I am so frustrated with this iCom thing that I’m ready to take a hammer to it! I started wearing Phonak’s Naida S IX SP about six months ago. These have worked pretty well so far. The programming issues are another post/rant. I’ve been wearing Phonak aids in both ears for over 10 years. I’ve used the FM system with them for over 10 years also and have been very happy with the FM system.
First off I will say that the sound quality through the iCom is great. It does not produce the artifact (extra sound) that Naida produces in the presence of music, whistling and women’s voices.
However, that does not compensate for the problems.
The iCom does not do anything better than the FM system and it doesn’t do as much as the FM system.
When using the iCom with the television, computer or CD player, the iCom shuts off the external speakers of the TV/computer/CD player. No one can hear it but me. Obviously, this defeats the main purpose of the iCom as an assistive listening device to use in the presence of other people.
There is no option that I know of to turn off the external mics with the iCom like there is with FM system. With the FM system you have the option of FM only or FM+mic. There is no such option with the iCom that I know of. When I am using the iCom, I do not want to hear anything other than what is coming through the iCom.
The background noise overpowers the Bluetooth signal coming through the iCom. My audiologist turned down the mics, but the Naidas compensate by amplifying the background noise. I guess they think the muted background noise is soft speech that I want to hear.
The iCom as a Bluetooth device paired with cell phones is a terrible, terrible device. People cannot hear me because of the background noise. I have to shout at that really obnoxious volume level that people hate for cell phone users to use. After my audiologist turned down the mics on the iCom, people said they couldn’t hear me due to my voice sounding muffled or like I’m on speakerphone.
If there is a gap in the audio signal (lull in the conversation on the phone, silence while the CD changes tracks, short silence when listening to a video tutorial on the computer, etc.) – even just a short gap, the iCom shuts off. When the signal resumes, the iCom restarts several seconds later. I have lost several seconds of speech. This is disruptive.
When the iCom turns on and off, the beeping signal is painfully loud.
I tried to return the iCom before the 30 day trial period was up, but my audiologist flat-out refused to take it back. In fact, I had requested the FM system when I first ordered the Naidas 6 months ago. She ordered the iCom instead. Thus far she has refused to order the FM system. Now she says that the Naida can’t be fitted with the FM system. I never would have ordered the Naidas if they weren’t compatible with the FM system! Anyway, that’s a separate post/rant.
Does anyone have any solutions to the above issues? Sympathy?