by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A lady wrote:
I read with interest about the lady who had trouble hearing her own voice when using the neckloop with her cell phone. I, too, had that problem and had 3 of my programs on my Freedom CI switched to M/T mode.
I don’t use the neckloop often but recently went to a convention and used the neckloop with my cell phone to contact my friends inside the convention center. I could hear them well. However, they had difficulty hearing me when I spoke into the neckloop mike. They said my voice sounded “tinny” and “far away”.
My hearing friends got frustrated and just wanted me to hear and speak directly into the cell phone. Is this a normal occurrence when using the neckloop, or does this mean there is something wrong with my neckloop? Other friends have expressed the same difficulty of hearing my voice via the neckloop on other occasions. Please let me know what I can do this solve this problem.
The problem is when you plug a neckloop into the headset jack, then the cell phone’s mic is cut off—so you can’t accommodate your friends by talking into the phone’s microphone even if you wanted to. (That is why the neckloop has the microphone built in.)
I think most of what you are experiencing is an inherent problem with the basic design because the microphone is hanging down on your chest instead of up by your mouth. Obviously, the closer the microphone is to your mouth, the better (and louder) your voice will sound to people listening to you at the other end. Thus a neckloop microphone isn’t the best choice in that respect as it is always so far away from your mouth. Furthermore, the noisier the location, the more noise a distant microphone will pick up. Thus neckloop microphones would sound better in quiet situations.
Now, what can you do to help things along? I can think of two things. First, I wonder if you talk quietly in the first place. That would make it difficult for the more distant neckloop microphone to adequately pick up your voice. So speaking up would almost certainly help.
Second, instead of talking “out”, try talking “down” to your microphone. Aim your voice as best you can at the microphone. This should help too.
Doing both would be even better. Try this and see if it makes any difference.
If all else fails, hold the microphone up closer to your mouth when you talk. This should make a difference by greatly reducing the distance from it to your lips. It might look funny, but it should work.
Finally, there is always a chance that your neckloop isn’t working properly—but I’d try the above first. If the microphone is bad, doing the above shouldn’t make much difference.