iCOM mic poor sound quality on the other end

I have had an iCOM for a few about 2 years. I love the way I can use it for phone conversations or conference calls at work, but my biggest problem is everyone says the sound quality is very poor when I speak compared to when I don’t use the iCOM. So now I don’t use this during important conference calls at work. Any suggestions on how to get around this issue? Does anyone know if a newer iCOM model has improved the mic sound quality. or can I use another device in conjunction? This is affecting my ability to perform my job.

Just called Phonak. They said last Spring/Summer they changed the mic on the iCOM with a better quality one. Since mine is over 2 years old, mine is the older version.

Has anyone with a more recent iCOM experience any issues with how you sound on the other end of a phone call via blue-tooth?

I can’t afford to just buy a new one only to find out it’s no better, but it that’s the only solution, maybe I will just bite the bullet and buy a new one. Of course I would see if I can try it before I buy it.

I use mine, which I’ve had since February 2010, at work paired via a Jabra A7010 to my multi-line office phone. My customers say that I sound like a normal phone call to them, no echoes or wind tunnel effect. I also use it with my cell phone, and everyone says that I sound normal. Testing myself by leaving voice mail on my own home phone I cannot hear anything unusual sounding. It comes over pretty clear, no tinny sound, no echo, no in a barrel or tunnel sound.

Thanks Neilk,

I performed the same test many times over and over where I leave a message with the iCom via blue-tooth with my cell, then again with the cell alone, and EVERY test I do, it sounds noticeable worse through the iCom. So I am guess the new mic they put in the iCom does make a difference. Thanks for your feedback, I really appreciate it.

+1 on sound quality. I’ve asked several friends over time and they say I sound like a normal cell call. That’s when I’m in a quiet environment, not on a busy street or store.

Everyone I ask tells me I am very clear as long as I am not in a noisy environment. Quite frankly if someone struggles a bit to hear or understand me…well yeah, welcome to my world.

Just picked up my new Naida V hearing aids with the ICom to trial.
Called my dtr immediately via the ICom and my Razer cell phone and she said I sounded great. I kept quizzing her about whether I sounded like I was on speaker phone which I usually had to use when using my cell phone. I cannot believe the ease of this ICom. I am going to have to pay $400 for it but it is worth it.
It even works on my IPOD with a short cable attached to it. I can now exercise, hear music and STILL hear someone talking to me (tho have to strain with that cause of my hearing loss).
I am one happy camper with this technology.:o

I got my iCom and Naida IXs on 9/15/2010. So far here is what I have found with the iCom…

On Wednesday (9/15) and Thursday (9/16), I used it at my work (quiet environment). It worked great, everyone said they could hear me fine. On Friday (9/17) I went on a road trip to Florida and used it quite a bit in the van, nothing but complaints from the people on the other end. Then I got to Disney World in the noise of the crowds and it became pretty much unusable. The microphones on the iCom picked up so much of the background noise that the people on the other end couldn’t hear me at all. I could hear them fine of course since it was streaming directly to my hearing aids, but even if I held the iCom closer to my mouth they still couldn’t understand me. I then tried making a case for the iCom using a leather business card holder I had to cover it from wind (another complaint I got from people I called) and to reduce the amount of noise reaching the microphones, that didn’t work either.

My bottom line on the iCom…
Great sound for me
Great sound for people I call if I am in a quiet environment
Bad sound for the people I call when in a vehicle with highway noise or the air conditioner running
Pretty much not audible for the people I call when in crowd noise

It’s really too bad to get so close to a workable product but not score a win.

Before aids I tried a Jawbone bluetooth ear piece with my cell. It was reported to do noise canceling both ways. So I called my wife from the quiet office and she heard me well, then I walked into the IT equipment room which is almost illegally noisy. She heard the noise for about a second then only heard just me, but kept telling me to speak softer as I was hurting her ear. So I walked back into the quiet office and had to barely whisper to not be shouting. When I turned off noise cancel it went back to normal.

This true story to demonstrate the technology is and has been available for 3-4 years, so why doesn’t iCom have it? Of course they sell a lot more Jawbones than iComs but with iCom selling at 400% the cost, I would think they would do better than this.

A techie guy here told how to put inexpensive components together to get the bluetooth sound into the aids, but you have to speak into the phone to be heard. You carry a little transmitter thing in your pocket that picks up bluetooth and transmits FM to the aids. Also, Phonak now has a new device called Click’n Talk that looks really good if you can hold the phone to the ear.
These look like reasonable alternatives unless you want to drive hands free and talk. I wish for a sound cancel mic boom that would fit into the mix to make it all hands free.

