York ENT Audiology hearing aid screening

Benefits of Visiting an Audiologist for Proper Hearing Aid Testing and Fitting

York ENT Surgical Consultants presents “Benefits of Visiting an Audiologist for Proper Hearing Aid Testing and Fitting” a video blog about the benefits of getting properly fitted and tested by an audiologist for a hearing aid device as oppose to a “blind” online or retail store purchase. Audiologist, Nadine Reed explains how the advanced degrees and years of experience of an audiologist are necessary for the appropriate assessment of hearing loss and type of a hearing aid needed. Nadine goes on to explain how hearing loss assessments by a professional audiologist will save you money by having a product that is appropriate for you and your lifestyle.

For more information please contact York ENT Audiology at (630) 861-6554.

photo of Remote Microphone

Benefits of a Remote Microphone for Hearing Aid Users

York ENT Surgical Consultants presents “Benefits of a Remote Microphone for Hearing Aid Users” a video blog about the use of remote microphones to help hearing aid users with difficulty hearing. Audiologist, Nadine Reed explains the benefits of using a remote microphone for hearing aid users in environments that have a lot of background noise—such as restaurants. Nadine goes on to explain how the remote microphone is used in conjunction with a hearing aid and how the device is set up to allow for better voice recognition in noisy places.

For more information please contact York ENT Audiology at (630) 861-6554.

Photo of a wireless remote microphone

Remote Microphones: For Those Who Have Difficulty Hearing with Background Noise

Photo of a wireless remote microphone

Example of a wireless remote microphone

The most frequent complaint audiologists hear from patients is the difficulty understanding speech in the presence of background noise.  Most hearing aids are adequate in a quiet room, but in a restaurant or dining hall people struggle to hear their companions at the table. The noise is often louder than the speaker, making it very difficult to understand what is said.  As wireless hearing aids have become popular, one of the most helpful accessories for hearing speech in noise is the wireless remote microphone.

A remote microphone for hearing aids is a small, wireless microphone that can be placed at a distance from the listener, and sends voices and sounds directly to the hearing aids.  When the microphone is placed close to the speaker or sound source, it provides direct access to the hearing aids, making the speaker’s voice much louder than other noises in the room. The microphone can be clipped onto the speaker’s blouse or lapel, or placed on a table or podium to pick up more than one voice at a distance.  The advantages of a remote microphone are:

  • The speaker’s voice in a noisy area is much louder than the background noises of the room.
  • The microphone maintains a constant loudness in the hearing aids, regardless of the distance from the speaker, up to 20-25 feet.
  • The microphone is very portable and can be clipped on a friend or family member to enhance their voice, or set on a television or table to pick up another sound source.
  • A listener can more easily multitask when using the remote microphone.  For example, a driver whose passenger is wearing the microphone can keep his eyes on the road while talking to the passenger.  A person who is cooking and has his back turned to a spouse can still easily have a conversation.
  • Wireless microphones are available now for most hearing aids that have wireless or Bluetooth capabilities.
  • Microphones can connect to external devices such as an ipod or ipad and stream sound directly to the hearing aids.

Wireless microphones are available for most hearing aid models, including Siemens, Oticon, Starkey, Resound and Phonak.  In addition, Phonak has a new FM system for hearing aids called Roger that has even greater noise reduction capabilities for its remote microphone. This system has a powerful processor with greater speeds, so the lips and voice of the speaker are more synchronized. The power consumption is lower than for Bluetooth microphones, and the range between speaker and listener is slightly greater. Roger has both a clip-on and pen microphone.  The Pen microphone has context sensing software that is incorporated, and will switch from an omnidirectional to a precise directional microphone depending on its position.  When placed flat on a table it will pick up the voices from all around the microphone (omnidirectional).  When it is held up and pointed toward a speaker, it will enhance primarily that one speaker’s voice (directional).

Understanding speech in the presence of background noise has always been a problem for the hearing aid user.  Wireless remote microphones are now making it easier to participate in family gatherings, to communicate with friends at restaurants and parties, and to attend meetings where the speaker is at a distance.  Please contact the audiology staff at York ENT at 630-861-6554 (Hinsdale) or 630-759-0065 (Bolingbrook) if you would like further information about hearing aids and new accessories such as the wireless microphone.

Below is a video example of the Phonak Roger Pen Microphone works: