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 Mylink neckloop receiver or spend more money and choose Phonak Roger ear level receivers?’
There are a number of advantages to using ear level receivers (like Phonak Roger X) as opposed to a neckloop (like Phonak Roger Mylink). 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 Mylink 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 Mylink 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 neckloop as you move your head around the sound level will 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.
Sound quality: the frequency response of a neckloop is limited compared to using an ear level receiver via direct input. A Phonak Roger Mylink 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.
Just to confuse things a little there is another option – a streamer bundle. A lot of hearing aids available now are wireless compatible and can use something generically called a ‘streamer’. In some instances (not all) they have an audio interface with three little sockets called a europlug. You can plug a Roger X universal receiver into this socket, and with the combination of a Roger Pen, a Roger X and a streamer you have an alternative way of using Phonak Roger with hearing aids. Here are some examples.
Take Home Point : A Roger Mylink is a good alternative if ear level receivers like Roger X can’t be used, but wherever ear level receivers can be used, performance is paramount and finances permit, 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, Mylink.