Phonak Marvels on Viking Cruise

I just scheduled my second Viking River Cruise. I had a wonderful experience last time, but had trouble using the headsets provided on walking tours simply because I needed to remove at least one aid to use the earplugs provided. It occured to me later that I might have been able to use my tv connector in some portable fashion as an alternative to the earpiece that plugged into their provided receiver. Has anyone else tried this?

If they have regular audio output, it should work. Don’t forget to bring battery to power tv connector. Like the one for mobile phones. It is bulky solution but it works.

Don’t forget your audio cable for tv connector, male male one.

I tested this at home, by plugging it into mobile phone to test streaming and call quality, and was great as listening tv is great. Just keep in mind, if your tv connector program doesn’t have noise reduction or so, and you might need it, phone app can’t do that, just increase or decrease amount of sound through the HA mics.

Anyhow, test the contraption with some music or podcast on your phone and in outside (I guess cruise is outside) and you’ll see how it works for you.

And just to mention, if you already have roger mics, some of them can be connected the same way (select, pen), and they have battery within them already.

The TV Connector requires power or a battery pack. Go with the Phonak PartnerMic for Marvel. The Roger Select also works, but is quite expensive, though it also can be used as a TV connector too.

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It slipped my mind since it has only one use case which isn’t my interest. If it has audio jack input then yes, that should work too.

Edit: it doesn’t have. So only if you put it directly onto the speaking person if they exist.

I was thinking it would go on the speaker. I think the sound quality would be better than the what I have experienced with walking tours in the past. Lots of variables with those setups. Not all even have an audio out.

The mic is a great idea, thanks! I cannot imagine a tour guide refusing to wear an additional mike. Last time around, I had to trail them around like a puppy dog, which certainly must have gotten on their nerves and also make me look like the biggest jerk in the crowd. Lots of people with hearing aids were able to place the provided earbud close enough to their aids to hear things… didnt work for me. I might go prepared with more than one workaround, this time. Considering a bluetooth dongle, as well.

You can get the Phonak PartnerMic for Marvel from Amazon for $200. I use the Roger Select as a remote mic, table mic and a TV connector. Way more $$. So if you already have the TV Connector, the PartnerMic will work fine.

I had no problem getting guides to wear mics. The Marvel PartnerMic is good up to 80 ft. away, so you don’t have to stand next to the guide.

Hopefully you will find it useful for other things.

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If your Marvels have a telecoil, you could also plug a neckloop into the handheld receiver and just switch your hearing aids to t-coil mode. No additonal power needed.

On a cruise last year, I found all of the guides very willing to wear my remote mic. It worked fine. Just don’t forget to get it back!

Yeah, put a tag on it with your name and room number on it.

Good to know, Thanks! Mic sure is overpriced though. I wonder if it is on the VA list.

Just about any accessory you need is available from the VA.
Just curious, are cruises even happening now?

Cruise is a year off, but they book quickly.

You’ve got guts - even scheduling a trip on a floating petri dish. I hope they wll refund $ you paid if/when trip is cancelled. Even if vaccine is discovered/invented by next spring - that doesn’t mean that infections will suddenly disappear.
OTH - trip does sound interesting. Since we take planes and cars to travel around the world - can’t even make plans.

The River cruises only carry a couple hundred. Viking doesn’t allow kids. Just about everybody is in the target population so will probably be hyper alert. I purchased cancel for any reason insurance as well. If you want to cruise with Viking you need to plan way ahead. I’m hoping things get a lot better by July 2021 but I can delay it at least another year beyond that without losing the whole payment. So I dont have a lot of guts but I do have a bucket list.


On my Viking river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam in 2013 I was able to use the Compilot on all the shore excursions. I just connected Viking’s personal receiver (on a lanyard) to the Compilot with a pin plug cable, and all of the guide’s audio came directly into my Phonak Audéos … even from about 100 feet away. It’s really too bad the Compilot doesn’t work with Marvels!

Domedish, your best solution would be any of the Roger remote microphones but perhaps best would be the Roger Pen or EasyPen (essentially the same), since that can be worn on a lanyard by the guide, or you can hold it and point it directionally at the guide. The following may be of interest. I have Phonak Marvel M90-RT h/a from VA with Roger Select and Roger PartnerMic, as well as TV Connector (which is not a Roger device but works with the h/a using a different Bluetooth signal modulation scheme that some call Airstream.) The TV Connector conveniently works with the TV audio output which is a fiber optic signal. Wife has older Siemens h/a and was having trouble with room audio, even with a multi speaker surround sound system. I could perhaps have replaced the TV Connector with one of the Roger devices, but we wanted independent control of the audio, and she wanted her own arrangement anyway for tours, etc. So she got a Roger EasyPen and a Roger Mylink on eBay. The EasyPen sits in its base which is then wired to the headphone jack of the surround sound system. I intentionally did not pair my h/a with it in order to avoid duplicate signal feed from both it and the TV Connector. The Roger EasyPen connection cuts off the speakers but we don’t care since when sitting to watch TV we have audio directly into the h/a. The Roger EasyPen, like the Roger Pen, streams audio to her Roger MyLink and she either plugs headphones into it instead of using her h/a, or as per the original intent sets the h/a on telecoil which is the usual way a MyLink connects with h/a of any manufacturer, as long as they have a t-coil setting. She can control the audio level either directly with the buttons on the MyLink, with her h/a buttons or with the volume control for the surround sound system which is the easiest and provides a finer level of adjustment. I can do so with my h/a volume control or via buttons on the top of the TV Connector, but I rarely have to adjust it. Meanwhile, she can watch TV with no speaker audio so I don’t need to hear it if I don’t want to, and vice versa. BTW, be aware that a MyLink without the preceding word Roger is for FM transmitters and is not compatible with Roger devices. You must have a Roger MyLink which so states on the faceplate of the device, which will also have a s/n beginning 13 or higher. As mentioned earlier, the Roger MyLink will not work with a Phonak TV Connector. If you need a regular MyLink (not Roger) for use with the older Phonak Inspiron Wireless Dynamic FM Transmitter or similar device, let me know because I have two of those. Also, an alternative to Viking River Cruises is Grand Circle Tours (GCT), the small ship and river cruise side of OAT, Overseas Adventure Travel. We’ve gone on two OAT trips with excellent experiences, and had a GCT Danube cruise booked for later this month, which we hope to reschedule when it’s safe to do so. If you are interested in OAT or GCT tours, send me a message and I can give you a discount code that’s available to their past travelers.

