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Wear a hearing aid? This is the best telephone headset for you
Hearing loss can strike at any age, and although it is often thought of as an “old-person-problem” it affects people of all ages, especially those who may have exposed their ears to loud noises during their youth. Loud music, motorcycle and car engines and other noisy environments can all damage a person’s hearing and unfortunately this damage is irreversible. Some people are born with hearing impairments or develop these issues as a result of viral infections or accidents. The only answer is to wear a hearing aid in order to maximise the amount of sound you can hear and process into information. Lip reading and sign language are both valuable skills to complement the use of a hearing aid and do make life easier with a hearing impairment, but when it comes to using the phone these visual clues are no longer present, so we rely on sound alone.
Most landline telephones in the UK, and all those sold in the USA, must be compatible for use with a hearing aid, but unfortunately there are no such standards for telephone headsets. Some models, however, have been designed with hearing aid users in mind. Hearing aids have a microphone which picks up sound and amplifies it, as well as a telecoil which picks up magnetic sound sources. The telecoil (sometimes called a t-coil or induction loop) picks up and converts magnetic energy, as emitted by a telephone receiver, into electrical energy which can be passed through the hearing aid for magnification. The same t-coil receives magnetic energy from induction loop systems in banks and other places, where the teller is situated behind glass and cannot be heard directly. Hearing aids can be switched to just receive sound from the microphone, or from the telecoil, so when in “T” mode only the electromagnetic sources of sound will be heard and all ambient noise filtered out, like a form of noise isolation. Where equipment is t-coil compatible a symbol of an ear will be displayed.
Using a hearing aid does not rule a person out of being able to use a telephone headset, as there are specially designed models out there which use a compatible telecoil to transmit magnetic energy to the telecoil in the hearing aid, which then amplifies the sound for the user. The Jabra GN2125 Binaural Noise Cancelling Telecoil Headset employs this technology to allow hearing aid users to use the equipment as a non-hearing impaired person would. The twin ear design helps cancel out unwanted noise, but the real magic happens when you switch the hearing aid to the “T” setting and place the plain side of the earpiece as close as possible to the hearing aid. Then, the intrinsic noise cancelling feature of the induction loop system filters out all unwanted noise, while the comfy leatherette ear cushion blocks out sounds from the other ear. The microphone is also noise cancelling, so it is the perfect model to use in even the loudest of environments.
Although the Jabra GN2125 is primarily for use with a desk phone, it can also be used with a computer, when connected with the correct adapter cable, allowing hearing aid users to work both with phones and computers with ease. There are other models from other manufacturers available too, but as the experts in telephone headsets, we feel that this model is the best priced with the most useful and reliable features which is why we carry this particular design. Get in touch with us to find out more about telephone headsets and their compatibility with hearing aids.