Remote and table microphones
These devices can be helpful in meetings when people are sitting far away. Remote microphones are generally good for one-to-one conversations; a table microphone is much more suitable for a group conversation – when placed close to the speaker or in the middle of a group conversation, it will pick up the sound and send it directly into your hearing aids. These products make speech clearer and easier to understand.
Having a conversation on the phone – or even hearing a phone ring – can be difficult, especially when there's background noise. Below are some products that can help.
Making your phone louder
You can make your telephone louder by using a telephone amplifier. The amplifier connects to the phone and will make the caller's voice, coming through the handset, louder. Some models have a built-in amplifier and speaker that fit over the telephone handset earpiece, using a strap.
Hearing your phone ring
On some phones you can change the pitch of the ringer, which may make it easier to hear. Some telephones will also have call indicators (with a bright flashing light). This may be appropriate if you share your work space with colleagues.
If you have hearing loss you can get an amplified telephone which looks and works just like a normal phone, but comes with extra, nifty features. These phones have handset volume control and you can use the volume-boost button to make the caller’s voice louder. Some amplified telephones will also allow you to adjust the tone control to help make the call sound clearer.
The ringer on an amplified phone is usually much louder than on a normal phone. Some have a bright light that flashes when the phone rings. Other features include large, well-spaced-apart dial buttons to make dialling easier, and 'hearing aid compatibility': this means the phone will work with any hearing aid that has a hearing loop (T) setting.
These can be useful for people who have to work in a variety of sound environments (for example, from a quiet meeting room to a noisy open plan office). Bluetooth streamers not only allow you to receive the audio of a Bluetooth device directly into your hearing aids, they also allow you to control the sound of your hearing aids. This means that you can personalise the sound settings easily, depending on your circumstances.
Speech to text
Speech to text software can really help in group meetings, as it allows you to read a transcription of everything that's been said. The quality of software varies but, in general, dictation software comes out best for accuracy and speed. This does, however, sometimes need to be 'trained' to an individual's voice and can struggle with multiple voices all speaking at the same time.