people around me so I don't think it surprises people anymore that I need hearing support.
When is the Olive SmartEar Plus easy to use?
It is easy to switch to other uses than a sound amp0lification, such as tapping the earphone to switch to answer a phone call like a normal earphone or to switch to watch Youtube. With one of these earphones, I can do everything I need to do in my life.
Have you noticed any changes in your personal or professional life since you started using Olive SmartEar Plus?
It makes it easier to participate in meetings with multiple people. I am especially nervous when interacting with people I have never met before, so these support devices are helpful in meetings with people who don't know that I have difficulty hearing, and I feel more relieved having them with me.
Do you have any dreams or challenges for the future?
I want to take care of myself. The other thing I would like is to be able to live without hearing aids. I don't want to rely too much on support devices, but they are still a physical part of my life, so I have to rely on them.
It's hard for me to hear when a car is driving near me. I am trying to protect myself with supportive devices and see how I can successfully incorporate Olive SmartEar Plus into my life to live as I do naturally.
Finally, who would you recommend Olive SmartEar Plus to?
There are many different services and products for hearing difficulties.
But, I felt the philosophy in the manufacturing of Olive SmartEar Plus was the same as my company, Kimura Glass. I am sure that there is something about Olive SmartEar Plus that makes me feel intuitively good about it.
I would definitely recommend Olive Smart Ear Plus to people who are particular about what they want.