I have recently discovered many uses of the wireless devices for the Nucleus 6 Sound Processor. I want to share with other recipients what I have learned. Some of the wireless capabilities were shared with me by my audiologists, but only because I asked. I have discovered other ways to use these devices on my own. Using these devices makes my life easier and hopefully, they will do the same for you!
TV Streamer: The first wireless component I was anxious to use was the TV Streamer, but I had some difficulty when I attempted to hook it up. My audiologist helped me with the connection, explaining that the audio-out cord was for newer TVs. Once I found the audio-out on the TV, I was able to use the TV streamer, on which I have come to rely when watching TV. Prior to my cochlear implant (CI) surgery (7/2013), I had worn hearing aids for over 35 years, and as my hearing became worse over the years, I relied on closed captioning (CC) when watching TV. I still keep the CC on, but don’t need to use it all the time. Listening to News programs with the TV Streamer allows me to hear so well, that I don’t need to look at the CC. For other TV programs (when the talking is rapid and/or when there is music playing at the same time that people are speaking) listening becomes more challenging, even with the TV Streamer. So, I use the CC when I need to, sometimes just to check what I have heard. I enjoy watching TV more now that I can use the TV Streamer, and it isn’t frustrating for me anymore.
What I knew initially, when I first got the wireless components:
Mini Mic: I knew I could ask someone speaking in front of a group if s/he would clip the mini-mic to her/his shirt so that I could hear and understand better. But, I have not actually needed to do that as yet.
What I recently learned about the wireless devices:
When visiting my audiologist for my annual evaluation, I mentioned to her that I was planning a trip to California and would be visiting Alcatraz via the audio tour. I explained my hesitation about taking the tour. She said, “No problem, just use your mini-mic and the cord it came with, and plug it into the headphones and you will be able to hear directly into your CI.
I had the most AMAZING experience! I was able to hear and understand every word of the audio tour and enjoyed being able to listen to it like everyone else, with such ease! Using the mini-mic for the audio tour was one of the highlights of my trip to CA!
On my trip back east, I realized I could probably plug the mini-mic into the armrest on the plane and listen to music or a movie. So I tried it and watched and listened to a movie on the airplane (and without CC)!
I recently flew to California. Again, I used the mini-mic on the plane and was able to hear the Republican Presidential Debate on the plane without the use of CC. I was amazed I could do this in spite of the background noise from the airplane.
Just last week, I went to NYC with friends to see “An American in Paris.” Again, I decided to try what I had learned from my audiologist and used at Alcatraz. When I got to the theater, I borrowed the infrared headphones (the theater is not “looped”), and I plugged the cord for my mini-mic into the headphones. I put the headphones around my neck, like a neck-loop. I turned on my mini-mic and was able to thoroughly enjoy and understand the dialogue in the show. I was amazed that I was even able to understand the words to most of the songs!
Recently, while staying in California, I borrowed my daughter’s car, which is not equipped with either a GPS or Bluetooth. Since I am not familiar with the roads in California, I had to rely on the GPS on my iPhone to find my way. I was nervous about driving alone and trying to listen to the iPhone while driving as I still have difficulty hearing in the car, especially with the noise from the tires and the road when driving over 35 or 40 miles an hour. I was fearful of having to look at the phone to read the directions because that can be dangerous. I had been wearing my phone clip while in CA. While driving, I turned on the GPS on my iPhone and I made the most amazing discovery. With the phone clip turned on, I could hear and UNDERSTAND every word from the GPS. Not only did this make driving in a strange place easy for me, with no fear of getting lost, it was also much safer! I did not need to look at my phone to read the directions!
To all Nucleus 6 recipients: I encourage all of you to try using your wireless components! With the wireless devices, it takes much less energy to hear and understand! You will be amazed at how easy it is to use them and how wonderful your life will be! I love listening to sounds directly into my CI! Happy listening!
To learn how True Wireless technology may help you hear moments that matter to you, click here.
Gail is a Cochlear Volunteer who “pays it forward” by sharing her story and helping others who may benefit from an implantable hearing solution. To become a volunteer and share your story, apply today!