I use voice to text apps such as AVA and Microsoft Translator in Conversation Mode (when I don’t have reliable internet access) to help me follow conversations in noisy places like cafes and bars and restaurants.
I have a setup that works well for one on one using a small Bluetooth Microphone (I currently use Hey Mic), but it is just not sustainable to pass around a microphone in a group. Hearing people are just awkward, forgetful, often don’t point or wear the microphone properly and tire of passing the microphone around quickly leading to a stressful experience for me with the constant shepherding and distraction of managing use of the microphone.
So, I’ve been researching conference or speakerphone style microphones. The problem is, most of these do not filter out background noise, and they don’t focus on one voice at a time (Voice to text apps generally don’t work well if voices overlap). I’ve narrowed down my search to a few, currently eMeet is offering the closest thing to what I’m looking for and I’m considering buying their upcoming product the M220 which is an upgrade to the current M2 will be daisy-chainable to provide better microphone range for a larger table, but I feel like I’m barking up the wrong tree and wanted to check here and see if there are any devices made by or specifically for deaf/hard of hearing that would work stand-alone for voice to text purposes. A requirement is that the device would be able to output to something standard like a 3.5 mm jack since this needs to get to apps on my phone (I have an iPhone 6s at the moment), has a battery, does not require owning or use of a proprietary hearing aid and does an amazing job of filtering background noise, enhancing and equalizing only nearby voices (one at a time if possible). It’d be nice if I could order one without an audiologist but would be willing to do that if necessary for a microphone of impressive capabilities like what I’m looking for.