Phonak Marvel / Paradise + Roger Select to understand speech better in noisy environment

Hello everyone!

I am new to this forum. Would like to know more about remote mic (Roger Select) usage and will it really help in my current situation.

I am working in an open office environment and we do not have separate cabins or any partitions in between. Basically we are almost 80+ employees in this ‘open office’. So the entire day, its always very noisy environment.

Currently with my OPN1 Minirite (RIC),I am having too much difficulty understanding speech from my colleagues who speak in British accent. Sometimes I can only understand 1-2 words from a sentence & the rest sounds just whistling/blabbering kind off. Hence this has caused tremendous effect on my performance as I am unable to communicate with them. Always have to rely on emails, rather than direct face to face communication.

However when it comes to communicating with my other colleagues from Asian countries I am able to understand their speech very well (almost 90-95%). So basically I am facing issues with speech with British/american accents & also some female who speaks very softly. In current Covid-19 situation, things have become more difficult for me as all are wearing mask :frowning:

It would be really helpful if I can get some detailed info with regards to using Phonak HA along with Roger Select. As i have come across some forum, wherein some HA users really have mentioned positive reviews about combination of Phonak Marvel/Paradise along with Roger remote mic (select).

Basically I want to improve my speech in the following situations:-
Understanding speech from female colleagues (only soft spoken) & british/american accents in the current noisy environment and also improving hearing speech in the closed meeting rooms.
As of now, I am totally avoiding attending any meetings as most of the time i feel totally lost in conversation.

Any feedback will be really helpful.
Also would like to know if there is any other HA brand which can be more beneficial for speech in noise for my High Frequency hearing loss.
One of the audiologist suggested I should go with Widex Moment 440, as it has a fitting range of almost 115db which is the highest in any RIC hearing aid. However I guess Widex currently does not have a remote mic which is as effective as Roger Select ( as mentioned in some reviews on this forum).

Please advise. Thanks

What are your words recognition score and sentence in noise? Because those two say how good your brain and ears work together.

Did you try any external mic so far? Experience? I can’t recall what oticon has for your aids…

Did I understand that you want to upgrade all tech rather than find a solution for current aids?

Understanding speech in noise is hard, tremendously hard when you’re listening to foreign (to you) speakers.

Mics could help a bit, but we have to little info now to say yeah it’ll be awesome and you should change your whole setup. Not sure. You do have relatively new aids, no? Sorry, not familiar with all of them.

However oticon has that open approach where it takes all in, I’m not familiar how it exactly works in speech babble type of noise. So if you in general like and find your oticon useful, phonak’s approach you might not like.

For me, select and phonak really do a great job. Direct streaming in ear is awesome, what mics basically do.

Also for your loss, I’m not sure if it makes sense to push db, or check if high frequency lowering would be better. Since you have such high loss that first thing I think is ‘you probably have dead regions’ and not ‘just give more dbs’. Eg I wouldn’t look at widex just because of higher db output.

However I’d probably recommend first to change a job for some place which doesn’t have open office. I hate them from when I had normal hearing, now it’s my eliminatory criteria. :joy:

About paradise vs marvel, if you don’t have patience to fiddle with BT connections and do the guesswork how to connect them, I’d recommend marvels.

Most important, do you have fitter who follows best practices summarised by dr cliff

If not, invest time in finding one. That’s single most important thing. With such person trialling aids and accessories is fast, because you don’t need endless visits to get good first fit, you get it at first fit.

Another thing, look into starkey, they released table mic as well. With 8 mics vs select’s 3 (and 6 beamforms). Can’t recall how many beamforms starkey has.

But they’re significantly cheaper combo. But I think they’re only for iphone? Not sure though.

On the paper, they’re definitely very very similar, but I don’t know anyone who tried it, it’s new product. Worth checking out though.

I haven’t done any test so far for words recognition score and sentence in noise. I have limited option for test here in UAE :frowning:

So far haven’t tried any external mic.

First option will try to get the best out of my current Oticon OPN1. If that doesnt help, I need to switch to other brand to get the best speech understanding.

I have hearing loss since more than 25 yrs, however I started using these HA only since past 2 years. Prior to that I managed my work/communication without any aids, as I was working in closed office :slight_smile:
Secondly, all my bosses that time were from Asia/Middle-East hence I hardly faced any issues understanding their speech :slight_smile:
I am struggling since 2-3 years as we moved to open office & bosses have changed too :frowning:

Thanks.
I will try to get more details for these. I will also check if they are available here in Dubai.

If you have the Oticon ConnectClip it might be useful to have the soft spoken woman and a sampling of Brits speak to you on the phone. That would allow you to listen to their speech being streamed into your hearing aids and reducing ambient influence and reducing your reliance on the hearing aid microphones. It is not a solution per se but a way to assess the impact of a directional microphone. Oticon has a remote mike but I don’t recall a directional mike in their inventory. The Opn paradigm, for me at least, was not a good fit for a noisy environment.

