Oticon hearing aids: minirite vs minirite-T: value of a telecoil?
February 25, 2018 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Two separate questions: 1. is the presence of a telecoil very useful, and 2. which Oticon/iPhone features won't work with the telecoil model? More inside...

What specific Oticon software features and options made to work with the iPhone will I miss out on if I buy the Oticon Opn 1 minirite-T with telecoils for use with the iPhone rather than the plain minirite? I'm committed to buying the Oticon Opn brand hearing aids.

Reason for asking: if buying the version with telecoils (minirite-T) I will not be able to get the rechargeable battery option which is available only in the model without telecoils (minirite). To forgo the telecoils might not be a big loss since there are only about 134 theaters and performing arts centers in 28 states (partial list) wired with loops, according to
http://www.hearingloop.org/LoopedTheatres_Dec2017.pdf
Many or most movie theaters and museums now seem to offer alternative portable hearing solutions that don't require the expense of installing telecoil loops. While there are many other venues that have installed telecoil loop wiring (subways stations, city administrative bldgs, churches, etc), is there really that much added benefit to the tourist to get t-coils, considering the still relatively sparse distribution in the U.S. of this particular assistive device technology?
posted by paphun123 to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
It's not just entertainment venues. A T-coil may work better with your iPhone. You will see an iPhone hearing aid compatibility rating of something like M3, T4. The M3 is the compatibility with the microphone in your hearing aid and the T4 is the compatibility with the T-coil in your hearing aid. Normally you add the two numbers together 3+4=7.

A combined rating of 6 is excellent. 5 is normal. 4 is usable.

Your mileage may vary, depending on your hearing aid but a telecoil certainly helps with a telecoil equipped phone. It makes it easier to position the phone over your ear. Otherwise you have to be very precise in positioning over the microphone or you won't hear anything.

Your retailer should allow you to try both risk free with your phone. That's the only way to know for sure which works best for you.
posted by JackFlash at 10:15 AM on February 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


Agreed with JackFlash. Telecoil is great for all phones, mobile and landline. It cuts out the background noise. The only disadvantage is that people will accidentally sneak up on you. I have fancy HAs with bluetooth now (which is the bee's knees if you can afford it) but I always had telecoil before that. Movies are loud enough that I don't need another device, but a neckloop was great when I went to see plays. I'm not sure I can do that with bluetooth, incidentally.
posted by AFABulous at 6:56 AM on February 26, 2018


Hi I'm an audiologist but not yours.

My default is to always get my patients a T-coil, because they can come in really handy. That said, most people never use it.

The Opns will connect with your iPhone via Bluetooth and allow you to stream phone calls that way. If, however, you are still using a landline or if you don't have an iPhone, the T-coil can be really nice for phone calls. It is also handy if you go to lots of places with loops, which are, as you mention, sort of rare (at least in the US, they are much more common in Europe), but you do run into them more than you think (churches, lecture halls, hotel rooms even).

I suppose if you were my patient and really wanted the rechargeable, I would probably steer you that direction, particularly if you use an iPhone and take most of your calls that way. If you frequently went to spaces with loops that might be a different story, but in my experience most of the patients I fit with a t-coil don't end up using it all that much.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:38 AM on February 26, 2018


Thanks, everyone, for your insights.
posted by paphun123 at 8:56 AM on February 27, 2018


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