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Thu, 23 Jul 2009

Cybernetic Enhancement

A couple of days ago I got fitted with my hearing aid. Which, incidentally, is green with sparkly bits. It makes a tremendous difference, I can actually hear people talking on my left side now, and when one of the lifts goes "ding!" I can tell which one it is without having to look at them all. Directional hearing is awesome!

Two of the features of all modern hearing aids are the telecoil and DAI (direct audio input).

The telecoil is a useless obsolete hangover from simpler days. I'm sure that back in the 1960s they were better than nothing, but these days primitive wideband receivers are unacceptable because they indiscriminately pick up noise from all over the spectrum. And there's a lot of noise around. For instance, it picks up 50Hz hum from the mains electricity supply, and computers spew crap all over the first few 100 Hz. We have better wireless technology now.

DAI is a standard interface for plugging audio devices directly into the hearing aid. Although when I say standard, I do of course mean "standard but with a funky connector". A *really* funky connector. The obvious uses for this are to plug a bluetooth thingy into it so I can use a phone through the hearing aid, and to plug my ipod into it.

There is just one bluetooth thingy made, and it's quite expensive. But ho-hum, small market etc, so I suppose that's to be expected. However, the DAI socket is a bog standard analogue affair, so there's really no reason for there not to be loads of things to help me plug my ipod into it. But no. There aren't. There are a few for people who have two hearing aids, but not for people who can hear just fine on one side so need one DAI thingy and one normal earphone. Grrr.

Posted at 07:59 by David Cantrell
keywords: deafness | music
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