Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Using the FM with the N5: Revisited

I've been meaning to post an update about this for a while, especially since I've noticed a lot of people have found my blog when they were searching for information about using the Nucleus 5 with the FM adapter. Well, when I posted before, I had no personal experience using it since I had used the MyLink neck loop which, despite its ugliness/cumbersomeness, worked pretty well with only occasional computer interference. Since Cochlear was sending free adapters, we went ahead and ordered two and the school district provided the boots to go with them. I must say I had high expectations, and was hoping that any interference issues would be alleviated since the T-coil was no longer in use.

Not to be Miss Debby Downer here, but I had a horrible experience! I couldn't get through more than a half day with them.. The interference was so awful that I would only occasionally get reception when my head was tilted a certain way and the teacher stood in a certain spot, and that was only in one ear! After dealing with non-stop static for three hours, I gave up and asked for the neck loop back. The school district audiologists didn't bother to troubleshoot and pretty much just said, "Oh well, we tried." It's completely possible that with some adjustments to the FM channels it would have worked fine, but I don't know since I didn't get the chance to try it out. I'm not saying you shouldn't try out the boots with Euro adaptors on the N5 (as long as you can try before you buy!), but if you have small children using them, please be sure they're not just hearing static all day! It was the most terribly unpleasant experience, and I would hate to think that there are some toddlers out there who aren't able to explain what they are hearing that are having to deal with it too!


  1. That would be a nightmare to use on a little kid. I'm sorry it didn't work the way you'd hoped.

  2. Our audiologist won't recommend an FM for young children for exactly that reason. They can use it with a hearing aid, because an adult can listen in and judge the quality, but not with a CI. We probably will look into getting a CI for Ben at some point, but not until he's at least 5 or 6.

  3. I have absolutely no idea why Nucleas have taken a step backwards with this whole FM issue. I used to love having FM! :-(

  4. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with the FM, and I hope the stethoscope issue is being worked out also. It sounds like you have been very frustrated with technology problems this year. Again, I hope all issues are resolved as best that they can be as soon as they can be. Enjoy your snow days and hang in there!


  5. It's a shame that they have so many problems. I remember getting my FM about a year after getting hearing aids (they had wanted to fit me with one immediately, but I refused since it entailed some sort of bulky fanny pack/box/wire contraption. They came out with the wireless FM a year later). My preschool teachers immediately noticed a difference and commented on how I seemed to pay more attention and more actively participate. On the other hand, I do recall an entire year in elementary school of not hearing too well because I was too shy (and too tired of being singled out) to report that the FM wasn't working.

    I do have to agree that the new N5 FM is a bit of a step backwards. I can't complain too much, because the boots on the Freedom FM drained one of my processors in a matter of minutes, so I could only use it on one side. I still only keep the FM activated on one ear at a time, both out of habit and desire to hear what's going on around me.

    Rebecca- Thank you! I haven't had school since Monday (and won't have it again until next Monday) due to the ice/snow here, so I'm feeling pretty refreshed :)

  6. Hi, I am very interested in your experience with the N5 euro adaptor. Which FM channel were you using? Did you try the adaptor BEFORE the new monitor earphones came out (the ones that allow us to plug in accessories like the euro adaptor, so other people can listen to the signal quality)? Is that why your audiologists weren't able to troubleshoot? Or did it sound ok to other people but static-y to you?

    Thanks so much for your help!

  7. Hi Victoria,
    I believe it was on channel 68, but my FM has a tendency to reset itself to channel 1 so I can't say that with 100% certainty. I actually don't own monitor earphones... I suppose the audiology team does, but they didn't really *try* troubleshoot (I'll refrain from going into too much detail about that on here. Feel free to email me, though.)

    On a side note, I will be participating in a study on FM with CI's soon, and will get to try out 2 different systems. I think this will give me a chance to figure all the FM issues out, so I will write about my experiences afterwards!


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