Hand held microphones that can be used with hearing aids

Posted by Julie, Volunteer Mentor @julieo4, Aug 1 9:11am

I'm curious to know if any hearing aid and cochlear implant users use streamers, FM systems or Bluetooth microphones in noisy settings? There's lots of talk about speech to text apps on cell phones. They work well but sometimes it's hard to read on a device when talking to someone in person. I've found the BT mini mic very helpful. Prior to having personal hearing devices with BT capability I often used an FM transmitter/receiver microphone the same way. I used it with students when I was a teacher, and also used it with adult clients when I did social work. It made it possible for me to stay in the workplace. I'd like to hear your experiences with this technology.

Early in my hearing loss journey used an FM streamer with my HAs. Now i use the same mini-mike I used with both HAs with my HA+CI hybrid system. Super duper!

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I am a hearing aid user, and have found the TV streamer to be a Godsend!! Prior to buying the streamer, I used closed captioning 100% of the time when watching TV, due to a lack of clarity. The streamer removes any background noise, and makes listening so much clearer and easier. I am able to adjust my volume independently from the TV, so everyone listens at their own comfort level. I no longer use CC. In selected situations, I also use the "listen live" microphone feature on my iPhone in conjunction with my hearing aids. It can be helpful in noisy environments, but I find that people tend to be curious when I hold/point the iPhone in their direction. I typically have to explain that I am not recording them, but am simply using the microphone feature for my hearing aids. Best wishes!!!

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Using a hand held microphone, streamer, etc. is visible. How do we feel about that? Personally, I've found that when it appears I'm helping myself, other people are more willing to help me. Frequently when using a hand held mike in a restaurant, young wait staff will ask what it is. That gives me the opportunity to say that it helps me hear them, etc. Most times the response is "That's really cool! I'm going to tell my mom, dad or grandparents about that." Our hearing loss may be invisible, but some of the best help to keep us in the hearing mainstream means letting it show!

Liked by lucky1038

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@bec

I am a hearing aid user, and have found the TV streamer to be a Godsend!! Prior to buying the streamer, I used closed captioning 100% of the time when watching TV, due to a lack of clarity. The streamer removes any background noise, and makes listening so much clearer and easier. I am able to adjust my volume independently from the TV, so everyone listens at their own comfort level. I no longer use CC. In selected situations, I also use the "listen live" microphone feature on my iPhone in conjunction with my hearing aids. It can be helpful in noisy environments, but I find that people tend to be curious when I hold/point the iPhone in their direction. I typically have to explain that I am not recording them, but am simply using the microphone feature for my hearing aids. Best wishes!!!

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Hello Bec, I cannot see well so hopefully: Can this hand held microphone help me by looking at an object in my hand in the grocery store and read to me the fine letters and price numbers on it? Miracle of miracles. Peach

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@peach414144

Hello Bec, I cannot see well so hopefully: Can this hand held microphone help me by looking at an object in my hand in the grocery store and read to me the fine letters and price numbers on it? Miracle of miracles. Peach

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@peach414144, In case you are not aware, If you have a smartphone, you can use the accessibility features to magnify what you see in the camera app.
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi

@peach414144, In case you are not aware, If you have a smartphone, you can use the accessibility features to magnify what you see in the camera app.
Tony in Michigan

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Thank you so much for caring but I cannot see well enough to use an eye phone. You are appreciated for yourself. So much is lost for the low vision persons. Quite a bit of lost sales for the companies who are not considering the low vision people in many aspects. Pass it on please. There is much money to be made from us "The Low Vision People". Will some one please invent a hand held seeing and speaking device and not the 5,000 or 10,000 dollar ones. Bless you for caring. Peach

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@julieo4
Hi,

What’s the name of your mini mic.? I have used the Pocket talker in the past but no longer like the sound and it is too much to carry around. I have Phonak aids and tried their accessories and the experience was awful as it picked up too much environmental noise and did little to enhance speech recognition.
I did not try the Roger accessories after listening to some personal experiences from people I know.

