c J Wagner-20230117_084323-02141-SoundFun Mirai Speaker from 2023 Consumer Electronics Show-CES & Digital Audio Converter—DAC-R3-2167-Edit-6in x 300dpi

MIRAI Speaker — for hearing TV dialog clearly without booming background noise

Living a long, active and noisy life can take a toll on your hearing. In my case, I have listened to too much loud music, racing cars, air shows and more, sometimes without wearing sufficient hearing protection.

Rock guitarist legend Joe Perry of Aerosmith performing at the annual MONSTER retailers appreciation concert, this year at the Brooklyn Bowl.
Spencer Pigot in the IndyCar race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach (IMSA), Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
US Air Force Thunderbirds performing at the Aviation Nation 2022 air show, at Nellis Air Force Base

That has impaired my ability to clearly hear — and therefore comprehend — dialog, but not enough to compel me to get fitted for a hearing aid.

When watching TV (including late at night), I used to compensate for my moderate hearing loss by cranking up the volume — booming background music and all, since I could not just increase the volume of the dialog. That did not go over well with others, who had to endure TV volume that was way too loud for their more sensitive (unimpaired) hearing. This particularly became a problem a few years ago when a (nice) neighbor in one of the houses next to mine complained to me that the loud sound from my TV — despite my windows being closed — was waking up their family late at night.

Trying to be a good neighbor, I had no choice other than to turn my TV’s volume way down and turn on the Closed Captions. Watching TV that way was not nearly as enjoyable for me because, aside from having to constantly read the Closed Captions, they also cover up part of the video and are a major distraction.

Over the years I’ve tried various hardware solutions — but stopping short of getting fitted for a hearing aid. I have a high-end Bose audio system connected to my TV that is great for listening to music, but when music is supposed to be in the background, it often competes with and often overpowers the TV dialog. I’ve tried wearing wireless headsets and using Bluetooth speakers that are designed to enhance dialog, but their rechargeable batteries do not hold their charge as long as I want them to, and they eventually do not hold a charge very well. The Bluetooth signal drifts in and out.

Each year, as I did earlier this month when I took a trip to cover the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, I am always on the lookout for a better solution to address my difficulty hearing TV dialog clearly.

At long last, I am very happy to report to you that I discovered my best solution yet at CES 2023. It is the MIRAI Speaker by SoundFun.

The MIRAI Speaker, by SoundFun

The company sent me a review sample, which I’ve been using while watching television in my home. It is almost magical as it separates the dialog from the background sounds — including music, and essentially turns down the volume of those other sounds.

MIRAI Speaker — front view
MIRAI Speaker — rear view

My ultimate test will be to see how well it separates car race commentary from the background sounds of the racing cars — particularly the commentary on Formula One TV broadcasts. I searched my cable company’s On Demand programming but, unfortunately, I could not find any archived Formula One races — and the new season has not yet begun.

SoundFun’s founder is Japanese sound engineer Kazunori Sato. He “was curious why those with mild to moderate hearing loss could hear dialogue better from old-style phonographs with flared-horn speakers. He reproduced that effect with the curved panel which is at the core of (the) AudibleWave technology.”

Like cupping your hand around your ear clarifies and focuses dialog, the curved panel of the MIRAI Speaker focuses and projects that dialog — even from next to my TV, on the far wall of my family room, to the far side of the adjacent room where I often sit at my kitchen table while eating and watching television.

In a simple but effective demonstration of the underlying concept at CES Unveiled (in advance of the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas), this music box mechanism’s music was projected to me across the noisy exhibit room using a curved piece of plastic.

I easily connected the MIRAI Speaker to my TV’s connected Bose audio system’s headphone socket using the included cable with stereo mini 3.5mm jacks.

If you do not have a 3.5mm headphone socket to connect to, they also sell a device called a Digital Audio Converter (DAC), which expands your connectivity choices and includes a wireless remote control.

Digital Audio Converter (DAC)
Digital Audio Converter (DAC) comes with everything you may need to connect the MIRAI Speaker to your TV and use it, including a wireless remote control

To learn more about the MIRAI Speaker by SoundFun and to purchase it, visit https://soundfun.net or search for MIRAI Speaker on Amazon.com.

MIRAI Speaker with available Digital Audio Converter (DAC) and accessories

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Copyright © 2023 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #775r2

Jan Wagner


  1. David Sperry on January 21, 2023 at 12:12 pm

    Jan, WOW, 75”. Now I understand how you can see it.

  2. David Sperry on January 21, 2023 at 10:54 am

    Do I understand correctly that your TV and speaker are 2 rooms away? You must have a big TV! I’m not quite ready to order a MIRAI just yet because my wife and son are also F1 fanatics, and don’t mind the volume turned up to my level. But thanks for this info if I need it. David.

    • Jan Wagner on January 21, 2023 at 11:45 am

      Yes, they are two rooms away: the family room and the ‘breakfast nook.” My TV is a 75-inch flatscreen.

  3. David Sperry on January 21, 2023 at 3:21 am

    Jan, it’s too bad you don’t get a commission because you’ve presented a compelling case for the Mirai Speaker for those with mild to moderate hearing impairment. In recent years, my hearing has deteriorated through mild to moderate to severe. At home, I could turn up the TV volume to a level that would irritate my family. But outside my home, I could not understand people in normal conversation, and hearing everyone at a meeting was impossible. I had no choice but to get hearing aids.

    Even with hearing aids, I still have problems with certain TV broadcasts, especially F1 racing, where the noises of the commentators, race cars and race fans are purposely increased. Even though my TV is equipped with a top quality sound bar with rear woofer, my hearing aids can’t adequately separate the voices from the background noises. For me, the Miari Speaker could be a good solution.

    Since I always watch TV with one or more family members, I assume the Miari device would be aimed at my chair, with no effect on the other viewers. You didn’t mention any prices, with and without the DAC. I guess that’s the reason to go to the SoundFun or Amazon site. Excellent review!

    • Jan Wagner on January 21, 2023 at 4:43 am

      Thanks for the great comments, David.

      It sounds like your hearing may be a bit worse than mine.

      The MIRAI Speaker seems to have a fairly wide dispersion pattern from my seating position, which is about two rooms distance away from the speaker/TV. I suspect that anyone watching the TV would hear more or less the same sound.

      On Amazon, the Digital Audio Connector (DAC) is included in the $299 package price, but if you have a small headphone jack on your TV or audio system, you may not need to use the DAC either. Amazon is offering a $50 online discount coupon for purchases of the combo, so you’d be looking at $250 for both the speaker and the DAC. Supposedly the speaker is available seperately, but Amazon is currently showing that to be unavailable. I did not need or use the DAC to connect mine, and it works just fine.

      I would really like to see how well this works for F-1 broadcasts. I have the same issues as you do with them. For shows with music in the background, the MIRAI Speaker does a pretty good job of suppressing the background music. I’ve tried several different speakers/headphones to address my hearing loss issue. So far, the MIRAI Speaker seems to do the best job.

      The SoundFun website does not seem to sell these. Instead, along with an explanation of the MIRAI Speaker, there are several buttons that link to Amazon. One nice thing about Amazon is their liberal return policy. If you get it, try it out promptly so that you will still be within the return window if you need to return it. Either way, let me know what you think of it.


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