Posts Tagged 'Oticon Spirit Zest loop setting'

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hearing loop heist

Before posting off my comprehensive list of suggestions on how to improve the experience of hearing impaired jurors at Glasgow Sheriff Court, I thought I’d better establish that the Oticons were actually working properly. There’s nothing worse than accidentally perjuring yourself in a complaint letter to the Justiciary.

A loop testing opportunity presented itself that very evening, as the 17:02 train drew out of Exhibition Centre station without me on board, despite a heroic, if slightly reckless, sprint down the wet stairs. Huffing and puffing, I noticed the ticket office was less busy than usual, so I pretended to take great interest in the unattended luggage notice on a nearby monitor, whilst I hatched a plan. I kept glancing furtively at the diminishing ticket queue, until the final condition of my hastily devised Loop Testing Protocol was met.

1. Friendly looking ticket man, check.

2. Blue ‘loop system active’ light illuminated, check.

3. Microphone visible somewhere on counter, check.

4. No other passengers in immediate vicinity, check.

The time was right, I had to move fast. The ticket man was moving towards his kettle and reaching for the notice which says ‘TICKET OFFICE CLOSED WHILE ESSENTIAL STATION MAINTENANCE IS BEING CARRIED OUT‘.

I switched immediately to T-mode and lunged at his window.

“Scuse me”, I said, leaning sideways on one elbow and smiling seductively, “is your hearing loop switched on? I just want to test that my hearing aids are working properly…”

The ticket man put down his tea mug in surprise.

“Er…aye, ah think so…they’ve just refurbished this place…”

I could hear a suitcase on wheels bumping down the stairs. Damn. I didn’t want any interruptions right now.

Without warning, I suddenly found myself acting as if I was in the hearing aid equivalent of a bank heist movie. I wished I’d worn a beige balaclava for full effect.

“OKAY”, I said assertively, “SPEAK TO ME!”

The ticket man was struck dumb by the unusual request, but soon rallied.

“Testing, testing…can you hear me? How’s that?”

I shook my head…nothing through the aids. Not even a set of printheads. My heart sank.


The ticket man bent forward and tried again. Still nothing. A rhythmic clunking on the ceramic floor tiles signalled the approach of the suitcase on wheels, and I was beginning to get desperate.

“GET CLOSER!” I said.

I heard a rustle.


The ticket man crouched over the mic. His voice was faint, but it was the first voice to come through on the loop. Eat your heart out Marconi! I reached frantically for my volume settings, but I could feel the rumble of a train approaching. I couldn’t hang about.

“THANKS!” I shouted to my partner in crime, as I ran for the platform to jump aboard my getaway vehicle.


* * * * *

If you’d like to vote for a real movie in the Scottish BAFTAs starring our very own Soozie cyborginafield talking about her cochlear implant experience, vote for We Are Northern Lights here  (voting closes Mon 28th Oct 2013) 


Woman hears at station ticket office for the first time

Hearing loop symbol

Sadly, the title is slightly misleading. The new loop setting on the Oticons has given me superpowers of hearing, but not quite in the way I imagined. In telecoil mode, there is much excitement to be had in hearing the interference from invisible electromagnetic fields, and so far nothing sounds scarier than the sinister buzzing from 25 000 volts of overhead power lines in a train station, although the electricity meter in the hall cupboard at home runs a close second. I’ll be checking out some pylons when we go on the annual field trip to Loch Lomond later in the week.

I had hoped that the loop might prove useful for the more prosaic purpose of hearing through bullet-proof glass screens at ticket offices, etc, but I have not yet detected the sound of a human voice in that particular situation. I came close at Wemyss Bay train station last week, when I spotted the big ear sign at the ticket counter, and eagerly flipped my switches. Finding my first loop which was actually switched on was a breakthrough, and it was worth switching the spouse off temporarily to take advantage of it. I willed the magical words “That’ll be £6.70 each for two singles, doll” to be beamed straight into my brain via telecoil, but you can imagine my disappointment when I heard the faintly amplified sound of the ticket machine printheads going about their business instead. Fortunately, the thrill of hearing the electromagnetic field of the overhead power lines for the first time more than made up for it.

My tireless quest to hear a ticket transaction through a hearing loop will go on, but in the meantime, I shall continue to amaze people with my superpower ability to identify electric fences whilst out walking in the countryside.


sunny corridor

After my visit to the dentist on Wednesday, I am pleased to report that dental drills are much quieter than they were when I was last on the sharp end of one 15 years ago. Funny, that. Fortunately, no further x-rays were necessary, so the Oticons remained unscathed, apart from a light showering with water infused with powdered tooth, when the drill coolant suddenly started spraying out at a peculiar angle.

First thing the following morning, me and my hearing aids presented punctually, and in full working order, for a routine service at clinic O.

“What can I do for you today?” enquired the very nice hearing aid lady.

“Just a routine service…and can you leave the retention tails on the tubes, they won’t stay in my ears otherwise…and can you activate the ‘Mute’ setting, it’s been activated twice but it doesn’t seem to work…and can I give you these Chroma S aids back, I keep forgetting to take them out of my handbag every time I come in…don’t want anyone to think I’ve stolen them…oh, and here’s the remote for them as well, it’s brand new, might be useful for an old person…”

I paused to draw a breath and glanced surreptitiously in my handbag for a second, before adding, “oh, and can I get some batteries as well? Mustn’t forget the batteries, I’m nearly out…”

Hearing aid lady cheerfully set about complying with my machine-gun fire list of requests, and I congratulated myself on having written them all down before I came in, so that I wouldn’t forget as usual. After replacing the tubes, she enlisted the help of saintly hearing aid chap to activate the Mute setting in the software and, as a heartwarming cross appeared in the onscreen dialog box, I felt a glow at the thought of turning off screaming toddlers and people with grating voices on the train with one touch of a button. Ah, yes, things were looking up. The sun was shining, my toothache was gone, my tubes still had their tails on and, unbeknownst to me, there were yet more riches to come.

“You’ve got room on there for one more programme”, said hearing aid chap enthusiastically, “do you want me to activate the loop for you? It can be really useful…”

I wondered if I had died and gone to heaven.

“That would be great,” I said, “I’d been wondering if the loop setting might be useful when we move to our shiny new building in November.” I pictured myself lounging at the back of the spanking new state of the art lecture theatre with my eyes closed, just like everyone else for a change. People could whisper distractingly in my ear, tap on their bleeping mobile devices and pointlessly rustle paper right beside me all they liked…I would be able to hear the speaker and not them. Bliss.

A few mouseclicks later, and my souped-up Oticons were ready to change my life. I bade the very helpful staff a good day, and set off along the sun-filled corridor with a newly acquired spring in my step and my fingers on the Mute button, just for the hell of it.

Little did I know, I was going to be seeing the sun-filled corridor again before the day was out…


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