Monday, June 8, 2009

Technology (Phone, Text, Music) Suggestions Needed! :-)

This one is for the implanted or aided techies slash just knowledge modern people of the world out there using a reasonably amplified, clear cell phone with great texting options. What works? Pros? Cons? Anything to avoid? Anything you can't live without?

I need a cell phone that's easy to text with (QWERTY keyboard even??) because I will probably use it for the texting feature more than the phone. The phone needs to be extremely compatible and clear with my CI. Anything that doesn't cost an arm and leg would especially win over my husband of course. :)

I like the idea of the Blackberry, but I don't think it's compatible for phone use for anyone with a hearing loss? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Also... for those of you listening to music and books on tape, are you using an Ipod? I've never had any use for one, so I'm especially clueless when it comes to current technology and music on the go. My gym has televisions with captions and allows tuning into shows by radio... so the guy at the gym recommended an Ipod and buying the extra piece for FM radio. Anyone done this or have another idea.

Teach me please! I'm all eyes! 8-)



  1. Hey there,

    Have you heard of tele-coil? As long as the phone has tele-coil capability, you should hear well with it. I know that the Blackberry is tele-coil compatible because my dad has a Blackberry, and I have used it, and I hear very well with it!

  2. Pssst... there was a new iphone released today. :) You sound like you're waiting to be talked into that...

    I've had the iPhone 3G for almost a year now. Miss the lovely keyboard from my Sidekick, but the iPhone keyboard is very usable so long as you're able to look at it (i.e. not driving, which we shouldn't be anyway, right?!). It's also great for music and books on tape and podcasts.

    Another feature of the iPhone is that you can use any headphones and still talk into the phone's built in microphone. Many cell phones are difficult for people with CI or hearing aids because while they have headphones via direct connect, those headphones don't provide a built in microphone...

    Also, if you don't plan on making many phone calls, AT&T offers a cheaper "TAP" plan for that doesn't include any voice minutes. You need a note from your audiologist to get that and then voice is 40 cents/minute... If you do want to be able to make voice calls then a family plan might be the way to go.

  3. Hi Michelle! Obviously my son is too young to use the phone yet, but I have a Blackberry and I absolutely love the keyboard on it for texting. It is SO easy to use. Plus, I got it free with my AT&T plan - can't beat that! It also has MP3 capability, so I can listen to music on it (I usually download sermons, which would also work for books on tape). Also, we have a tele-coil that came with William's CI that he will be able to use one day. Hope you find what you're looking for!

  4. I'm looking at Sam's Club and the Blackberry plan is $100 a MONTH!! whoa... I'm sure there are better plans for the BB... and thanks for the T rating heads up, Rachel and the music info CMThear... The iPhone is brilliant but also seems to call for 24 months of contract. The only thing in my life I've ever committed to for 24 months was first my husband and second my child... and he just turned 24 months... so I know just long 24 months really is.. ;-) Sara, I want to be talked into the iPhone though... I'll give you James' number... you call him and pimp it for me. :) Seriously... what about this phone? It can be bought through Cricket so I'm assuming I can get a shorter contract (but it's not one of the pay as you go options)... Some of the Motorola phones were highly rated on an article I read.... and also this has M4/T3 rating. Do yout think headphones can be worn with it? (iPhone style, keyboard, and MP3 player... what do you think???)

  5. Hi Michelle, I have wrote this twice and I keep losing it.

    My name is Lindsey. I am nineteen years old, and have been a cochlear user for 14 years now :) I currently use the N22 Freedom processor!

