Why you should use remote microphone technology with your child's hearing devices
When you’ve joined the club of parents of kids with hearing loss you start to hear lots of buzzwords and phrases. One of the most popular phrases being “access to sound.”
As audiologists our job is to educate and provide you with the tools, resources, and strategies to help your child achieve whatever goals they have set out in life.
When we use the word “access to sound” what we're really trying to say is that we don’t want your child to miss out on anything due to their hearing loss. Whether that is the dog barking, the plural /s/ sound at the end of the word, or their little brother or sister giggling.
Our goal is for your child to be able to access the sounds of the world as close as possible to their hearing peers.
Imagine you’re on a walk with your little one. They are sitting in the stroller about 3 feet in front of you, with their back towards you, no visual cues, and the cover is pulled over protecting them from the sun. All of these things can create barriers to communication, especially for a little one who is hard of hearing.
While hearing aid technology has come a long way it can still have its shortcomings. It doesn’t necessarily work perfectly when it comes to listening in background noise or when someone is speaking at a distance. This is where other tools come into play such as remote microphones!
WHAT IS A REMOTE MICROPHONE?
Remote microphone systems are meant to be used to overcome challenging listening situations that hearing aids cannot necessarily account for, such as excessive background noise or when someone is speaking to you at a distance. Remote microphone systems allow you to stream your voice directly to your child’s hearing devices, so they do not miss a minute. This technology can reduce listening fatigue and make it easier for your child to hear and communicate in tricky listening situations.
HOW DO I USE A REMOTE MICROPHONE?
The setup of this device is fairly simple. First off, make sure your remote microphone is compatible with your child’s hearing aids. Then you simply pair your child’s devices to the microphone, clip it to your shirt, and start talking. They should be able to hear you directly in their hearing aids from up to 65 feet away.
WHEN SHOULD I USE A REMOTE MICROPHONE?
There are lot’s of situations where this technology can come into play and make a huge difference in your child’s ability to hear, listen, and engage. A remote microphone can be used in any situation where there may be a lot of background noise or when talking to your little one at a distance. Below are just a few examples of everyday situations where remote mic technology might make a difference.
- In the car
- The car can be a tricky situation because your child is seated away from you, unable to see your face, and they are competing with other background noises from the road, traffic, radio or other siblings. A remote microphone can be the perfect tool to help communicate with your child in the car.
- On a walk
- Like I mentioned before, the stroller can create several barriers to communication. So while you’re walking and talking about all of the wonderful things around you, clip on your remote microphone so your child is able to soak in all of that wonderful language.
- At the park
- If your little one is running around with their friends while climbing on the playground, it may be difficult to get their attention from a distance. The remote microphone is a great way to stay engaged with your child even from afar.
- Playing sports
- Using a remote microphone will allow your child’s coach to communicate directly with them so they never miss a play!
WHERE CAN I GET A REMOTE MICROPHONE?
You can purchase a remote microphone from your local audiologist. This is an additional cost to the hearing aids but sometimes hearing aid companies will run promotions and will provide a remote microphone for free the purchase of hearing aids. Talk to your audiologist to see what options are available for you!
Remote microphones are a wonderful tool to use along with your child’s hearing aids for those tricky listening situations. It is not meant to be used at all times but can certainly make a big difference when engaging in meaningful conversation with your little one when background noise or talking at a distance is inevitable.
Looking for more tips and resources to help support your child? Check out the rest of my blog or schedule a complimentary 15 minute phone call with me so I can learn more about how I can support your child’s hearing journey and connect with you!
If you're wanting to feel educated and empowered to learn how to support your child through their hearing journey, schedule a call with me!