Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Talkin' on the Phone

Deafness and Hearing Aids has a blog post up about the phone setting on hearing aids. It got me thinking about my relationship with telephones. I've always had trouble with standard telephones. Voices sound fuzzy, any noise on the line overrides the person's voice, and the sound sometimes seems to fade in and out. With my old hearing aids I would get feedback, and having the phone up to my ear for long periods of time was painful, because of the size and shape of my old hearing aids. For the most part, I rarely used a telephone. If I absolutely had to use one, I would put it on speaker. Naturally this had its downsides. Everyone could hear my conversations, and sometimes the other person couldn't hear me.

Cell phones, for some reason, work really well for me. I don't know why, but even my very first cell phone, a clunky old thing, allowed me to hear people on the other line much better than any landline phone. I wouldn't even have to set my hearing aid to T, though it did help. Since I was never in the habit of using phones, though, I still find it hard to pick up a phone and call someone. I'd still much rather email them, or text them, unless they're family, or I know their voice well.

My new aids have yet another way for me to talk to people. My Streamer can connect to my cellphone wirelessly (over Bluetooth) and allow me to hear everything through my aids. This has provided me with the best clarity so far. I don't know what it is, but there's something about the quality of the sound over Bluetooth that's just so clear and easy to understand. Not everyone has the same experience as me, but I'm happy with the way things have worked out for me. I can use the phone at work more easily, as well. It's a landline, with no Bluetooth, but I find that I rarely need to pass the phone off to someone else.

I don't think that I even have a phone setting on my hearing aids any more. Unless they automatically switch to a program when I get on the phone - which I doubt, as I've never read anything like that with my particular aids - then the "telephone" program was replaced by my audiologist in favor of a custom program that theoretically will make it easier for me to hear patrons at work. I have yet to try it because I am a chicken. At any rate, I've never touched any telephone settings on my aids. The Bluetooth makes it unnecessary to switch anything around on the aids themselves.

How about you? Do you use a cellphone, or a landline, or make relay calls? (I sometimes make relay calls, especially when I need to contact a business. It's much easier.)


  1. I am convinced that landlines are the devil...at least for me. Things are much easier on my cellphone, though I limit them in length and to voices I am very familiar with. My preference is texting and email. For business and other calls, if unable to email, I use VCO and most recently mobile/web captel (the jury is still out on Captel, but I'm sure I just have to get use to it).

    There are two devices I've been considering for trial with the Diva. One is Artone Bluetooth LoopSet, and Mach 2 Bluetooth Stereo Headset with DAI. I'm leaning more towards the 1st one...so we'll see.

  2. I use a Streamer with my Dual XW's and my Blackberry. Works well for me. Makes land lines obsolete.


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