There are those who have a voice but need assistance projecting it, that others can hear it. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices (often associated with speech generation) can be of help! This week, we profile three voice amplifiers with which we have had success: ChatterVox, Voicette, and Zygo.
ChatterVox, made by Luminaud, is one such device popular among teachers and guides. Moreover, as with a number of products developed for the general population (think Apple iPad and Amazon Echo), ChatterVox is of even greater value among persons whose physical disability does not allow them to speak audibly to someone next to them, much less than an audience. This portable voice amplifier can boost voice volume by as many as 18 decibels, adjustable through a volume knob. ChatterBox accommodates any of a variety of headset, collar, headband, and pencil mics.
ChatterVox resides in a grey plastic case and straps to the individual or a mic stand with a woven nylon strap. ChatterVox measures 8″ x 2.9″ x 1.8″ and weighs 1 lb, 2 oz. Six eco-friendly nickel metal-hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries power the ChatterVox for as long as 14 hours on a single charge. Standard AA batteries can be used for those times when one has forgotten to plug the device in the previous night.
Voicette is a small, portable, battery-operated audio amplifier from Luminaud. The user speaks into a microphone, and the voice comes out amplified through a built-in amplifier and speaker, with a carrying case measuring 6.5 x 6.5 x 3 in. Originally developed for teachers, group leaders, tour guides, and other public speakers (as was ChatterVox), the Voicette is well suited to people who use wheelchairs, including those who are quadriplegic. Though Voicette is no longer available from the manufacturer, gently second-hand units can still be purchased, thanks to its exceptional longevity.
“Small but mighty” best describes the Zygo voice amplifier. This little hi-tech delivers loud and clear audio amplification through its 12-watt remote speaker, connected wirelessly to its microphone. Zygo can also be paired with a speech-generating device via a LINE input jack. Zygo’s rechargeable lithium ion battery lasts for as many as hours on a single charge. (The company also produces Zygo MiNi, a smaller, simpler non-wireless version that operates for as long as 20 hours on a single charge.)