Problems Hearing on Landline Telephone

I have new Oticon OPN 1 Hearing Aids.

Regardless of landline phone, mine or any of my clients, I find I really struggle to hear on the phone. A major part of the problem is a volume issue - men speak too softly and secondly is a distinguishment issue.

Week before last I went to audio for my third appointment and he has increased the lower frequencies by 2.5db. Volume wise I think its better, but clarity is just not there. I seem in particular to be struggling with consonants such as J in just or b in bad and a lot of other consonants.

If I turn the hearing up volume up to hear better, I struggle because all the background noise is also increased to the point where I am having to shut windows, turn off fans, close doors on background noise just to be able to hear on the phone and even then I am struggling as the clarity is not quite right.

I never was great on a telephone with call centres and men that mumble, but it considerably worse with these Oticons to the point where I just can’t use the phone.

What do you recommend I try or that I ask him to look at. In a normal working environment I seem to be able to hear alright, although I think the default volume could be increased a bit.

I gave up on the telephone and I can rarely understand a message on the answering machine.

But, I do quite well with my LG cell phone using one of my hearing aids as a speaker using a Bluetooth connection. My hearing aids connect directly to my cellphone but most of the major brands apparently need an intermediate device of some kind between the phone and the hearing aids.

To the OP: did you get the telecoil version of the OPN? That version should help you with using the landlines more effectively because it doesn’t rely on the mic to pick up the sound, but it uses the telecoil to pick up the sound from the landlline magnetic speaker from the handset.

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@member6: For an Android phone yes. iphones and made for iphone HA’s don’t need an intermediate device. And one (3) HA can do the same as what you have for phone calls (but not streaming).
But yes. I wonder that Volusiano is seeing the actual problem with the OP.

The OPN has a different approach where it keeps some of the noise that other aids suppress. If you are like @Volusiano, you find that a great approach. If you have always had noise/discrimination problem, they probably aren’t the best choice.

Make sure all OPN problems are resolved before the end of your trial. If that doesn’t happen, try a different brand. Don’t let the trial expire without a solution and end up with something that doesn’t work for you.

I was under the impression that telecoil is something different from magnets? Yes he activated something and I will test this with one client where I know that they have this capability in their phone. My phone is a Gigaset Dx800a and apparently is hearing aid compatible telephone but neither the Oticon nor the Resound does anything different with this phone.

I will ask him to confirm on this point.

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I do hear better with my mobile phone than the landline, but I work on clients sites and once in a while, I need to use their landline to make long phone calls to support for a 3rd party product. So I really need to be able to hear properly on the phone. You should ask your audio to look into your issue as you should not have to put up with problems like that. I did not have this problem with my Resound aids, so maybe your aids just need adjustment.

Yes that is a possibility as the sound is muddy on a phone is the best way to best describe it. I find it very difficult to understand what someone is saying.

I am going to ask the chap when my trial expires because I do have a major problem with hearing guys on the phone. Women not so much - maybe they speak better, louder or because of higher frequency, but guys are terrible on the phone.

I will actually take my landline phone in and we can look at this together, because the phone is supposed to be hearing aid compatible.

Is there a reason you can’t use your mobile when on site at these clients?
You might be able to attach a magnet on the client phone (temporarily) to trigger the telecoil to hear on both sides and amplification. Once set up of course.

Because I use PAYGO as I very rarely need to make phone calls either on my behalf or on behalf of my client. The only time that I use the client’s phone is when I know its going to be a long call and its an 0800 number. Much cheaper to use a landline than mobile.

I could have a magnet that I carry with me and I can see if this works, however I never had such problems hearing on the phone before with my Resound (I have never used a magnet, although I think it will help improve my hearing on the phone, its never been essential as it were).

Sounds like some settings issues. Volusiano would be better able to speak OPN on this.

But if you were to use your own phone, you would know that you have a reliable method of communication entirely in your control for your needs.

Some aids have a program that turns on the telecoil. I suspect that your aids don’t even have the telecoil. Telecoil is old tech but useful in a number of situations. It should work well with the old style handsets.

@rasmus_braun Might be able to tell you which brands have a telecoil program.

So am I correct, that it’s magnets that is the new technology now? Telecoil is obsolete?

Relatively obsolete. It never really caught on in the US but more useful in Europe. With phones it captures the magnetic waves and enhances call. However, it was designed for old phones that had a magnetic speaker. Your phones have a rating that shows how well it works. Most laws require this.

Most Phones in the Uk do not support telecoil and I think that this is the main reason why it never really caught on here as I have never had the opportunity to use a phone that supported it.

I’m no expert but I think some concepts are overlapping here.
As I understand it, what didn’t catch on in North America was the hearing loop in public places. Apparently these were far more prevalent in Europe. The telecoil picks up sound via induction and that is played to the HA speakers. Nice and discrete.
The magnet was used as the triggering of the telecoil feature due to indeed the lack of magnets in modern phone speakers.
Then, these modern phones are supposed to provide some sort of HA compatibility so that the telecoil can be triggered. Failing that then one can use a magnet to trigger the telecoil.
Obviously the HA has to have a telecoil installed and be set up to be triggered by a magnet and to automatically go to the telecoil program.

That’s what I understand anyway.

You probably are right - more for cinemas, concert halls etc. I never needed it for that. The landline was another story, but it depends on the phone. Those old fashioned phones made forty years ago - they were brilliant. Modern phones are crap in comparison, they are made too cheaply.

Anyway, I will ask my audio what he suggests.

It’s very simple. The landline headset usually uses a conventional speaker in the headset. Conventional speakers employ a magnetic base connected and driven by the audio signal. This magnetic base vibrates on the audio signal, causing the paper cone connected to it to vibrate along, moving the air and creating the sound that you hear.

In addition to vibrating the cone paper, the magnetic base in the speaker also creates a magnetic field that corresponds to the audio signal.

If the hearing aid is equipped with a telecoil, this telecoil is induced with this magnetic field when the handset speaker is applied against the hearing aid. This magnetic induction on the telecoil recreates the audio signal and it’s delivered to the hearing aid for processing. So in the telecoil mode, you don’t get the audio signal from the hearing aid mic, you get it from the telecoil. You can even mute your hearing aid mics to block external sounds and listen to the phone’s audio signal only. No special noise reduction is needed.

The only time when you need a fake magnet on the OPN is when you have a non telecoil version of the OPN and you need to trick it into the Autophone mode which relies on the magnetic field of a conventional speaker from either a landline handset or headphone’s to be activated. Like when you use a cell phone which doesn’t use the conventional speaker style. This Autophone mode helps pick up the sound from the hearing aid mic more effectively, but it’s still not as clean and ideal as the telecoil because it’s still using the hearing aid mic which has its own limitation when applied against the conventional speakers.

With the telecoil version of the OPN, in the telecoil phone mode, you’ll be able to get the best audio from landline phones. And you can even mute your hearing aid mics to block out external noise while you’re on the phone because the phone audio source is picked up by the telecoil and not the hearing aid mic.

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That is confusing as that directly contradicts what two audios have said unless I have misunderstood them. I will speak to my chap and find out what I have. But yes, I need something like what you describe. My Resound Hearing Aids had this functionality then it was lost along one of the adjustments.

I will get back to you with what my audio says. Thanks