HLAA Boston H.A.T. Party

Andrea Kaneb took detailed notes and has given us a great summary of Saturday’s HAT presentation of our favorite devices at the Watertown Public Library.  And, you can see that the spirit was high and we are all “in the groove” with our colorful hats.

Favorite Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) devices:

Remote Microphones:

  • Phonak Roger Easy Pen
  • Oticon ConnectClip
  • Phonak ComPilot 11
  • Phonak Table Mic 11 (can network two together, turn volume all the way down on hearing aid app)
  • Resound Multi-Mic
  • Remote mics used in a group can become a “talking stick,” which makes following discussions easier

Smart Phone Apps (free):

  • Caption Call
  • FaceTime (can lipread grandchildren)
  • InnoCaption (many people like it)
  • Live Transcribe- Android phones (many people like it)
  • Otter- iPhones (many people like it)
  • Sound Amplifier app
  • Telephone speakerphone helps to hear with both ears

Alerting Devices:

  • Bluetooth phone to both hearing aids
  • LifeTone bedshaker (might be free from your Fire Department)
  • Serene Innovations Bedshaker (great if power goes out)
  • Serene Innovations CentraAlert Wearable Vibrating Personal Notification Receiver
  • Serene Innovations Home Notification System (many types of alerts)
  • Serene Innovations Instalink Smartphone Alert Watch

Wired listening devices (instead of neckloops, which require positioning):

  • Music Link ear hooks for music, audiobooks, etc.
  • T-Link ear hooks for inline mic for phone
  • Cozy Phones headband with removable wired headphones that magnetically adhere to CI implants

Things people DO NOT like about Hearing Assistive Technology:

  1. Many people are overwhelmed by it and wish it was easier, more universal, or that more education was provided.
  2. Hearing aid remote control apps are cumbersome and some people think you are rudely using your phone.
  3. Table mics don’t work well if the speaker is walking around.
  4. Some people think that the Roger Pen is confusing or not worth the cost and others do not.
  5. Phonak Marvel only accepts 2 Bluetooth devices at a time so you must choose.
  6. Many devices are not intuitive.  People at senior centers can help.
  7. Alerting devices with separate transmitters can lead to needing to push multiple doorbells.
  8. Otter can be unreliable at times with weird words.
  9. Tech can be outdated quickly and unreliable.
  10. Hearing aids that change programs automatically can be annoying and the user often wants more control.

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