1) The instructions for use were good and clear.
2) Equipment – Wireless microphone transmitter – the microphone has a zoom and omni directional switch. It also has a ‘boost’ setting for quiet situations –this is complementary to the volume control on the receiver. There is also an on/off switch. When the transmitter is switched off the microphone on the receiver is automatically activated. Otherwise the receiver microphone remains inactive. Neck loop receiver (T setting is needed on the hearing aid) – There is an on/off switch and volume controls. There are lights on the transmitter and receiver which indicate the battery state and indicate satisfactory pairing of the radio signal by showing green on both units. Power supply unit for recharging batteries – both can be recharged at the same time. Neck cord for the transmitter – so that it may be hung around the neck of the speaker. Connecting leads for audio and scart connection. Case (with zip).
3) Length of warranty 2 years
Use of the Conversor Pro
1) Listening to the television. I used the audio lead connection. TV sound quality was improved by use of the Conversor. I personally found the sound relatively quiet, but this was no doubt an indication of the severity of my hearing loss. I used the high volume settings. The quality of sound was a little better when used with the audio lead rather than simply using the microphone of the transmitter. Sometimes the signal was intermittent. There did not appear to be any reason for this and with a little patience the sound returned. On one occasion it might have been related to a low battery (despite the low battery warning not showing)
2) In the car. Two cars tested. There was a slight T setting electronic hum in one car. This is related to the T – coil use and is present with all T coil devices. It did not interfere with satisfactory reception of sound. The Conversor worked well in the car. Sometimes the signal was intermittent. Again the volume was quiet (despite the activating the boost control).
3) At a lecture in a hall. This was a typical village hall with no microphone available. About 50 people were present. The lecturer wore the transmitter hanging it around her neck using the neck strap. I sat well back and could hear well. It is useful in this setting. The neck strap was relatively long and allowed the transmitter to move about as she spoke. When she bent forward it tended to bang against the table. It might have be better had she been able to clip it to clothing. Any movement of the microphone against clothing causes interference.
4) In a pub and restaurant. I went for a drink with a friend and he wore the Conversor around his neck. There was an improvement in the ability to hear though this was limited and subject to the amount of background noise. I found the Conversor helpful, but too much background noise can drown the benefit.
5) At a committee meeting. About 12 people gathered around a table in a large unfurnished room. Useful assistance in hearing with the transmitter placed on the committee table. Should there be a need to hear someone speaking near one would need to switch out of telecoil (on the hearing aid) to hear them. This is not quite as convenient as other listeners in which the receiver microphone can be used for this purpose. (The Conversor receiver microphone can only be switched on by switching off the transmitter)
6) Transmitting range This depends on the obstructions between transmitter and receiver but at best is about 25 metres. At full range the received sound can be intermittent.
The Conversor Pro is a quality and useful listening instrument. It is adaptable for several settings. It is light and easy to carry around and is simple to operate with few controls. I would recommend it for someone with a mild to moderate hearing loss who wants a simple and neat instrument without complicated controls. Within its price range it is good value for money. More severe hearing loss however might be better served by a more powerful listener.
Conversor TV Pro tested in Jan 2011
This is a listening device with a single use. This report is therefore a one-off. The current practice is not to report on single use devices.
1) Instructions for use. They are very good, concise and helpful.
2) Component parts Transmitter. This plugs into the mains and into the TV by an audio lead, receiver – this has a rechargeable battery – with neck loop and a case.
3) Battery recharge time 2.5 hours, transmitting time 8 hours. Low battery warning. Charge complete indicator. In practice I found the fully charged battery did not last a full 8 hours, but recharging was simple.
4) Quality of sound signal – T switch is needed on hearing aid. The signal is good, volume is independently controllable by a switch on the receiver. The signal was reliable for listening to the television. There is a microphone on the receiver so that you can hear your neighbour talking. This very useful though the microphone is permanently switched on. This means that if there is some local background noise one cannot eliminate it. Some TVs (especially older units) cut sound from the speakers when the audio lead is used. This would need checking when the devices is tried out. Loop systems sometimes result in interference if other electrical equipment is close by (strip lighting, computers, other radio equipment etc).
5) Length of warranty – 2 years
6) In comparison with other products does it offer good value for money?
The TV Pro is small, convenient and simple to use. It was good to have the transmitter permanently available and not needing a battery. The hearing range was good. It is a good method for someone who is hard of hearing or mild to moderately hearing loss for hearing the TV without having the volume on the set increased to the discomfort of others. It therefore offers good value.
However if you don’t like neck loops or do not have a T setting on your hearing aid you might think about wireless headphones as an alternative. They are rechargeable and slightly cheaper. . They could be perhaps better for those who have more serious hearing loss. In my experience the sound quality with (Sennheiser) headphones was also slightly better. There is the disadvantage that the headphones are a bit cumbersome and therefore not very good for ladies hairstyles. They also exclude sound other than from the TV so that one has to take the headphones off to hear a neighbour who is talking. On the other hand the Conversor TV Pro has a microphone on the receiver which allows nearby conversation to be heard – though as I said earlier if there is much background noise in the room in which you are sitting this can intrude on the ability to hear the TV clearly.