Roger pen



    •    Explanation:


For those of you who do not know what the Roger pen it is a radio aid system, it is different from a microphone system for reason of having a more intelligent and advanced technology. What I mean by this is the system is able to determine what is the best setting for the current situation you are in for example; if you are in a loud environment roger pen be laid down on the table and cut out unhelpful background sounds. Whereas a normal microphone would not cut out unhelpful background sound. It works with; 1 a transmitter the roger pen itself that interprets the sound and 2 a receiver. The receiver connects with you're hearing aid or cochlear implant and receives the sound from the roger pen. Though the t mode on most hearing aids and cochlear implants means you can use a loop instead of using a receiver that is quite expensive.

Now that the explanation is done I can get on with the review. In the review, I'm going to be testing out the roger pen in a range of different circumstances and giving my feedback about the device and what I think of it. Please note that I am a cochlear implant user so if you have a hearing aid and are looking into buying a roger pen. I can't be sure that the experience with the roger pen would be the same as a cochlear implant.


    •    Communication:

Roger pen has three microphone settings these are set to automatic though they can be changed manually these are: 1 handheld mode; you can point the roger pen at the source of sound and anything in the parameter not in front of the roger pen gets reduced in volume and the source in front of the roger pen is raised. 2 interview mode; When one person is talking the roger pen can be worn around the neck and the microphone setting is switched to up to pick up only the person wearing the pen and 3 conference mode; when you are in a large group of people the roger pen can be laid on the table to activate microphone group setting. If you are in a small group and there are other groups around the roger pen only picks up a certain radius anything out of that radius is again reduced in volume and sources within the radius are raised in volume. 

- I have used the handheld mode when sat talking to one person. I don’t have to do anything I just have to point the device at the person I’m talking to and I can hear them and do not have to lip read as much as I would without.

- I used the conference mode in lots of different situations the main I used it for is using for speaking to a group of people around a table. I use this mode also for the TV and Music I’ll explain this in the sections below.

- I have used interview mode in the car allot I find it helps me to talk to the driver without having to lip read and it works really well.


    •    Phone:

Roger pen can be used to make and receive phone calls and if your phone supports the function of having a voice-activated assistant, for example, Siri you can talk to Siri and the response is streamed straight to the hearing aid or cochlear implant.

- The Bluetooth phone function allows you to talk over the phone without having to lip read. It works really well and I can hear to a good standard on the phone though sometimes I do misunderstand though I don’t think this is avoidable there always be times where we may not understand.

- Just a warning if you use this feature remember to disable Bluetooth on the Roger pen by holding down the reject call button or your Roger pen even when it is turned of stays connected to your phone and the Roger pen and reduces battery life.


    •    Music: 

Roger pen can be used for music in two simple ways these are plugging a lead into any device that supports an aux input. Phone, Laptop, Game console are just a few examples. Aux input is good though the connection for the lead to go into the roger pen is very delicate. Another way of hearing music is making use of the roger pens smart microphones by placing the roger pen near a speaker. I find using the microphones, however, more demanding on your concentration and this can drain you much quicker than listening with the aux cable.

- I find listening to music with the aux cable very different to just listening with the roger pen placed near a speaker.

- With the aux cable music is much clearer and less muffled the only issue I have with the aux cable is the connection to the roger pen is super delicate. If I'm honest the roger pen provides a clear sound than the cochlear implant by itself. I have not noticed any interference unless you walk a distance away from the roger pen.

- Using the roger pen microphone is another good way to listen to music if you have it laid next to a speaker in conference mode. It provides good quality sound but it can be very loud and uncomfortable if the volume is too high. Listening to music like this does have a more draining affect as you have to use allot more concentration and you hear some interference that distorts the music a little. 


    •    TV:

Roger pen can be used to stream the TV sound straight to your hearing aid or cochlear implant

For me the TV setting did not work I feel this is for reasons of my TV being really old and not supporting a radio aid device.

- Though I was able to use the Roger pen microphone on conference mode to be able to hear the TV better by laying the Roger pen next to the tv nearest to the TV speaker possible to get the best sound quality.I was able to hear the TV though I did need subtitles to support me.


    •    Problems I experienced;

- I did experience problems with the battery on the roger pen though I found out that the reason for this was that the Bluetooth phone function continues to be connected to your phone when you turn the roger pen off. Before turning the roger pen off you should disable the Bluetooth by holding down the reject call button, then continue to turn off the roger pen. 

- Battery life is reasonable and really depends on what you use your roger pen for most. I found when the roger pen is connected to the phone all the time the phone drains the roger pen of its battery life.

- I had problems with getting the Roger pen to work with the TV.


    •    What could be better;

- I feel that the roger pen charging input is very delicate if placed in the charger output wrong by accident the contacts in the charger could become damaged very easily when the product its self is expensive I would recommend putting it on the insurance plan.

- I feel the roger pen could be better in the music area by allowing Bluetooth connectivity to stream music. Though I am aware that the Roger pen battery life could be the reason this is not available just yet.


    •    Overall:

I feel the Roger pen has given me a better experience in some areas but not all. 

For conversations, it is so helpful beyond my expectations it is so much easier to talk and it reduces the need to concentrate hard to understand meaning you become tired from concentration more slowly. I feel it did help in areas of communication and confidence.

For the phone calls, it is great I can hear to a good standard and be able to understand what people are saying. I feel I can talk confidently on the phone and facetime with my roger pen.

For music, I really feel the Roger pen has enhanced my ability to hear music better than with just the cochlear implant itself. 

For TV, I can’t really comment. I feel it didn't enhance my TV experience.


The big question. Do I recommend it? 


Though the roger pen is expensive it provides the full experience of being able to hear in good quality without the background and unwanted sounds.

I need to make you aware just because I had a good experience with the device does not mean it would be the same for you. Please make sure you trial any device for reasons of radio aids being somewhat expensive and do not set your expectations too high to avoid disappointment. I had a radio aid before this one and I found that the sound was to internal and uncomfortable. I got the roger pen because I was recommended it from someone on a forum and I'm glad I made the decision to try it out.

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