I know the Widex F2 Evokes and custom Evokes can be used with the Roger range as my eldest is using the Roger Pen and Roger conference discs (sorry not sure of exact name!)- you need a Roger receiver placed into the FM Dex to stream to Widex aids.

I have more questions than answers. Do you wear domes or custom molds. How much venting?
Do you have any idea how high a frequency you actually hear a tone? Is having somebody wear a microphone around their neck feasible or does it have to be something you would sit on a table?
How many people would be sitting around the table? Does your employer offer any kind of services for employees with disabilities?
Now for my guesses. I would think Phonak Audeo Marvel or Paradise (or potentially Phonak Naida Marvel), combined with frequency lowering would be an improvement over current hearing aids. For one on one conversations, even adding a PartnerMic (worn around the neck or clipped to shirt) would help. Select iN should help in small group discussions, but for conversations around a big conference table with many people one would likely need at least two TableMics. For one on one conversations with your current aids, the addition of a ConnectClip could help. Good luck.

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I wear Custom molds with 105db receiver. The vent size is 1mm.

Somebody wearing a Mic around their neck will not be a feasible solution :frowning:
The best option is to keep the remote receiver on my desk itself. Usually the colleagues comes to my desk. Ideally I can keep it on the front most location of my desk so it will be bit closer to the person who will come near my desk to talk.
For meeting, there would be max 5-6 people sitting on a table within the range of 8 to 10 feet Max.
Unfortunately the employer does not offer any services for empl with disabilities. Infact I am more worried, bcoz of my hearing issues which impacts my performance.
Hence somehow I want to get the best speech understanding in office so I can continue working without losing my job.
I would prefer something for one to one conversation, and also small group discussions.
Will the roger select or table mic help in my case?
Lets say if I place the Roger Select on my desk & the person is standing approx 5-6 feet away from this mic. Will this help ?

No one can say for sure, but the use case you mention seems to be pretty much what the Select was designed for. New aids and a Select would be a significant investment with no guarantees that it’s going to “solve” the problem. If you can trial it or it’s not too much of a financial burden, it could be worth a shot.

Brandon, this sounds like a really tough situation. My heart goes out to you. I feel pretty fortunate we have the ADA and Vocational Rehab here in the US to help us. I have used both Oticon and Phonak remote mics. Everyone is different, but here is what works for me:

I really like the ConnectClip (which is directional) with my OPN hearing aid mics muted. That is my favorite. It costs about $300, which seems reasonable. (It works well as a wireless headset for computer too. I also tried Oticon EduMic with it’s 3.5 mm port to stream audio from my computer. It costs about $600 and doesn’t function as a headset). In a noisy restaurant, I point my ConnectClip at whoever’s talking and from about 3’ it works well enough. Keep in mind remote mics are supposed to be within inches of the person speaking. Still, capturing sound a few feet closer is better than not.

I have also tried Phonak Paradise. So far, the remote PartnerMic doesn’t pick up sound very well at all for me. It may need calibration and I’m not sure my audi knows how to do that. I love the Table Mic II when I put it on the podium in a very reverberant church. Somehow I don’t find as much benefit with it in a noisy restaurant. In general, I think Phonak mics are overpriced. I really resent that they want $500 per aid for specific Roger X receivers to make my 2 year old Table Mics compatible with the latest Phonak Marvel or Paradise aids. The mics themselves cost $1500 each. (rant, sorry!) I use them with a MyLink and t-coil mode instead. I must admit, my favorite mic for “cocktail party” type discussion is the Roger Pen, due to how you can hold and point it at people somewhat inconspicuously without asking them to wear it.

Also, have you considered using a speech-to-text app on your phone? That can really fill in a lot of gaps. Some even use machine learning to get more accurate with accents. A Bluetooth remote mic gives greater accuracy here too.

I guess the bottom line is that they all have their pros and cons. You should definitely try something. If you use one, be sure to mute your hearing aid mics whenever you don’t need to hear other things in the room.

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@sufhl table mic 1 and 2 are designed for quiet situations, just distance. 2 has ability to cover close and a bit apart distance from the mics.

Select is made for noisy restaurants.

Compared to select, what I get with pen isn’t even close. But since I got used pen, maybe there’s something wrong with it, although I don’t remember being astonished with performance of new one either. Select was miles away in performance.

But. Not for such big distances which @brandong81 needs. If range is 8-10 feet from person to the mic, that’s a lot. A lot.

Select works nice on the table when people sit around it, mouth to mic half that distance, so 1-1.5m / 4-5 feet.
In quiet, eg meetings, it could probably catch from further away, but in constant babble, I’m not sure.

