by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A lady explained:
If someone has an automatic t-coil on their hearing aid, they will have problems hearing on their cell phones if they want to do so in t-coil mode. They will need a magnet glued to the phone’s earpiece in order to activate the automatic t-coil.
I don’t have a t-coil switch on my digital hearing aid. As a result, for a year, trying to hear on my cell phone was horrible. I couldn’t put a magnet next to the earpiece to kick in the t-coil because it was a flip-phone and it wouldn’t close otherwise.
I just brought a new cell phone—not a flip phone this time. I glued a magnet next to the earpiece and the t-coil kicked in properly. I can hear great now!
You have just exposed one of my chief complaints concerning automatic t-coils—they need a manual override when using them with devices that do not provide a strong enough magnetic field to activate them. This includes devices such as cell phones, neckloops and room loops.
It’s a shame that after paying the big bucks for your hearing aid, you still have to fool around to make the automatic t-coil work with your cell phone. Your work around is great—you just have to find a small magnet that’s powerful enough to activate your automatic t-coils and then glue it to the right place on your phone so it will activate when you hold the phone up to your ear (hearing aid). That’s a pain.
I don’t like, or recommend, automatic t-coils unless they have a manual override. With a manual override, you don’t have to fool around with a magnet. You just manually put your hearing aids into t-coil mode. Then they will work with your cell phones and neckloops and room loops too.
With your automatic t-coils, you can’t hear via your t-coils when using loop systems unless you stick magnets to your hearing aids to activate their automatic t-coils. That’s another pain. (Also, you need to have those magnets with you at all times so you have them when you need them.) Furthermore, you can’t glue the magnets to your hearing aids because you have to remove the magnets when you are finished with the looped device so your hearing aids will return to microphone mode again. Otherwise, you won’t hear a thing until you do. What a pain!
It’s so much better to insist on a manual t-coil, or an automatic t-coil with a manual override. Then you never have to fool around with magnets on your phone or your hearing aids. As you can tell, I’m solidly for “pain-free” listening.