Shell consists of a smartphone base add-on and a smartphone app. The Shell app is free and can work as a standalone. The app’s algorithm filters ambient noise including the mother’s heartbeat so you can hear the fetal heartbeat clearly. You can also record the heartbeat to play for others or listen again yourself. The Shell app also allows you to share the recorded heartbeat via Facebook, Twitter, or email so you can send it to family and friends.
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The Shell add-on’s base shape is designed to “resemble a seashell and the wave pattern illustrates the soothing rhythmic sound of the heartbeat,” according to Bellabeat. Using the app with the Shell add-on “is designed to take it up that extra notch and enhances the overall experience. It works like a sea shell and funnels out and amplifies the sound,” Bellabeat wrote to Digital Trends in an email.
An acoustic horn on the bottom left of the Shell add-on is the part you place directly on your skin. The right side of the Shell curves up away from your skin and that’s where the speaker amplifier is located. One helpful tip is to use the Shell to listen to your own heart first so you’ll be comfortable with the feel and also have a good sense of how to hold the phone and Shell add-on for the best sound.
The Shell app has sample sounds of baby’s heartbeats so you’ll know what to listen for. When you tap the Hear My Baby button in the Shall app, it starts playing and recording the heartbeat. Tutorials assist with finding the best positions for hearing the heartbeat as well as learning how to track heartbeats with multiple pregnancies.
The Shell app is available from the iPhone App Store starting today. The Shell add-on, which like the app is compatible with iPhone 6 and newer models, sells for $70 and will be available on the Bellabeat website in mid-December.