Meandering Through the Hearing World

The Hearing Power of the Mini Mic

 

Where would I be without my Mini Mic? I’ve asked this question of myself many times. In fact It is hard to imagine that there was a time when I didn’t want this helpful little device. The first time my audiologist mentioned purchasing one, I told him no, dubbing the device too expensive.

 

All the major hearing aid manufacturers offer peripheral devices. Flip through the websites of Oticon, ReSound, Phonak, Widex, Signia (Siemens), and Starkey, and you will see TV Streamers, Connect Clips, and Mini Mics. The Cochlear Implant companies, Cochlear, and Med EL, have their version of Mini Mics. Advanced Bionics implant wearers have the opportunity to use versions of The Roger’s microphone. 

 

Mini Mics are great inventions. Most are multifunctional, allowing you a better opportunity to hear a one-on-one conversation, a multiple person conversation, or to act as a conduit between your aids and a bluetooth device. Some have the ability to reduce background noise. They cost between $200.00 and $400.00 dollars. Sometimes hearing aid and implant manufacturers offer them as a package deal when you purchase hearing devices.

 

When fully vaccinated against Covid, I found myself back to meeting up with friends in noisy venues. Suddenly, I was experiencing that all too familiar cacophony each time my husband and I went into a restaurant. I felt that making the adjustment from the quiet months of sheltering during 2020 to hearing in background noise was difficult.

 

Luckily, my mighty Mini Mic came in handy. I wear a pair of Oticon More hearing aids, which pair seamlessly with my Oticon’s mini mic, called a ConnectClip. The device only weighs a few ounces. To use it, I ask the person seated near or across from me to clip the device to their collar and to point the microphone strip toward their mouth. I use the Oticon App on my iPhone to switch to microphone mode. Once there, I can raise and lower volume, and lower environmental noise if I deem it too loud. For non iPhone users, those same features are available, using the side buttons of the Mini Mic itself. 

 

Mini Mic features vary greatly with each manufacturer. Some can be used for a one-on-one conversation while others allow you to more easily hear the conversations of a group of people. Check your hearing aid or implant manufacturer’s website to discover their devices and their capabilities. 

 

Some Mini Mics are multi-purposed and can act as a connector between a bluetooth enabled telephone or computer and your hearing aids. Some also work as a hearing loop, helping you to hear a church service, concert, or lecture with ease.  

 

Do not go internet hunting for the best-priced Mini Mic. Unfortunately, each hearing aid and implant manufacturers’ devices are proprietary. They only work with the hearing devices from that manufacturer. In some cases, you have to buy a new Mini Mic when exchanging hearing devices within a company.

 

Given the cost and the few negatives associated with these devices, I find a Mini Mic a needed peripheral. In a noisy venue, I can effortlessly enjoy a  one-on-one conversation with my husband or a friend without struggling. I return home, feeling less tired. Though I balked at purchasing one of these devices, my audiologist allowed me to try one for 30 days free of charge. I was sold and purchased the device, telling him that indeed, the mighty little Mini Mic had made my meanderings through the hearing world easier.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Linda Bilodeau

I’ve grappled with hearing loss since 1978. Through it all, I’ve faced periods of denial, acceptance, curiosity, trust and hope. But more often than not, I’ve felt annoyed, angry and frightened. I’ve encountered despair, loneliness and envy. I’ve experienced panic attacks. I’ve met understanding people, kind souls who helped me a great deal and others who thought I had nothing short of an invisible plague. As a way of coming to terms with my hearing loss, I’ve decided to put my feelings about my disability down on paper. My hope is to better understand myself and perhaps you’ll find a little something in my meanderings that will help you, too.

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