Laymans Guide to Phonak Roger Systems

Phonak Roger is a high quality wireless remote microphone system that effectively turbo charges the performance of hearing aids, bone anchored hearing aids and cochlear implants. It offers improvements in areas where hearing instruments alone can sometimes struggle to cope.

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Phonak Roger systems help you to hear better in challenging environments – like when at work, when in social situations and in educational settings.

Roger helps in noisy situations, small groups and meetings – alleviating background noise, reverberation in the room, and overcoming distance to help you hear better.

A Phonak Roger system can also be used to interface with all manner of audio devices, like for instance telephony (including desk phones and PC based VOIP telephony and video conferencing software like Zoom and Microsoft Teams) and PC based accessibility software like Dragon, Texthelp, JAWS etc.

Roger can make life so much easier with mobile phones and tablets, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger video calls, watching TV and much more.

A Roger system comprises of a single or perhaps multiple Roger transmitters (microphones) and either one or two Roger receivers, depending on your situation and the hearing instruments worn.

Below is an overview of Phonak Roger in easy to understand language. If you want to discuss further with a real live human, just get in touch!

Phonak Roger Transmitters

Phonak Roger On Transmitter

Phonak Roger On

In the majority of cases the main (primary) transmitter in a Phonak Roger system is Phonak Roger On. 

Roger On is brand new for summer 2021 and combines the best features of pre-existing personal Roger transmitters that it largely replaces – Roger Select and Roger Pen.

Phonak Roger On is easy to use, intuitively it *just works*.  It is just as efficient in Pointing mode (you direct who you want to hear and when), Presenter mode (when clipped to a speaker’s lapel or on a lanyard around their neck) and Table mode (where it is placed on a table to hear everyone in the group).

It has a built in accelerometer and MultiBeam technology to ensure you get the full Roger Advantage, hearing the best you can in those challenging hearing situations.

Our recommendation is that a single Roger On is absolutely fine for dealing with 1 to 1 situations, small groups, in noise and connecting to audio, including helping with telephony and TV.

You may need to consider additional or different Roger transmitters based on your individual needs and circumstances (as below) – if your requirements are greater.

Phonak Roger Table Mic Transmitter

Roger Table Mic II

For larger meetings (say in a corporate environment) it may be more appropriate to consider additionally the Phonak Roger Table Mic which works really well on larger tables – typically a conference table. Depending on the area to be covered dictates the number of Table Mics required.

If you have a few people sat round a table a primary transmitter like Roger On is quite sufficient, but when the number of people round the table reaches near to and exceeds 7-8, then a Roger Table Mic becomes more of an appropriate solution – up to around 15 people.

When the number of people exceeds around 15 and up to say 25 we would consider a Twin Pack of Roger Table Mic to be the best solution.

If the meeting size is greater than 25 or people are spread about on multiple tables we suggest you have a conversation with us about suitability!

Phonak Roger Clip-on Mic Transmitter

There might be a scenario where there is a need for an additional secondary companion transmitter to work with your Roger On. In certain situations we could recommend Phonak Roger Clip-on Mic.

Roger Clip-on Mic

An example of when we might recommend an additional Roger Clip-on Mic (multiple units can be supplied to work in a network if appropriate, please ask if unsure) might be that you are attending a lecture, you want to hear the lecturer speaking at the podium a distance away, but still need to hear and interact with the people close to you.

The lecturer wears the Roger Clip-on Mic on their lapel so you can hear them clearly, and you still control the Roger On in your hand to enable you to hear the people close to you clearly as well.

Other Phonak Roger Transmitters

Roger Touchscreen Mic, Roger Pen and Roger Select

There are a number of additional Roger transmitters that we supply. The Roger Touchscreen Mic (image on the left) and its companion microphone, the Pass Around Mic are supplied mainly into educational settings.

The Roger Pen and Roger Select are available for people that need bluetooth connectivity to their Roger transmitter. Roger On does not have this facility and relies on the inbuilt bluetooth connectivity in most of the newer hearing aids available, or the media cable supplied with all Phonak Roger primary transmitters.

Largely, Roger Pen and Roger Select have been superseded by the newer Roger On transmitter that combines the best features of both Pen and Select.

Here are some product videos

Phonak Roger Receivers

When a Phonak Roger transmitter collects audio (like a person’s voice you want to hear, or an audio source like a phone call), it wirelessly and securely transmits that audio to a Roger receiver (or a pair of receivers) that then sends the audio (with some technical whizzery pokery while it is processing the audio to enhance the signal) directly into your hearing instruments, usually via some kind of interface.

Broadly you can split the way transmitted Roger audio is received into two main methods – at ‘ear level’ and ‘neck worn’. Our preference where it is possible is for ‘ear level’ as it is more efficient, less chance of interference and highest quality.

Phonak Roger Ear Level Receivers

The most common type of ear level Roger receiver we supply is a Roger X receiver, and using a DAI (Direct Audio Input) shoe as an interface between the hearing aid and the Roger audio signal.

Roger X conveniently clips neatly and discreetly to the bottom of your hearing aids along with a DAI shoe (one for each ear and if you wear BTE ‘behind the ear’ hearing aids).

