Best Cell Phone Headset That Does NOT Require Removal Of HAs

The nature of my work requires me to be on the phone for at least half of my working day. And for various reasons, it’s all done via cell phone.

Pulling my HAs out, using the phone with ear-buds or a bluetooth, and replacing the HAs again … and again and again … is a becoming problematic.

So ideally, I’d like a cell phone headset that can be used without removing the HAs. I don’'t mind if the headset is wired or not, and I’m prepared to pay a reasonable premium for a quality product.

Does anyone have any experiences that could help me pick a headset?

I don’t know what brand of HA’s you have, but I find streaming cell phone calls directly to my Phonak HA’s via the Compilot to be excellent. Other makes have similar equipment.

I second streaming to the HA’s using a streamer or directly from the cell phone using blue tooth. The choice is dependent on brand and model of hearing aid.

Sorry - I should have spelled it out!

I’m using Rexton Quintras - behind the ear, with open dome. They don’t have phone streaming capability unless you pay a ton for the bluetooth item that hangs around the neck.

If you want direct feed from the phone, you need a recent iPhone and either Starkey, Resound, or Costco’s KS6. Even the above need a gadget to work with almost all Androids – exception is the S5.

dglen, if your HA has a telecoil, how about using a neckloop?

The bluetooth device would still give you the best performance. It puts the phone call into both ears per your prescription.

The iphone thing is just not a serious alternative in that you still have to talk into the iphone, and then you have to have an iphone.

Another alternative is something like the Arctic p311. It works really well and the sound is good. I don’t have to take my hearing aids out to use it. There is a later version than mine, the Arctic p324. You can stream music from the phone and then it cuts in with a call.

Because you have open fit, you could use almost any headset. Of course, it will not adjust for your hearing loss, and I am assuming that you have tried this approach without success. If this is true then streaming is the best solution. I don’t the exact price of the streaming accessories from your manufacturer, but I would expect it to be under $500. A good headset to integrate with a phone system is going to be near or above $100.

Thanks for the replies so far.

I’ll explore the streaming / nekloop option, but it seems to be pretty expensive and (according to my audiologist) the audio quality isn’t as good as you’d expect.

No, don’t assume that!

I’ve just arrived at the decision to use something other than earbuds today, after a frustrating time with inserting / removing the HAs many times. So I started researching it on the Interweb, and posted this thread at the same time.

I.e. I’m new to all of this, and have only been using HAs for about a year, so I’ll value all the info I can get, starting at the “For Dummies” level.

The Arctic P324 looks very interesting, thanks - and I’m amazed at how inexpensive it is (i.e. around $25.) I like “inexpensive”, but I’m not a fan of “cheap”. What is the microphone’s sound quality like? Besides needing to hear, I also need to be heard. (I don’t see an external mic in the pictures.)

The audio quality is excellent with the proprietary bluetooth streamers, for hearing speech. It may or may not be what you are looking for, for music streaming, but mine is excellent for music also.

On the Arctic, mine is the P311 and I’m told by callers they did not know I was on a headset. I expect the P324 noise reduction to be even better. There is also a 66 Audio headset that looks interesting, but it is a little more money (around $50 I think). Reviews are good on the Arctic and the 66 Audio.

I still recommend the proprietary device though.

For some of us, that would be a PLUS, not a minus. I’m not fortunate enough to have direct streaming from my Android to my Siemens, so having to use the mini-tek is my only option. I wish to goodness I could divert the microphone BACK to the Adroid so I could use the phone like a normal phone and just HEAR it through my HAs. The mic on the Mini-Tek becomes a “speakerphone” on the other end of the conversation, and it has to be worn OUTSIDE my shirt to give the best performance. Neither of those is a virtue. I have to have the phone in my hand to make calls and punch buttons anyway, so the Mini-Tek as a microphone is unwanted and undesired redundancy.

As far as I have been able to determine, there is no setting on the phone to blue tooth JUST the audio and not the microphone, short of connecting an external blue tooth sender to the phone’s audio jack output, and that just adds more hardware to the phone and makes it much less handy. It would be really nice to have a switch on the phone to change the mic setup, as the mini-tek CAN be handy sometimes when receiving a call while I’m busy with my hands.

