This is part three of my journey with Cochlear. This time, it'll be about the accessories I received and how I'm using them.
During the initial discussions of how the surgery will go down and what you'll be getting, you'll be asked what sort of accessories you want. From here, they provide four options. I list five here because one of them you can probably do without.
- TV Streamer – a device that streams audio from a TV or any other device with a 3.5mm audio jack. MP3 players, TVs, radios, even the PS4 controller and many other devices.
- Phone Clip – a device that streams audio from Android devices to your sound processor.
- Mini Mic – a device for noisy environments such as a restaurant or other areas where you have a lot of trouble understanding people clearly.
- Optional: Extra rechargeable batteries
- Optional: Aqua+ – a cover that gives your sound processor the ability to survive showers and the like. Honestly, I kind of wish I'd opted for this instead of the spare rechargeable batteries.
They provide two rechargeable batteries by default and also provide a non-rechargeable set of battery powered by your lovable zinc batteries you're familiar with from hearing aids. A bit of a pain but nice to have as a backup option. Had I known this, I'd have opted for the Aqua+ option, as the one thing I absolutely wished I could do was to swim underwater and shower and be able to hear under those conditions.
They also provide you with a backpack to put all of this in. I thought this was pretty nifty... but the backpack has some issues. Namely, it's not really designed for daily use for things like having laptops, tablets and whatnot in it in addition to whatever accessories you decide to take with you.
Pairing the TV Streamer was easy. This was the first accessory that I paired ahead of everything else because I realized I didn't really talk to people much in person. It was mainly over group chats over things like Discord, Skype, or text messaging via my phone. Things like that.
So, how did I accelerate my getting used to having the sound processor? Netflix! Plex! These were streamed from my TV Streamer while I worked during the night shift at KnownHost LLC. My nights are often slow and so I focus on my work but also have the ability to stream music, Netflix and things like that during the slow periods.
That was the trick to me being able to understand people more quickly. Along with the captions, of course. If you're considering getting an implant, I'd suggest doing the same thing if you want to speed up understanding people.
Works pretty nicely, especially when driving, as it allows my wife to talk to me without me having to turn my head to look at her lips, which can be dangerous whilst driving. So, useful in that aspect!
I haven't really used this beyond testing it with my interpreter calling my phone and I was able to hear her even though she was out of sight. Pretty nifty! But ultimately, currently not being used much. Most people who call me, usually call me via IP Relay or one of my videophone providers. The only person who really calls me on my phone is my mother and she doesn't do that, very often.
Thoughts on Accessories
It's nice to have the accessories for a variety of situations. I just wish they weren't so expensive! For example, here's a list of prices:
- Mini Mic 2 – $295.
- Mini Mic 2+ – $395.
- TV Streamer – $325.
- Phone Clip – $295.
- Aqua+ Sleeve – $50.
- Aqua+ Coil – $210.
- New Rechargeable Battery – $235!
- Battery Charger – $110.
Best to get the Aqua+ Kit, as it's $259 and comes with everything you need to make sure your processor works as best as possible in watery conditions. There are a few other items that could be useful, particularly the consumables such as the safety line that helps keep your processor safe if you happen to drop it for any reason.
Part 4 will be posted soon. Check back later.