Just got the TV Connector for Phonak Marvel (the new model with the buttons on top) last week, and figured I’d post a little review.
Overall: it’s great!
It comes well-packaged, and as a nice perk it comes with all the connectors that you’d want – analog 3.5mm connector, USB-to-mini-USB power cord, adapter so you can plug the USB into a normal power socket, and even a TOSLINK optical cable!
Setup could not have been easier. I’m using for connecting to my computer, rather than a TV, so I can play games and watch videos while still hearing my wife and what’s around me. I plugged it in, connected the optical cable to the back on my computer, hit the power button, and ta-da, it was connected to my hearing aids. Turning the power on or off via the convenient top button causes my hearing aids to connect and disconnect automatically (I can also manually switch via the Phonak app). Additionally, with the app I can adjust the mix between my computer and the rest of the world.
Audio quality is pretty good – when sweeping through frequencies I get a bit off hiss/distortion down in the 100Hz range, and up in the 6000Hz range, but the bulk of frequencies are crisp and clear. And listening to audio (including high-pitched stuff like relaxing bird sounds) doesn’t exhibit any of the issues I could hear if I fed it pure tones.
Range is solid, probably 20-30 feet before I start getting distortion or dropouts, and that’s with it tucked away behind the side of the couch. I bet with a clear line of sight I could get a bit more. As I go in an out of range, I get a little chirp and it automatically disconnects and reconnects, which is nice.
Battery usage is GREAT. If I stream a few hours of bluetooth, I’ll definitely notice the battery hit (I have the Marvel M90R), but streaming from the connector causes no battery hit that I can notice, even when using it for 6+ hours.
Unlike bluetooth, there’s also no noticeable delay. Since I’m using this with my computer, I really notice if sound effects in games have latency, which made bluetooth not a great option (along with the battery usage issue). The TV connect is spot-on timing wise, which is great.
The only real downside is the price – it’s somewhere in the $150-$200 range, which is awfully pricey given that it’s probably a $10 piece of tech.
But yeah, overall, I’m very very happy with it, and will probably be picking one up that I can keep at work so I can stream music/audio more without worrying about the battery hit that comes with bluetooth.