by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A lady wrote,
I now only wear one hearing aid because my doctor told me it was a waste of money for the other ear. My one ear with a hearing aid helps me tremendously. I belong to a local group of Hearing Loss Association of America. We have one member who says he can’t afford a hearing aid and uses the PockeTalker that you mentioned in your last eZine. This member says he does very well with it. I am interested in getting one, but how would I use it since I already wear a hearing aid?
If your hearing aid has a t-coil, you could plug a neckloop into the PockeTalker instead of an earphone and hear that way. This wouldn’t necessarily help you hear better unless you use a microphone that is closer to the speaker’s mouth than the microphone on your hearing aid is. In other words, wearing the PockeTalker around your neck (where the microphone on the PockeTalker and the microphone on your hearing aid are about the same distance from the speaker’s mouth) won’t make much difference.
One exception is if you use something like a super directional handheld microphone or the Voice Tracker microphone with the PockeTalker , and your hearing aid doesn’t have a good directional microphone.
But if you use a microphone on a (long) cord and plug it into the PockeTalker , then you can get the microphone much closer to the speaker’s lips than is the microphone on your hearing aid, and thus you will hear better and cut out a lot of background noise at the same time. A good example of doing this would be using it in a noisy restaurant with a lapel microphone clipped onto your partner’s collar. That way you’d hear your partner loud and clear in spite of all the noise that your hearing aid’s microphone would otherwise pick up.