    For the phone issue: I use Samsung u740 (can be found via Verizon or ATT/Sprint I believe) through Verizon -due to a family plan). It's amazing. It's a regular flip phone, it's long so I can hear on my CI, and my friends love to use it with their HA because of the telicoil/longness it has. On the other hand, you can open it sideways and it becomes a QWERTY board. It has text, AIM (charged under text).. and email/internet which i dont use (too expensive lol). this phone is pretty cool..

    for the Ipod issue: i have a ipod nano 3rd generation video, and i love to use it with my MICROLINK. it works with CI/HA under the telicoil function. Just put it next to the CI/HA on your ear (its like a regular hook on the ear) and switch on Telicoil. it's amazing. It's better than all the crap the companies provide and rip us off with.. It can be found with one earpiece (the monolink) or 2 ear pieces (same website, but you'll have to look for it).

    here's the lovely link.

    it is SO worth the money and it is FABULOUS. much better than what i've used before and its so easy haha.

    hope this helps you :)

    Peace & Hugs,

  6. Hello! I just had to comment here. My phone is a Palm Centro (through Sprint) and it has the M3/T3 rating (the higher the number the better it is for hard of hearing and deaf persons. My Centro acts like a Blackberry and has the QWERTY keyboard but I don't pay the extra fee like a Blackberry would charge because of our phone plan. Palm Pre just came out, which is going to be my next phone someday soon.

    I love my iPod! Your CI kit should have come with a cord to plug in directly to your CI with your iPod. Since I am bilateral, I bought an adapter so I could plug in both ears to my iPod. Also, the silhouette coil/T-link mentioned in the above comment works great, too.

  7. @ sara, TAP plan isn't for right for Michelle because she need to talk on phone.

    Otherwise, I have no idea what else your meet in need. I'm not familiar with CI compatible. I order Palm Pre and looking forward to play my new toy.

  8. I'm taking notes here on what everyone has said so far... Linsey.... wow.... loved the way your phone looks. That thing kicks tail, huh??? :) ...and I was wondering about the cord to plug into the iPod that came with my kit. It seems like that would be easier (and lighter on the wallet)... I'm assuming it would work just as well as Lindsey's way? I'll look at the Centros and Pres... Is it possible to get a 12 month contract anywhere, with anyone???

  9. You may not find any contract for 12-month, mostly are 2-year. Bummer!

  10. Actually Verizon is one of the few that does, and I'm fairly certain AT&T does too. One Verizon phone that has all the bells and whistles (except no wifi) including the keyboard and touch screen with the M4/T4 rating is the EnV Touch. It's fairly new. My audiologist said today she'd seen several clients using it as well... I have several phones I plan to check out now... Thanks so much for all the feedback! :)

  11. You can get no contract if you're willing to pay a few hundred extra for a phone. An option is eBay to find a good used phone and then you can just add a service by calling them to set it up...

    TAP lets you make phone calls at 40 cents a minute. Obviously not a good deal if you are calling a lot but I'd have to talk 100 minutes to not come out ahead because AT&T doesn't offer any cheaper voice plans anyway.

    Every iPhone user I've met who has kids keeps talkig about how great it is for keeping them entertained with games. Certainly keeps Me entertained. :)

  12. Hey Sara, there's a guy on the CI list I subscribe to that also loves his iPhone... there was some convo about how it all worked with his CI (since it isn't rated) but he does very well just using it with CI on regular mode... not even switching to T-mode. I think he's also I more experienced user (obviously) than us newbies, but I can look up that conversation and see exactly what it was he said if you want me to. As a mom, I'd love that phone for entertaining the pipsqueak in public.

    I came home (TN) for a wedding this weekend and stayed to visit with family and friends. Someone had an Verizon enV phone (an older version of the one I wanted to check out) and I could hear well on his considering... plus it has all the bells and whistles (or capabilities to have them) AND he just happened to have an extra at home he and his wife were no longer using. Can you believe that? It has an M3 rating... no T rating though... so really hope I can swing using this.. at least it will have texting and it's FREE (well, the phone anyway). :-D

  13. Texting is good :)
    I'm really conflicted about the phone. I have everyone trained so well now. I 'inherited' my mom's phone phobia and I'd rather not use it anyway! I've been using the one at work to call the Cochlear hotline every day that I remember though. If it gets 'easy' maybe I won't hate it so much.

  14. Good Luck figuring it out! I'm actually planning on getting a new phone as I no longer am able to hear well on my Samsung u740 due to getting an upgrade on my cochlear implant. It worked well with the Esprit 3G but with the Freedom, still gotta shop around! IPhone is pretty good, and ENV3/Touch sounds good too though!