Conversor: The Advantages and disadvantages

A student, studying ALD’s asked for the pro’s and con’s of Conversor… So we wrote some down. Perhaps you will find this helpful too:

Conversor advantages:

The Analogue radio has NO delay. All digital streams introduce some delay (latency) which makes lip reading more difficult.

The radio is VHF (FM) which goes further than bluetooth or UHF (like Contego and RogerPen). Also, when you go out of range, you begin to hear the signal deteriorating, wheras digital radio just doesnt work.

Conversor is a ONE to MANY system. It’s a radio broadcast. So you can have a lot of people listening, like a class of students. Other systems are all ONE-to-ONE which require PAIRING. You cant have very many going at the same time in the same room or they interfere with each other. Conversor’s ONE-to-MANY solution also allows for numerous “Soundfield” speakers in the room, allowing quiet clarity and the teacher doesnt have to raise their voice, and individuals can use a Conversor receiver if they need the extra help.

You can use a Conversor pendant receiver, connected to a SCRIPT real-time text display, as well as benefiting from the remote microphone.

Conversor can be used by ANYONE with or without a hearing aid. You can plug in earphones or headphones, or listen via the hearing aid’s “T” loop receiver. Many other assistive listening devices only work or only work properly with the same brand of hearing aid.

Conversor’s controls are very simple and easy to use, especially if you have any motor or visual impairment.

Conversor is probably the least expensive of the professional assistive listening devices.

Disadvantages now…

Conversor is independent. Audiologists are mostly using equipment supplied by hearing-aid manufacturers, so they tend to favour their “brand” rather than choosing the Conversor.

The Conversor’s choice of using the LOOP for its audio connection to the hearing-aid is sometimes considered “old fashioned”. Bluetooth-equipped aids sometimes dont include a loop pickup any more, and sometimes the Audiologists dont enable the “loop” program on the aids during programming. The world still requires loop systems in public places however…

Analogue FM radio and the loop system are both prone to interference, which can make unwanted noise in the users ears. This is particularly the case if you are in a car listening via your loop receiver, and the car electrics can make noises. Older Mercedes models are reputedly the noisiest. However, the worst sources of loop interference were fluorescent lights, which are now being replaced by LED’s (hooray!) and CRT displays (you remember, big tube screens). These contained scan coils which made loop receivers buzz. Fortunately flat monitor screens dont!

Finally, some digital ALD’s include a microphone in the receiver as well as one or more microphones in the reansmitter. In some you can tinker with the settings to get the best mix of sounds for your meeting, perhaps. Conversor has microphones both in the handheld part and in teh receiver part, but only enables one mic at a time, for simplicity and for the lowest background noise. You cant adjust the “mix”.

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