Sounds like the Phonac Partnermic is the best fit for me. Kinda pricey at $200 ,so I hope VA will help with that. I would not even have to carry around the viking supplied receiver. It works at 2.4 Ghz, though, and wonder if bodies in the crowd will interfere.

A cheaper possibility would be to purchase a bluetooth transmitter dongle which would plug into the Viking receiver. Dongles cost around $30. Not sure though if it would pair with Marvels, though. Anyone tried it? They are commonly used to connect bluetooth headsets.
Same 2.4 ghz concern with body blocking.

The advantage of Roger Pen (or EasyPen) over Roger PartnerMic is that it has the additional hand-held directional pickup feature, which could obviate the need to surrender your device to a tour guide. On the other hand, a guide may not speak very loudly, especially in consideration of other nearby tour groups or in a religious or museum setting, expecting that his listeners would have the benefit of their individual radio receivers and earbuds. If that turned out to be the case, you could provide it to the guide with the neck lanyward attached, same as for a PartnerMic. I would not expect crowds to be a problem in picking up the signal from a mic of whichever model when worn by your guide. The transmitted beamwidth of such a device is not narrow, and the signal will bounce around and be reflected in the area, even if you sought to be distanced from the rest of the group. VA should be receptive to your need. In my case, I had done the research on available accessories and my audiologist was also aware of most of their features, so was amenable to providing what I requested for the differential uses which I articulated. TV Connector because it has a fiber optic input to match the audio output available on my TV. Roger Select for table top, conference/social group settings. PartnerMic for one to one reception. (Roger Select will do that too, but I did not want to risk damage to it in that kind of more volatile, mobile setting, and happily, the audiologist was pretty amenable to my rationale.)


Regular BT, like phone to Marvels is of inferior quality than the connection between marvels and roger mics or marvels and tv connector. Partner mic uses the same thing as tv connector.

What I mean by that?
Phone BT needs clear view, and if you have a wall between you and phone and add distance, signal cuts out. My rough estimate based on my apartment, 10m clear sight, ok, but same distance or less with a wall (so turn into another room), break signal.

Roger and TV connector on the other hand go through several walls (concrete and plaster type) and bigger distance, like 15m, no cut. I have one single spot that I found so far in my apartment where signal will die, and that’s the opposite side of apartment, and TV is close to the side, not in the middle.

I wouldn’t worry about bodies, just distance in closed venues. And if in open, that could be a problem, so mitigate it by closer distance and clear line of sight.

Phone BT to marvels work ok even in my bag in open (nearest building is 50m away, I’m on a bridge but no walls there either), only condition is that it’s directly between my HAs. So in a plane that would cut me perpendicular to the ground through my nose, leaving each HA on its side. If I turn my head, signal dies in one HA.

I didn’t test roger mics or TV connector in the same situation.

However, be warned. For roger mics to work you need to buy roger receiver. In case of marvels since the hardware is there you need only what I call licence /key part.
You can obtain it by buying device which name ends in ‘iN’ (comes with 2) or 2x roger x receiver for dai shoes and transferring the licence with a device (your fitter can do that).
Also, you need only one iN device, because you don’t need more than one ‘licence’ in your HA (nor you can install more than one).

But you can pair your HA with bunch of mics once you have that ‘licence’ in it.

With partner mic and tv connector you don’t need roger license because they’re not roger mics. And that’s one of the reasons why they’re cheaper.

So, BT dongle could work (HA is in pairing mode for a few seconds when you turn it on, if that helps with info how to pair it, I have no experience), but parter mic should handle better the distance and obstacles.

Oh and sound quality of phonak or roger devices is much better compared to BT. I mean for speech. That was my main focus of comparison.

Hope this helps somewhat :blush:

Edit pen vs easy pen, for pen you can choose and fix the mode (lanyard, omni, interview, automatic) while easy is only in automatic, using gyroscope. I don’t like when devices think too much what I want, I want to tell them what I want.

Distance at which lanyard works is around the neck, but outside in the restaurant it didn’t pick up voice even at 15cm or closer. I think only at 5cm.

Interview mode was significantly better and could pick up the same very soft spoken person from around 50cm.

Omni was completely useless in that specific situation.
But you couldn’t lay down easy pen and fix it in interview mode and point (eg on a glass) to spare yourself of holding it.