Most NHS issue hearing aids of all brands (Phonak, Signia Siemens, ReSound Danalogic and Oticon typically) accept a DAI shoe and Roger X receiver. Roger X is universal and the DAI shoe is dependent on the brand and model of hearing aid.

You can wear a neck worn receiver with nothing clipped to your hearing aids, but mostly and where we can, we advise that people use ear level receivers as the first, best choice.

Roger Integrated and Roger Direct

Roger Integrated vs Roger X and DAI

A small number of Phonak branded hearing aids have integrated receivers available (a combined DAI shoe and Roger receiver) that are specially designed to work with specific models, matching in design and colour.

This image shows firstly a Phonak hearing aid with an integrated receiver attached, and then a Phonak hearing aid with a DAI shoe and a Roger X receiver attached.

Be careful though if considering an integrated receiver, if it is reasonably likely within a few years the hearing aids will be changed for a different model (Phonak or other brand), a universal receiver such as a Phonak Roger X may be a better and more practical option.

Integrated receivers are also available for a number of cochlear implant processors from all the main brands – Cochlear, Advanced Bionics and Med-el, and are a good option for cochlear implant processors.

Another option if you wear the latest Roger Direct compatible hearing aids (Phonak Marvel / Paradise, NHS supplied Phonak Nathos Nova, Unitron DX / Blu, Specsavers Advance x70… You can have a Phonak Roger transmitter streaming audio wirelessly DIRECT into the hearing aids with no external Roger receivers. For more information read this.

Phonak Roger Neck Worn Receivers

A question sometimes asked of us when clients are considering purchasing a Phonak Roger system is ‘Should I save some money and go for a Phonak Roger Neckloop receiver or spend more money and choose Phonak Roger ear level receivers?’

Phonak Roger Neckloop

There are a number of advantages to using ear level receivers as opposed to a neck worn device like Phonak Roger Neckloop. There is less to worry about, the receivers are always on and ready, the person using the equipment only has to concern themselves with the transmitter.

Using ear level Roger receivers the audio sent from a Roger transmitter is received straight to the hearing aid with no real loss of audio quality as a direct input, whereas using a Roger Neckloop it receives the audio and it is converted to a telecoil audio signal (loop) to be received by the telecoil (T position) of the hearing aid.

Roger ear level receivers are more expensive than a Roger Neckloop but against that the negatives are as below;

Interference: As soon as you switch a hearing aid to “T” there is the potential problem of occasionally picking up inductive interference from mains wiring. Including overhead power cables and under floor heating, alarms, routers, fluorescent lighting strips, computer screens and other mains equipment nearby. If there are other loop systems nearby (for instance a room loop in the vicinity) one system can clash with the other. This can all be avoided by using ear level receivers.

Consistency: with a Roger Neckloop as you move your head around the sound level can vary and you may experience hotspots or even audio dropouts. This can be avoided to a degree by placing the Neckloop under a jumper so it does not move around. With ear level receivers the wireless transmission is direct, from the sound source to the transmitter to the hearing aid. With a Neckloop the sound needs to be transferred via the transmitter, to the Neckloop and then to the hearing aid.

Roger On, Oticon Streamer and Roger X

Sound quality: the frequency response of a Neckloop is limited compared to using an ear level receiver via direct input. A Phonak Roger Neckloop will offer a frequency range up to about 5.5kHz (a limitation of telecoil technology) whereas using ear level receivers the bandwidth is increased to near 7.5kHz.

Another alternative to consider if ear level receivers are not available is a streamer bundle. A lot of hearing aids and cochlear implant processors are wireless compatible and can make use of something generically called a ‘streamer’. In some instances (not all) they have an audio interface with three little sockets called europlug. You can plug a Roger X universal receiver into this socket, and with the combination of a Roger transmitter, a Roger X and a streamer you have an alternative way of using Phonak Roger with hearing aids.

Take Home Point : A Roger Neckloop is a good alternative if ear level receivers can’t be used. Wherever ear level receivers can be used though, ear level receivers should be the preferred choice. A good alternative in between the two is a streamer bundle. We usually recommend in this order – Ear Level, Streamer Bundle, Roger Neckloop.

Summary

If you need our advice we absolutely need the brand AND model of hearing instruments you are using. If you are interested in specific products let us know. We need to know the situations you are struggling with. What you are aiming to achieve.

With BTE (behind the ear) hearing aids we need the detail that is printed on the spine of the aids. ITE (in the ear) hearing aids, bone anchored hearing aids and cochlear implants ideally we need the serial numbers printed on the casing or listed on your paperwork. Tip – If unsure take a clear and unblurred picture on your mobile phone and email it across to us.

You can email us with as much detail as possible regarding your requirements if you are sure you know what you want / need, and if you are still a little unsure of what you specifically need we suggest you complete our Product Guidance Questionnaire. Once completed we will email you a comprehensive breakdown of products and prices.

N.B. If the equipment is for personal use with no business element and paid for out of personal funds your purchase may be supplied free of VAT. Please read this if you think this may apply.