It’s specific situation, definitely I’d recommend trialling and testing, both select and pen. Maybe pen and interviewing people could work. Or just do that with select, hold in your hand.

But definitely, having a chair so people can sit down opposite from you, and select at the table, that could work better. For speech babble around you.

The closer you can put the mic to person speaking, the better the sound will be.

I think there’s some chance it works good for you, especially when meetings don’t have background noise of speech babble. But you definitely have to try it.

I’d definitely look into starkey table mic also, and their setup, I’d expect lower total prices.

@sufhl I agree with you, prices are insanely high. Select here is 1000 eur. Common price for paradises 90 is almost 3000 eur, per piece.

There’s also possibility, if level 90 of tech isn’t needed but mics bring a lot, to buy lowest tech that’s feasible (50 maybe?) and mic, that way it ends significantly cheaper and you still solve hard situations with select on the table.

Speech to text apps sounds also like a good option to help. If job allows that.

I’m curious where you get that TableMic is for quiet situations? Admittedly both Select and TableMic do better in quiet if speaker is any distance away, but I think they’re both pretty much the same technology but the TableMic has better networking capability to use on big conference tables. Including @RogerPM

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Yes, they both use the same underlying technology and perform similarly in noise. There is a slight difference in sensitivity when Table Mic II is used in the “wide” pick-up mode, which allows it to pick-up sounds that are ~6dB softer compared to Select. This is mostly useful in quiet situations, so in that respect Blacky has a point.

It not so much the audiological performance that sets them apart, it is more the handling and specialization towards different use cases. Table Mic II is really tailored towards work life, specifically meetings. Business meetings are often a more controlled affair than family dinners etc, so the need for fine-grained control over the device is less. It’s more important that the device stays out of your way and lets you focus on your work. Sometimes having too many options is just stressful.

Select is better suited for chaotic situations where you need to be able to decide what you want to hear, as there can be multiple discussions going on at the same time.

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Awesome, so they DO have same noise cancelling tech inside? @RogerPM

Why then sufhl doesn’t seem to get much out of them in restaurant whilst I have great results in such settings with select? No touching, just leaving it there.

I mean, is it our individual needs or HA roger program can be responsible or something in the mics themselves? Eg type of mics, amount, beamforming, something?

I read somewhere that they don’t have the same ability in noise, eg that select has better one. That’s why I mentioned that @MDB, beats me if I know where from I got it…

I think they can be set up differently as far as how much you hear from hearing aid mics if I’m remembering correctly. That would be my guess.

Well, this has probably been discussed enough, but I’ll throw in my 2¢. I have Marvels with a Roger Select iN. I find the Select to be a huge benefit when I’m sitting at a dinner table with a group of people, say a round table that seats 6 or 8 people. I put the Select in the middle of the table and can understand everyone, even people across the table. When I used to go out to dinner with my spouse (pre-COVID, of course), I had her wear the Select around her neck. Again I could hear her quite well, much better than without the Select. Her voice would cut above all the background noise, likely because her voice was essentially piped directly into my ears. Kinda like an electronic ear trumpet. :wink:

I’m guessing that if someone came up to your desk, the Select would vastly improve your ability to hear them even if you just placed the Select on the edge of your desk closest to the person to whom you were talking. You could also put the Select in the palm of your hand and hold it toward them. Of course, a better option for that would be the Roger Pen, which is more highly directional. You can get some directionality out of the Select by turning on or off some of the mics around the disc, but, as I understand things, it’s not so directional as the Pen.

In looking at your audiogram, I’m thinking you would benefit greatly with the frequency lowering that you’d get with the Marvels or the new Paradise. When I switched from 8-year-old Oticon to Marvels a couple of years ago my ability to hear and distinguish high-frequency phonemes was obvious in the first couple of minutes after the Marvels had been fitted.

Now, as to difficult British accents, I understand completely. When I’m watching the nightly news on TV, or a Red Sox game, I can understand what’s going on just fine. But, when we’re watching a British TV show on BritBox, I always plug my Select into the audio out of the TV. I understand the Brits much better when they’re essentially beamed directly into my ears through the electronic ear trumpet.

That is difficult to say. One reason might be that you are not sufhl. :blush: One really need to try this out for one self. What works for one person might not work for another, and that can be due to plenty of reasons: your hearing loss, type of fitting, the actual noise level in the specific situation etc. There are simply too many variables to make a valid comparison.

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I guess even in my case also, this OPN paradigm makes things more difficult. Sometimes i feel that i can understand better without HA in very noisy environment. Hence I dont want to invest in connectclip as it is compatible only with Oticon.

I agree on that. Better to get a trial first to see if it really helps in office environment.
I have already made this request and by next week they will advise if they can provide Marvel & Roger mic for trial of 2 weeks.
Unfortunately Paradise is not yet available in UAE.