A remote microphone is an accessory that can be used in conjunction with a hearing aid to enhance speech understanding in noisy environments. Remote microphones work by picking up the speaker’s voice and transmitting it wirelessly to the hearing aid, which amplifies the speech and reduces background noise.
Here are a few reasons why you may want to use a remote microphone with your hearing aid:
- Improved speech understanding: Remote microphones can improve speech understanding in noisy environments, such as restaurants, meetings, or crowded public spaces.
- Increased participation: With a remote microphone, you can hear speech more clearly, which can make it easier to participate in conversations and social activities.
- Reduced listening effort: A remote microphone can reduce the effort required to hear speech, which can make it less tiring to listen to conversations or lectures.
- Increased independence: With a remote microphone, you can hear speech more clearly, which can make it easier to navigate and perform daily activities independently.
- Flexibility: Remote microphones come in different form factors and styles and can be worn on the body, attached to a lanyard, placed on a table and some can even be used as a phone accessory.
It’s important to note that not all remote microphones are compatible with all hearing aids, it’s always a good idea to check with a hearing healthcare professional (If you help choosing a local professional check out ZipHearing) or hearing aid manufacturer to confirm compatibility.
How to Wear A Remote Microphone
The most benefit of the devices is obtained the closer the speakers month is to the microphone.
The most common way to wear a remote microphone is by clipping it onto the person’s clothing or attaching it to a lanyard around their neck.
Here are a few suggestions for where to wear a remote microphone for optimal results:
- On the speaker’s lapel: Clipping the remote microphone to the speaker’s lapel allows for clear and direct transmission of their voice to the hearing aid user.
- On the speaker’s collar: Placing the remote microphone on the speaker’s collar can also provide clear transmission of their voice to the hearing aid user.
- On a table: Some remote microphones can be placed on a table and act as a microphone for a group discussion, this is particularly useful in meetings or conferences.
- On a phone: Some remote microphones can be connected to a phone to enhance the phone call quality.
It’s important to note that the placement of the remote microphone can affect the quality of the transmission. It’s always a good idea to experiment with different placements to find the one that works best for you.
How Long Do The Batteries Last
The battery life of a hearing aid remote microphone can vary depending on the specific model and the usage. Generally, remote microphone batteries can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Here are a few factors that can affect the battery life of a remote microphone:
- Battery type: Different remote microphones use different types of batteries. Lithium-ion batteries tend to last longer than alkaline batteries.
- Usage: The more often the remote microphone is used, the faster the battery will drain.
- Volume: The louder the volume, the more power the remote microphone will consume.
- Transmission distance: The farther the distance between the remote microphone and the hearing aid, the more power the remote microphone will consume.
- Battery life indicator: Some remote microphones have a battery life indicator that shows the remaining battery life and some have a low battery indicator warning.
Where to Buy
There are several places where you can buy a hearing aid remote microphone. Some popular options include:
- Hearing healthcare professionals: Many hearing healthcare professionals, such as audiologists and hearing instrument specialists, sell remote microphones. They can help you find a compatible model and show you how to use it.
- Hearing aid manufacturers: Many hearing aid manufacturers, such as Phonak, Oticon, Starkey, Widex, and others, also sell remote microphones. However, most do not sell directly to the consumer. You must buy through an audiologist or online.
- Online retailers: There are many online retailers, such as Amazon, that sell remote microphones. You can search for a specific model or browse different options.
- Specialty stores: Some specialty stores, such as those that sell assistive listening devices, also sell remote microphones.
When buying a remote microphone, it’s important to check for compatibility with your hearing aid and also check for the warranty and return policy. You can also ask for recommendations from your hearing healthcare professional or hearing aid manufacturer to ensure you are purchasing a suitable microphone.