I believe the Click’nTalk has been out a while, but unfortunately it seems to only be compatiable with Sony Ericsson phones. :frowning:

“To find out whether devices are compatible you need to know the mobile phone model (manufacturer and type) and the model of the Click’nTalk device. The current Click’nTalk SE11 model is compatible with a range of Sony Ericsson models.”

Yes, see here: Are the iCom, TEK, and Streamer devices just big rip-offs?

Here is a simple work around for the iCom microphone poor sound quality on the other end while in noise.

If you have a cellular phone with a standard 1/8” headphone jack (most newer smart phones), simply plug the 1/8” male to male cable that came with the iCom into the phone and the iCom. This will play the audio from the call through your hearing aids while leaving the phone’s microphones active.

I have tried it with an iPhone, Droid X and Palm Pre Plus and it works great. Just talk into the phone.

I have wondered about that but I want to speak into a hands free mic for driving. Is there a cord that splits between receive and transmit? Plug into cord for iCom to hear and continue to boom mic to speak.

I’ve thought about a regular headset with mic and somehow cutting the ear cord off and install the jack but I’m not sure about doing it.

What I have done for my HTC Desire (exactly the same works for an iPhone) is great if you are reasonably proficient with a soldering iron.
Buy a standard headset with microphone, or use the one that came with your phone.

  1. Take apart the piece that contains the microphone and volume controls, and unsolder the headphones.
  2. Unsolder the microphone too - that’s often more tricky.
  3. Now get an old pair of headphones, and cut the cable leaving yourself a small length of cable with a 3.5mm plug at one end - you only really need 2-3cm.
  4. Solder the cut end of this cable to the place you unsoldered the headphones from.
  5. With a bit of the remaining cable from the cannibalized headphones, solder one end to the microphone, and the other end to the place you unsoldered the microphone from. This cable should be long enough to reach from the icom to your collar. You’ll robably want to put a bit of heatshrink tubing, or some tape round the microphone to protect it.
  6. Cut away as necessary to make an exit for the microphone cable - there should already have been an exit for the headphones.

You should now have a cable which has:

  • a 4-pole 3.5mm plug at one end, to connect into your phone
  • a 3-pole 3.5mm plug at other end to connect into your iCom
  • a microphone to attach to your collar.

The great thing about this is that you get a microphone close to your mouth, and it also has the necessary components in there to prevent GSM interference (a 10pF and 33pF capacitor), and you have the pushbutton to control your phone too.

Hope that is of some help to others.

Now THAT’s what I’m talking about!!!
Thanks for the tutorial and I’ll give it a try and let you know how it works out. Should have the best of both worlds and easier on batteries too.

Just found an option no soldering required…

I tried this with an iPhone and the Droid X and it worked great! I will post a picture when I get a chance.

Basically, you just use this adapter (this is the one I tried)
Monster iSoniTalk Microphone Headphone Adapter for iPhone - Microphone with Headphone Jack
$10 from Amazon

Plug that into your phone, plug your iCom stereo cable into it, and you are good to go.

There is also another one made by Shure that may have a better microphone quality, but it is $90. Here is a link to it just in case, but the monster one seems to work fine. The only benefit I could see with the Shure model, is a smaller adapter head at the phone.

cjw, my LG cell phone came with a wired handsfree that does what you describe.
I have a wire with a jack at one end to plug into the phone and on the other end is the microphone AND a regular plug which will take earbuds/iCom or whatever.
I’ve never used this setup because no-one has complained about the sound quality from my iCom microphone.


It seem to me some units are faulty.

Maybe its like Streamer. First one i had i sounded mettalic and in the tube and constant statics and peoples complain in every call, even hang up to call me again or on landline because that. No one said they hear me good. So i RMA-it and got new one when peoples dont complain. Now i upgraded firmware and get even better sound (they optimize it a little, i suppose) so now peoples hardly can tell difference betwen that and using cell directly)…

So, i think if peoples constantly complain its faulty unit and if under guarantee ask your audi to try another…

Wow lawgrace! thanks for your beautifully simple advice about using the audio cable. It was in the box with aids and eveything else, but no label to associate it with the icom. It works with my iPod. My phone jack is too small, so I wonder if there is an adapter available.
Once I get it working, or a new phone, it is true that it will not be hands-free. But the main priority for me is easy two-way communication.
thanks again.

I know, and I have one like this, but the problem I found is there are wires everywhere: the microphones in those devices perform best close to your mouth, so you end up with the microphone up near your collar, then another cable coming out of it down towards your iCom. not that big a deal I suppose, but it annoys me :slight_smile: