Have you ever been watching TV or playing games and someone comes into the room and complains that you have the volume up to loud? It happens to me a lot, even with my TV in a different room than my roommates. I spent 8 years around M1 and M1A1 Abrams Tanks during my time in the Army. Before I got out I had a hearing test, where I was told that I had some minor hearing damage. The hearing loss was mostly with specific frequencies, but enough that I tend to listen to things a bit louder than most people. I also have troubles hearing people when they whisper.
So what does this have to do with anything you ask? Well this week I'm reviewing the Audio Fox. The Audio Fox is a wireless TV audio system that gives you your own personal audio.
"But Tracy, don't you have some Logitec , Mad Catz and Sony headphones that you've reviewed in the past that do the same thing," I hear you ask? Well yes and no. Yes they do allow me to hear my TV and games without bothering anyone else, but they are headphones; they cover my ears and block out most of the rest of the world. If my phone rings or my roommates holler downstairs for me when I’m wearing headphones, I don't hear them. Also when I wear my headphones for hours on end because I'm really into a game, I start to get a headache from where they are resting on the top of my head in most cases.
Audio Fox is different. First off it's not a set of headphones. It's a set of small speakers that hang over the back my couch on either side of my head with a transmitter base that plugs into the audio output of my HDTV. The set up is easy and painless because it comes with three different connectors (1/4 stereo jack, stereo RCA plugs, and an optical audio cable), so that whatever audio output you have the transmitter can plug into. Once you plug in the power adaptors for the transmitter and the speakers, you're in business.
"So how does the Audio Fox sound," you ask? Not bad. The fidelity isn't great. They are small speakers so the high and mid waves are good, but the bass response is lacking. If you were hoping for some great "booming" system, it isn't going to happen. The audio is good for regular TV watching, but not so much for anything you want with a large audio spectrum. Additionally if you have your TV turned up enough so you can hear it you get a slight echo effect, a little like you’re at a stadium.
"Well then," you ask, "what are they good for?" Well, they do exactly what they are advertised to do, allow you to hear your TV without blasting your TV. I have been using they Audio Fox for a bit over a week now. Normally my TV is turned up to somewhere between 13 and 15. If I'm watching a movie that had a lot of fluctuating from whispers to normal I'll even bump it up to 20. Since using the Audio Fox I've kept my TV around 10. At 10 I get some of that low end that I want with minimal echo and I can hear everything else just fine through the Audio Fox. I can also hear my phone when it rings, my roommates when the holler down to me, and the notification sounds from my computer.
An optional use for parents is to set them up for your kids to use so you don't have to hear their video games or movies if you want some "quiet time," but still want to be able to get their attention.
The Audio Fox is a surprisingly good device for those of us that are a little harder of hearing than most. Granted the audio spectrum is limited, but it still sounds crisp and clear. If you want something other than headphones and are tired of other people telling you to turn down the volume, then I recommend looking into the Audio Fox.
For more information see the Audio Fox web site.