July 13, 2011

Using a New Bluetooth Device With My Hearing Aid

For the first time I have been using a bluetooth device that goes around my neck (neck loop) and works with my hearing aid's t-switch or t-coil. When I was at the HLAA Convention in DC a few weeks ago, I tried out some neat devices at the Harris Communications booth in the exhibit hall. You can read more about my experience on the 2011 HLAA Convention blog.

One of them was the ClearSounds Quattro Bluetooth Neck Loop, which I really liked. This device provides hands free two-way communication and listening through the phone, mp3 player, computer, and television (for the television you have to purchase another device to hook up to the monitor)
and other standard bluetooth enabled devices.

I have enjoyed it so far. I like not having to hold the phone in an awkward position up by the microphone on my hearing aid. I can hear the speaker more clearly than ever. I find myself not asking others to repeat themselves as much. It is great to be able to listen to music and videos on my computer without using headphones.

It takes some getting used to. I am still trying to get used to the surrounding noises being blocked out as I listen to music or communicate with someone through my cell phone. It is a little disorienting when I switch my hearing aid from t-coil to normal mode, after using the device. It makes me nervous when I am talking on the cell phone using the device, because I wonder what if something happens and makes a noise and I won't know about it since it would be blocked out (my left unaided ear being pretty much profoundly deaf doesn't help). Sometimes I hear funny humming sounds. I think it depends on what kinds of electrical devices are nearby. But, it does not happen often.

Overall, I think it is great. It will come in handy for work which requires me to be on the road frequently when I usually receive the most phone calls.

Why didn't I do this sooner?

Anyone else use ClearSounds Quattro Neckloop? How do you like it?



  1. What about the iCom from Phonak? I'm testing it an the moment.

  2. I'm currently testing the Oticon Streamer. This one says it leaves the microphones on the hearing aids on so you can hear room noise, but the balance is strongly weighted toward the phone call/music/whatever. Like you I find this makes me nervous, but on the other hand I'm switching from in-the-canal aids to behind-the-ear, and trying to maneuver the phone into position is not that easy either. I'm still undecided whether to keep it.

  3. Have you tried a combined 'MT' setting for your hearing aid (HA)? This is where the HA combines the sounds from both the normal microphone ('M') and the inductive loop ('T'). This allows me to hear both the phone/MP3 and surrounding sounds. This is the default setting on my HAs (though I had to ask the audiologist specially to program this). When I want to cut out the surrounding noises to concentrate solely on the phone/MP3 I switch to 'T'. And if I switch to 'M' on my HA, it blocks out the inductive loop signal (often have to do this if I'm near a strong electrical current such as sitting on an electric train).

  4. AJWSmith,

    Someone else mentioned to me about trying the "MT" setting. I will check this out and get my hearing aid programmed appropriately for this.


  5. so does this simply work with the T-coil on any hearing aid?

  6. Yes, you must have a T-coil switch in your hearing device for it to work.

  7. so would a music player or computer or such plug into the neck loop and then the neck loop transmits to the hearing aid?
    I'm just trying to understand how this work because it seems really neat and trying to use headphones doesn't always work so well.

  8. Hi Joy,

    Do you think it would be helpful if I post a video showing how I use it? It is hard to explain through just writing.

    Making the video will be tricky because I don't want to show my face. Perhaps I will find a volunteer. Either way, I'll do my best.

  9. if it's too much trouble, don't worry about it. I was just wondering.

  10. This is a pretty good innovation. Anyone with hearing aid for as long as it's t-switch and t-coil can use this Bluetooth device. IT will surely be a big help.

  11. Easy to read, interesting and easy to understand. What more do you want from a topic-specific article? Thanks for sharing!

  12. For those who do not have hearing aids with bluetooth built in, I have the Starkey X110 BTE hearing aids and I find them much superior than Phonak Naida S IX and the Oticon Chili SP9 hearing aids.


  13. My wife is using demo Siemens Pure micon HAs with MiniTek after having Siemens Centra active since 1/08. We have a "CaptionCall" landline phone but the interpretation leaves a lot to be desired. Would like to find a landline "bluetooth" phone that would "pair" with the MiniTek, HELP!! Barbarrosa1


Keep it civil.