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Thread: Hearing aid help

  1. #1
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Hearing aid help

    First and foremost, Thank you Stu for your patience and help on this project.

    I recently helped work through a problem with a customer, needing help being able to hear his audio system better. Maybe some of you here have already figured it out but for anyone in a similar situation, this is what worked in this case. To start with, the customer has been finding it more and more difficult to understand radio and intercom audio. He does wear hearing aids, so when he asked me about solutions, I started to think about using the aids instead of just making a louder audio signal. I contacted Tao Electronics and asked about their BlueTooth adapters. They make several types of BlueTooth transmitters designed to transmit signals from TVs and stereos, to other equipment such as speaker systems. They assured me that these transmitters will pair with hearing aids designed for that. I ordered one and fabricated an adapter to take the 1/8" stereo plug up to a 1/4" plug. I sent these to the customer and discussed the intended set up. He wore his headset as usual but only plugged in the mic plug to the intercom (the smaller diameter plug). Instead of plugging in the head phones plug, he plugged the BlueTooth adapter to his intercom. The idea being to talk normally through the mic but to actually hear the audio through the hearing aids which should be paired with the adapter. Initially this did not work, but the customer kept working the issue with the hearing aid manufacturer. Come to find out certain brands will or will not pair well with certain equipment. All it took was a different model of hearing aid and they paired with the BlueTooth adapter. Once paired, the system worked as we had intended. The customer does not have to remove his hearing aids, as some do, and he can use his regular headset. This allows noise reduction from the ear cups (which should help with volume) and allows normal use of the microphone on the headset. The only 'special equipment' is the BlueTooth adapter.

    There are different brands and models of these adapters, so look around for a style which will work for you. We used a smaller, battery powered one for portability. Before you make a purchase, I'd recommend talking with the hearing aid manufacturer and telling them what you intend. My customer was able to get the best info from them, that led to getting his setup functioning.

    Hope this helps someone out there!

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.
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  2. #2
    WWhunter's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great solution! My hearing aids are bluetooth but never thought of trying to connect them to my plane's audio.
    Don't take life too seriously ... no one gets out alive!
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  3. #3
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Just a bonus; You can answer and talk on your phone while flying, also. I didn't anticipate that, lol.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

  4. #4
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Web,

    good intel. My hearing aids so far do okay with the headsets I use. VA says I’m getting “new, better” hearing aids the end of this month. The current ones blue tooth to my phone and to a TV adapter. I’ve thought about getting another TV adapter to play with. May do so when the new setup arrives.

    thanks for planting the seed!

    MTV
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    WWhunter's Avatar
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    MTV, mine are also VA supplied. Phonak rechargables. Not a huge TV watcher but curious as to what TV adapter you are using. Might increase my TV watching during those dreary winter days....it'll keep me off Barnstormers and Trade a Plane...which will save me money!
    Don't take life too seriously ... no one gets out alive!

  6. #6
    JP's Avatar
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    Interesting. Bluetooth (what an odd name) tech continues to evolve and is a great blessing for those of us who are hearing impaired and have adaptive devices.

    My Phonaks receive everything off the phone. Music, calls, etc. I have the TV connector, but don't really watch any TV anymore. I wear a headset and can hear fine in the airplane, but it would be even better to simply broadcast to my ears.
    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special

  7. #7

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    My hearing aids make what I can't understand louder. Still can't understand, but louder! Frustrating but it is what it is!
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  8. #8
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Bluetooth comes from Harald Bluetooth. Viking king type, from Denmark. Interesting but I never have figured out what Vikings have to do with electronics.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

  9. #9

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    Initially I used the credit card size blue tooth device and tried to pair it to both of my sets of hearing aids using the jumper cable that Paul made for me I could not get it to pair. I later got a resound streamer 2 from the VA which is made for my resound hearing aids to connect to a TV set. I connected it with that jumper cable and with some facial distortion and numerous off color words got it to pair with mt resound hearing aids. I think the oticon people told me ( I’m never sure of what is said to me over the phone) that I needed a blue tooth device that would pair to two devices. I haven’t tried this device with my Oticon aids but it as made by resound and works with them. They remain paired with my phone. When I come back to the plane most of the time they’re still paired. Hearing aids arent just an amplifier that makes sound louder They compress all frequencies into a smaller range somehow so that loudness doesn’t help and often detracts from hearing quality. The blue tooth eliminates the speaker distortion and mic distortion even if the speaker is in my headset. I’ve put a set of light speed ADN headsets in my DC helmet. So far it seems to work very well.

