Despite this, I was still curious, if for no other reason, because I wanted to see if the device would work for me, even if only initially, and because I wanted to feel what it is like to be fluent.
It seems Apple has come up with the solution for this. Well, not Apple, but an application designer named ARTEFACT, LLC. The application is sold in iTunes and is called DAF Assistant ($9.99!). Essentially, it operates exactly like The SpeechEasy device, absent the carefully and personally-tailored ear piece. The application offers Audio Delay from 20-320 milliseconds and Frequency Shift from tones ranging from -10 to +10 (half octave down to half octave up). You can use the application with either Bluetooth headset or a simple headset with a built-in microphone. I don't recommend the type of headset with an extended microphone, as you would look silly walking around with that on your head all day. Just buy the ones with the microphone built in to the cord that extends from the earphone itself. That way, you can even just use that one side of the earphones without having two earbuds in at the same time.
The intended effect is to "trick" the stutterer/stammerer into thinking that he or she is speaking in unison with somebody else because, for some stutterers, doing so virtually eliminates the stutter. That is the case for me. If I am reciting The Pledge of Allegiance or any other verse in unison with one or more persons, I will not stutter. Why is this so? I haven't the foggiest clue. *shrugs*
The application does work for me. When I placed the earbuds into my ears and launched the device, I immediately was able to speak freely to a friend of mine with hardly any stammering or blocks. It was a tremendous feeling and I kept talking nonstop for about 5 minutes. The small blocks I did have were almost inconsequential and I was able to get past them almost by sheer will. My settings are Delay of 140 and Frequency Shift of +3. I tried a few others and they worked nearly as well, so I can't say for sure which works the best.
The downside: As expected, not only do you hear your own voice with delayed feedback and frequency shift, but you hear everything else in the room (including your own typing) in the same manner. My friend tried it and said it would drive him crazy. It doesn't bother me all that much, simply because the benefit of fluency outweighs any noticeable distraction. If I am not talking, I do find the noise annoying, so I just take out the earbud or turn the application off. The only time I ever found it annoying (disturbing, actually) was when I suddenly laughed out loud in response to something my friend said and suddenly was subjected to a loud, high pitched, crazy-sounding laugh directly into my own ear. I immediately yanked out the earbud!
My own advice is to only use the application in instances where you will actively be participating in a conversation. If you are only going to speak occasionally, like when you are watching television with others...turn it off. The feedback will be distracting. Overall, I am very pleased with the results. The application is exceedingly inexpensive at just 99 cents and the results were/are immediate. And if they aren't for you...well, you've only lost ten bucks. :)