The Table Mic is the latest bit of hearing technology for work from the Phonak Roger stable.
Designed to deal with situations that even the Roger Pen finds challenging, it gives people with hearing loss help to participate effectively in meetings held in big spaces.
FM Hearing recently lent me a Table Mic and I’ve been giving it a thorough test in a wide range of environments. Here’s what I found:
What it looks like
The Phonak Roger Table Mic is a silver coloured box measuring 8cm x 8cm. It has simple controls and comes with a handy remote which allows you to mute and unmute the Table Mic without leaving your seat.
The Roger Table Mic is designed for meetings of 8+ people which typically take place in bigger rooms, or around longer tables. Phonak have created a great little video that gives a realistic idea of the difference it offers compared to the experience of listening purely with hearing aids.
I personally found it useful in all sorts of meetings, not just ones with lots of people. Sometimes a small group of people can still end up meeting in a big room, or a room with high ceilings. So it’s worth taking into account not just the size of your meetings but the environment in which they take place when assessing the technology you need.
Ah networking – dreaded by so many people with hearing loss. I tested the Table Mic in networking meetings around tables and in more informal settings like hotel lounges.
I was pleasantly surprised by the experience in a hotel lounge. We gathered around the edges of a large room, and listened to a chairperson, a speaker and each other as we introduced ourselves. I placed the Table Mic on a coffee table near where the speakers were (which is also my worse side) and enjoyed a meeting without straining to lipread people at a distance. And the Table Mic’s 20+ metre range meant I picked up everyone in the room easily.
At more formal networking meetings I’ve been using the Table Mic in network with a Roger Pen or a Roger Clip-on Mic. This enables me to listen to the speaker through the Clip-on Mic or Pen, while also hearing audience questions or comments through the Table Mic.
Although the Table Mic wasn’t designed with socialising I mind, I thought I’d give it a whirl in that environment too. I used it while having dinner with friends and family at home. That works well – after all it’s like sitting at a big meeting table - as long as you don’t mind picking up the clatter and chink of knives and cutlery.
But it was a step too far when I took it to the pub on a Saturday night. The combination of music, lots of people and increasing noise levels made discerning one voice from another in our group increasingly difficult as the evening wore on.
I do like the Phonak Roger Table Mic. It’s a very worthwhile piece of kit if you have business or networking meetings in challenging spaces. Like all technology, including hearing aids, it has its limitations, but in the environment it was designed for it does its job very well.
To find out more about the Phonak Roger Table Mic, just drop me a line.