Hearing aids are a big help for phone conversations, since it can be harder to hear when you can’t see the other person´s lips moving. Most phones are hearing aids compatible, meaning that they will not interfere with the signals produced by hearing aids. Also, phones are often equipped with a telecoil, which communicates with your hearing aids via an electromagnetic field.
Technology also allows sound from your phone to be streamed directly into your hearing aids via assistive listening devices. We’ll explain more about them below.
You want to hear your phone while you’re on-the-go, but if you have a hearing loss that might be difficult. To help change that, Widex has three assistive listening devices for mobile phone use. While CALL-DEX is plugged into the phone itself, the other two are worn around the neck.
UNI-DEX: The UNI-DEX is a small neck-worn assistive listening device which streams audio from your phone into your hearing aids. It works for any device with headphone output. UNI-DEX can stream sounds for up to 40 hours and it takes only an hour to fully recharge again. Just plug it into your phone, turn it on, and you’re ready to listen!
M-DEX: Compatible with most mobile phones, the M-DEX reproduces the sound from your phone conversations directly in your hearing aids. M-DEX also has a “room off” option that turns the hearing aids’ microphones off temporarily so you can only hear sound coming from your phone.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recommends looking for a mobile phone that has ear-friendly features like these:
- Volume control
- Display and keypad lighting control
- Vibrating alerts or vibrating accessory
- Flashing screen to alert a call
- Different ringing volume and tones
- Text-messaging services
LandlinesLong phone calls with friends can be difficult if you have a hearing loss. If you have a landline phone, try our PHONE-DEX. The PHONE-DEX is an all-purpose, cordless phone that streams sound directly to your hearing aids - in both ears! It is easy to use – just hold the phone normally and turn on your hearing aids. The PHONE-DEX works like a regular phone as well, so your family and friends can use it.
Assistive Listening Devices go a long way toward helping hearing aid users hear on the phone. Our friends at Hear-it.org offer these tips for tackling phone conversations with hearing loss:
- Be aware which ear is your better ear and hold the receiver accordingly.
- Too much background noise makes it hard to hear the person on the other end of the line. Take and make your calls in quiet surroundings.
- Tell the person on the other end that you have reduced hearing, and ask her to express herself clearly. Focus on doing the same.
- If you know much about the topic of the conversation but find it difficult to hear everything, ask the other person to spell key words.
- Do not be afraid to guess what the other person is saying. In many cases you will often be able to deduce the right meaning from the context alone.
- Use close-ended questions that lend themselves to yes or no responses or short answers. This promotes simple and clear answers.
- Listen for changes in tone of voice which may indicate whose turn it is to speak.
- In some situations you could ask a friend to listen for you and repeat to you what the person on the telephone is saying, while you give your own answers.