The demo room at work offers a variety of HATs (hearing assistive technology) to people who are hard of hearing. Utah has a try before you buy program because let’s face it, as hard of hearing we often buy that new gadget hoping it will be a miracle. When it’s not our personal miracle it ends up in a drawer somewhere as money wasted. The demo room has FM systems, personal listening devices, TV listening systems, alerting systems and more (even different phones to try but they can’t leave the site). People can borrow them for a month to test, to see if it’s worth buying. Being surrounded by technology for the hard of hearing is pretty cool and I play with them as needed.
A few months ago and older man came in and wanted help for an upcoming lunch with a friend who was soft spoken. He didn’t want the PockeTalker or the Mino and he really didn’t want to try the FM system either; nothing so obvious. I brought out the Quattro 4.0 which I never used before but heard good things about from someone I once volunteered with on a committee. It’s a Bluetooth necklace device that also works with T-Coils. The client loved the removable microphone option. He wasn’t sure if he had T-Coils in his hearing aids so he made an appt with his audiologist and came back to me a week later.
Over that week I played with the device. The Bluetooth paired easily with my phone and I could use it as a T-Coil as well. I heard my music fine but I admit I didn’t try calling anyone because I gave up the phone years ago. I was bummed I didn’t have any control over the bass/treble, that’s always a nice option.
Next I tackled the removable microphone which took me a few hours of re-reading the directions and trying again. The device kept saying’dialing’ and since I had no desire to dial anyone I cancelled the process multiple times. It took a few hours to figure out that ‘dialing’ is more of a timer instead. Eventually I had a victory which I could reproduce do I did the Snoopy dance.
As I fussed with the device it talked to me, in fact, it talked too much for my liking. An annoying voice told me the call was terminated, pairing and a few other things. If could have shut the voice off I would have. I do not understand why companies make talking devices for the hard of hearing. If anything, give us captions people!
They guy came back the following week an I got it working once to show him how to do it but we couldn’t getting it going for him. We fussed for half an hour and still couldn’t figure what we were doing wrong. He was determined to make it work so he took it home anyway with the directions. A few weeks later he came back in to return it. He never could get the removable mic to work but he enjoyed the music from his phone through it. He decided not to buy it.