I have an Android and rely on Live Transcribe and the Otter App (free version). I would not mind using a wireless mini mic so would be interested in knowing what you use. And , like you said when people responded to your use of the mini mic, most people think my apps are so cool too.

FL Mary

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@imallears

@julieo4
Hi,

What’s the name of your mini mic.? I have used the Pocket talker in the past but no longer like the sound and it is too much to carry around. I have Phonak aids and tried their accessories and the experience was awful as it picked up too much environmental noise and did little to enhance speech recognition.
I did not try the Roger accessories after listening to some personal experiences from people I know.

I have an Android and rely on Live Transcribe and the Otter App (free version). I would not mind using a wireless mini mic so would be interested in knowing what you use. And , like you said when people responded to your use of the mini mic, most people think my apps are so cool too.

FL Mary

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when i use the "listen live" feature on my iPhone, i also get a lot of environmental noise. it doesn't have any type of noise filtration. it is beneficial when the person i want to hear is pithing 2-3 feet of my iPhone.

Liked by lucky1038

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@imallears

@julieo4
Hi,

What’s the name of your mini mic.? I have used the Pocket talker in the past but no longer like the sound and it is too much to carry around. I have Phonak aids and tried their accessories and the experience was awful as it picked up too much environmental noise and did little to enhance speech recognition.
I did not try the Roger accessories after listening to some personal experiences from people I know.

I have an Android and rely on Live Transcribe and the Otter App (free version). I would not mind using a wireless mini mic so would be interested in knowing what you use. And , like you said when people responded to your use of the mini mic, most people think my apps are so cool too.

FL Mary

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@imallears, I know you asked Julie but I feel I needed to chime in. Can I assume you used the neckloop to get the sounds into your hearing aids from the Pocketalker? If so, you mentioned that it picked up too much environmental noise. Keep in mind that the hearing aid telecoil has its own programming. The audiologist sets that up. You can get the noise cancellation algorithms added to your telecoil programming. You will have a much better experience, I guarantee. Also, you mentioned that others were not pleased with the Roger. As you probably know, the Roger is a Phonak product. I've used the Roger Pen with my Starkey's and more recently with my Resounds. I had to use the Roger accessory, the MyLink, with my telecoils, to be able to use it. I was impressed with the quality of the sound of the Roger, especially considering having to use additional hardware (and more chance for signal distortion) to make it work.
Tony in Michigan

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@bec

when i use the "listen live" feature on my iPhone, i also get a lot of environmental noise. it doesn't have any type of noise filtration. it is beneficial when the person i want to hear is pithing 2-3 feet of my iPhone.

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@bec, I do not like the Live Listen feature either. The phone mic picks up everything and that is sent to the hearing aids. I'm not sure if the audiologist has control of that or not. I cannot think of a good use for that feature unless the noise filtering could be added.
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi

@imallears, I know you asked Julie but I feel I needed to chime in. Can I assume you used the neckloop to get the sounds into your hearing aids from the Pocketalker? If so, you mentioned that it picked up too much environmental noise. Keep in mind that the hearing aid telecoil has its own programming. The audiologist sets that up. You can get the noise cancellation algorithms added to your telecoil programming. You will have a much better experience, I guarantee. Also, you mentioned that others were not pleased with the Roger. As you probably know, the Roger is a Phonak product. I've used the Roger Pen with my Starkey's and more recently with my Resounds. I had to use the Roger accessory, the MyLink, with my telecoils, to be able to use it. I was impressed with the quality of the sound of the Roger, especially considering having to use additional hardware (and more chance for signal distortion) to make it work.
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi
Hi,
Yes I did use the neck loop with the Pocket Talker and did not like the sound. I love my TCoil setting as I use it in a looped area and for the car GPS and occasionally for my phone.