    My thanks to Web, a long time friend who I appreciate greatly. He has worked on my plane and other electronic vodo crap that has always worked after he passes his magic wand over it.
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  10. #10
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WWhunter View Post
    MTV, mine are also VA supplied. Phonak rechargables. Not a huge TV watcher but curious as to what TV adapter you are using. Might increase my TV watching during those dreary winter days....it'll keep me off Barnstormers and Trade a Plane...which will save me money!
    My current hearing devices are Oticon, provided by VA. When I was approved for these, and the set before these, the provider asked if I wanted a television adapter with blue tooth. I said yes. These hearing aids blue tooth to my phone and to the TV. Interesting, tonight, while I was watching TV, blue tooth on, my phone rang, and the TV audio automatically went quite. So, the system is smart enough to prioritize the phone call vs TV.

    My next pair will not be Oticon, I'm told. VA issues a new set every 4 to 5 years, and I'm due. New set is due here end of the month. I asked the doctor if this set also does bluetooth, and she said yes.

    Do you get service via the Fargo VA Hospital? If so, give them a call, and see if they can hook you up with the TV adapter.

    MTV

  11. #11
    WWhunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    My current hearing devices are Oticon, provided by VA. When I was approved for these, and the set before these, the provider asked if I wanted a television adapter with blue tooth. I said yes. These hearing aids blue tooth to my phone and to the TV. Interesting, tonight, while I was watching TV, blue tooth on, my phone rang, and the TV audio automatically went quite. So, the system is smart enough to prioritize the phone call vs TV.

    My next pair will not be Oticon, I'm told. VA issues a new set every 4 to 5 years, and I'm due. New set is due here end of the month. I asked the doctor if this set also does bluetooth, and she said yes.

    Do you get service via the Fargo VA Hospital? If so, give them a call, and see if they can hook you up with the TV adapter.

    MTV
    Mike,

    Yes sir, mine were through the Fargo VA. I can't say enough good things about the Fargo VA. They have been extremely accommodating and helpful with any issues to both myself and my wife.
    Thanks for the tip!
    Keith
    Don't take life too seriously ... no one gets out alive!

  12. #12
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WWhunter View Post
    Mike,

    Yes sir, mine were through the Fargo VA. I can't say enough good things about the Fargo VA. They have been extremely accommodating and helpful with any issues to both myself and my wife.
    Thanks for the tip!
    Keith
    I avoided the VA for years, because of experiences I had with two different “representative offices”. When we moved to MN, I went to county DMV for license on car, asked for Veteran plate. Lady asked for DD 214. She took one look at it and asked if I had got with the VA on my hearing (DD214 has “see the VA after discharge”). I said no, she said “Wait right there....”. She came back ten minutes later and handed me a slip of paper with an appointment at Fargo VA in two weeks.
    My experience with Fargo VA is precisely like yours.

    Now, Ft. Harrison here in MT, not so much, count your blessings. Call Fargo Va Audiology and ask for a TV adapter.

    MTV
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    Almost off topic - I too am hearing impaired, with only one more or less shitty ear and a penchant for open cockpit flying.

    A buddy with a really nice Waco and similar hearing problems was going to sell his aircraft - even with the $1000 Bose, he could not hear the tower.

    I told him t go get a simple DC 10-13.4, and presto - he kept his airplane.

    Caveat - it is possible that Bose has a better noise cancelling system now, but in the past the fancy noise cancelling headsets were optimized for Cherokees and Cirrusi, and did not work well in Stearmans, Wacos, and open-door Cubs.
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  14. #14
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    Almost off topic - I too am hearing impaired, with only one more or less shitty ear and a penchant for open cockpit flying.

    A buddy with a really nice Waco and similar hearing problems was going to sell his aircraft - even with the $1000 Bose, he could not hear the tower.

    I told him t go get a simple DC 10-13.4, and presto - he kept his airplane.

    Caveat - it is possible that Bose has a better noise cancelling system now, but in the past the fancy noise cancelling headsets were optimized for Cherokees and Cirrusi, and did not work well in Stearmans, Wacos, and open-door Cubs.
    I concur, but in my experience, you just need to try a few different headsets. Some work better in different environments.

    MTV

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