By Curtis Dickinson-CEO, The Hearing Loss Help Company
Copyright ©January 1, 2004 Curtis Dickinson
Hello readers! Welcome to the greatest consumer-oriented hearing assistive technology column in the universe. For this column we will describe several systems that let you inductively couple your hearing aids to telephones, cell phones, walkmans, Ipods, Palm pilots, MPS player and Hi-FI/Audio devices via the telecoils in your hearing aids. Lost yet?
An inductive coupling is a means of transferring a magnetic signal from a transmitter directly to a magnetic receiver. For our purposes here the receiver is the telecoil in your hearing aid. The transmitter is the HATIS device and you will discover it has multiple uses. In plain English, the sound goes directly from the device (telephone) directly into the telecoils in your hearing aid, eliminating external competition for noise. To learn about Telecoils, you can follow this link: http://hearing-loss-help-co.com/telecoils.htm.
For telecommunication devices the HATIS comes in multiple styles:
- Director single, Director dual: For heavy phone users.
- Freedom Mach I and Mach II: For Behind-the-Ear hearing aid users.
- Producer: Designed for In-the Ear hearing aid users.
- Lite: An emergency use device.
- Epic: For fun use with Hi/Fi audio.
Each product, used for a different purpose will move the digital interference produced by similar devices, away from your telecoils.
For those who use the phone for hours on end, such as telephone operators or telemarketers the HATIS Directors are most convenient as they have a headband, which fits behind the head. This is the most expensive style but the microphone is closer to the mouth and it moves with your head, keeping the mouthpiece always in front of your mouth. Very nice indeed! Director single, or dual correspond to the single ear vs dual ear need or ability. The newest Director models allow you to hear your own voice, but it depends on the type of telecommunication devices used. Using them with your device is the only way to determine if it will work in your specific situation. The Director models are a great advantage in helping us modulate our voices, plus it helps us not wonder if our "ears" are "on".
There are two types of HATIS devices for telecoil equip hearing aids. The HATIS Freedom Mach II and I are for behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, and the HATIS Producer is for in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids.
The Mach I and II are both shaped like a BTE hearing aid and are very thin. It is placed between the BTE hearing aid and the head. Mach I is for one telecoil use; Mach II is for two-telecoil use giving you the ability to use either ear on the phone. Both have an in-line microphone for hands-free use.
The HATIS Producer is for in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids with telecoils. It looks like a one-sided headphone and is made for just one ear. It uses a half-moon shaped plastic ring to hold onto the ear. It sits over the ear to the top of the ITE hearing aid. This one has a boom-style microphone that extends down near your mouth, and is considered lighter than competitor models. It also includes a volume control, as some ITE hearing aids do not produce as much power as BTE hearing aids.
The HATIS systems mentioned come with a cord with a 2.5 mm plug at one end, which is inserted into the 2.5 mm telephone jack. This jack is also called a "hands-free" jack and is standard fare with most cellular phones. To hear and talk with the phone, place the HATIS next to your hearing aid, plug the other end into the phone, talk through the microphone provided all the while hearing through the telecoil of your hearing aid!
There are two other styles of HATIS that might be of interest one for enjoyment, and one for life on the go. The HATIS Epic is for Hi-FI/Audio listening. This device is the same as the BTE description except it does not need the microphone, thus it costs less. The Epic simply plugs into your computer speaker jack, CD/DVD player, Stereo, TV, Palm Pilot, Ipod, MP3 player, etc. The two induction devices called silhouettes are placed between the hearing aid and the head. Your hearing aids must be switched to the telecoil position for the sound to be transmitted to your telecoil- the result? Very nice sound, indeed!
The HATIS Lite is used mainly as a back up or for emergencies. It is similar to the MACH I but is much, much smaller. The "sweet" spot is small, so you may have to move it around to find the strongest signal. The design of this unit, makes it less efficient than the others, is not recommended for any use other then a temporary fix.
All H.A.T.I.S. systems are infused with a germicide and have a 6-month manufacturer warranty.
The author of this article sells them at www.hearing-loss-help-co.com
(Mention this article and receive a free H.A.T.I.S Lite with a H.A.T.I.S.
To contact Curtis Email him at Curtis@hearing-loss-help-co.com
The website for the manufacturer is: www.hatis.com
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