I can use in on my Captel landline but I have ear links plugged in that are fine for that . So I would not change the TCoil setting at this point and we have played with that at my Audis office. I trialed the ComPilot with the clip on mics last year and hated that. I did not use a neck loop with that. I don’t think I was aware that you could do so. However I found the ComPilot excellent with TV but still need captions so I don’t see the point of using it just for that. My normal bag is small and I would have to tote around too much stuff in a larger bag and I don’t want to do that.

But hey, please chime in anytime if you have other suggestions that might help me. I use Innocaption and have used the ear links on the TCoil setting but don’t find it that helpful as I still need to see people’s lips. Also, when I swipe answer a call, I’m not “hooked up”. I hear the voice on Innocaption which helps as I am reading.

I’m looking for something wireless now for group conversations that does not require anyone wearing a mic so a handheld mini mic sounds good to me. Most of the android apps require headphones or earbuds. I’m going to browse the play store again to see if there are any that do not. I’ll dig out the pocket talker again and try it with the neck loop again. I like to play around with these things . Before the pandemic I was talking to my Audi about a different brand aid with smartphone apps so I will revisit that again.

Thanks for chiming in !

FL Mary

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@imallears

@tonyinmi
Hi,
Yes I did use the neck loop with the Pocket Talker and did not like the sound. I love my TCoil setting as I use it in a looped area and for the car GPS and occasionally for my phone.

I can use in on my Captel landline but I have ear links plugged in that are fine for that . So I would not change the TCoil setting at this point and we have played with that at my Audis office. I trialed the ComPilot with the clip on mics last year and hated that. I did not use a neck loop with that. I don’t think I was aware that you could do so. However I found the ComPilot excellent with TV but still need captions so I don’t see the point of using it just for that. My normal bag is small and I would have to tote around too much stuff in a larger bag and I don’t want to do that.

But hey, please chime in anytime if you have other suggestions that might help me. I use Innocaption and have used the ear links on the TCoil setting but don’t find it that helpful as I still need to see people’s lips. Also, when I swipe answer a call, I’m not “hooked up”. I hear the voice on Innocaption which helps as I am reading.

I’m looking for something wireless now for group conversations that does not require anyone wearing a mic so a handheld mini mic sounds good to me. Most of the android apps require headphones or earbuds. I’m going to browse the play store again to see if there are any that do not. I’ll dig out the pocket talker again and try it with the neck loop again. I like to play around with these things . Before the pandemic I was talking to my Audi about a different brand aid with smartphone apps so I will revisit that again.

Thanks for chiming in !

FL Mary

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@imallears, You can always get an additional Tcoil program. No need to "ruin" something that works good in most situations. Ideally, the manufacturers need to give us more control of our hearing aid settings. We have some control, but I would like even more. I wouldn't be surprised if its a marketing ploy to get us to buy hearing aids more often. They roll out more control over time.
For group situations, a table mic may work. Roger makes a nice table mic that I'm anxious to try. I don't know anyone that has it though.
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi
Hi
I had an additional TCoil plus mic setting but didn’t like it so had that disabled. But that’s a thought…have her play around with another T setting while I use Netflix on my phone. I left my neck loop in the hot car for several months so now it is kaput. I have had it for many years. Then I remembered I gave my pocket talker away. So I will order another neckloop because my ear links are fragile and remember not to leave the loop in the car.
Do you have a brand neckloop you like? Got the broken one from Williams Sound.

On another journey here and have to get back to the Audi…she only returned to the office in August and is probably besieged at this point. Meanwhile waiting to hear about mini mics and will research them.

Thanks again

FL Mary

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@imallears, I have not tried a lot of neckloops. Williams Sound and Listen Technologies comes to mind though. Maybe @julieo4 has some favorites???
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi

@bec, I do not like the Live Listen feature either. The phone mic picks up everything and that is sent to the hearing aids. I'm not sure if the audiologist has control of that or not. I cannot think of a good use for that feature unless the noise filtering could be added.
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi does this discussion thread apply only to hearing aids or also to CIs? (I am essentially deaf in 1 ear, I had hearing aids for a couple of decades and now a CI.)

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