I guess I’m always wanting too much icing on my cake!! :wink:

Oh, you were finished? Oh, well, allow me to retort. The iPhone is a very serious alternative. An iPhone 6 with either a Linx2 9 or a Kirkland 6 streams phone call directly to the aids with excellent clarity and the micro phone on the phone is excellent allowing the user to set the phone on a flat surface close to the user with excellent results. I know because I have a pair of KS 6 and have been on numerous phone conferences where I had to have my hands free to work my keyboard and the combination was a winner. The application works well with the iPhone 6 and totally eliminates the need for a loop or phone clip. Going with the Kirkland from my previous aids was the best decision I ever made.

I agree with you there. When I’m talking on the Rexton Mini-Blu, I get a lot of people that have difficulty hearing me. It’s best if I take the streamer out of my shirt and wear it like a medallion. But in noisy places (like a downtown city street) I have to hold the streamer in my hand so I can talk directly into it. My phone is in my pocket. I often feel like I’d be better off if I could just talk into the phone and hear through my aids.

What they ought to do is make it so that putting the phone in hands-free mode would activate the phone mic and stream caller audio to the bluetooth. Then you could do hands free if you wanted to, but you wouldn’t have to.

— Updated —

I agree with you there. When I’m talking on the Rexton Mini-Blu, I get a lot of people that have difficulty hearing me. It’s best if I take the streamer out of my shirt and wear it like a medallion. But in noisy places (like a downtown city street) I have to hold the streamer in my hand so I can talk directly into it. My phone is in my pocket. I often feel like I’d be better off if I could just talk into the phone and hear through my aids.

What they ought to do is make it so that putting the phone in hands-free mode would activate the phone mic and stream caller audio to the bluetooth. Then you could do hands free if you wanted to, but you wouldn’t have to.

I’m glad it works for you. It would not work for me. I had bluetooth hands free headsets before hearing aids and love the convenience of that, and the Phone Clip+ is the way to get that convenience back for me. Plus the Phone Clip+ works with any bluetooth phone, bluetooth laptop or tablet, or bluetooth transmitter. Besides my smartphone I also have a bluetooth phone setup at work that allows me to use my office phone and desktop computer with my phone clip+. Then at home I have a laptop and tablet that transmit to the phone clip+. So that’s why I said the iphone direct thing would not be a good alternative, if you had the need to hear from other devices.

What galls me is the price of the phone clip +. In the real world, its a $25 item. OK, $50 for a deluxe one. $200 - $300 for one, really?! They should throw in a tube of KY.

Now that’s funny.

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Now that’s funny.

I think both of you can stand to benefit from using telecoils. this tech has been around for half a century. and it’s not just for phone calls. lots of churches and theaters and conference rooms are outfitted with induction loops.

OP here:

Thanks to Don’s input, I researched the items he suggested - along with several other makes and styles - and settled on the Audio-66 for +$49. After just 2 days of use (I’m on the phone for work more than half my work day) I have found that:

Good:

  • In general, I like them a lot.
  • Good sound, and strong volume - way better than the system I was using before
  • Can wear them without having to remove the HAs, which was the main objective
  • Mic quality (so far) seems to be okay. At least - no one has complained about my voice being soft or fuzzy, which happened with my previous system.

Bad:

  • Not especially comfortable - with the HAs, and reading glasses, and this item hanging on my ears.
  • After wearing them for a long time, they hurt the top of the ear lobe. But I expect I’ll get used to that.
  • On-off switch sometimes gets confused with the pairing function
  • No battery life indicator. (My older system had a voice prompt that said “5 hours remaining” … or whatever.)
  • Putting them on is awkward - have to ‘thread’ the ear lobes into them…

On balance - I’m much better off with these than without, so thanks again to Don for his input.

This is the item I bought.

There may be better ones out there - if so, I’ll be interested to know about them…

Thanks for the review. Glad to help.

— Updated —

Thanks for the review. Glad to help.