Solutions to improve the quality of life

The fmGenie radio aid system - what is it?

Principle of operation

The fmGenie is a wireless communication system designed specifically for use by people with a hearing loss. The system consists of two main elements: a transmitter and a receiver . The transmitter unit collects the sound and transmits it without loss of quality to a receiving unit. Both 'ends' of the system are portable and the receiving unit presents this relayed sound in some way to the user.

 

Design objectives

Radio systems for deaf and hearing impaired people have been available for many years. The concept for the fmGenie was to design a product with high visual appeal and acceptance combined with functionality and features second to none.

The fmGenie has been designed to work with personal hearing aids. It is the user's hearing aids that provide the hearing loss correction and the power or gain for a user. However it would be acceptable to say that a radio aid adds 'effective' gain because as the speaker moves away from arms length distance there is no reduction in the volume (or power!) presented to the hearing aid user.

The fmGenie provides a high quality sound feed to allow the hearing aids to work to the best of their ability in a wide range of situations. Your fmGenie has also been designed to allow you to gain maximum benefit from future improvements in hearing aids.

What is special about the fmGenie?

The fmGenie is a leader of a completely new generation of radio aid system. It has a status display which gives visual feedback on how the fmGenie is working. This display provides information and reassurance to both the user and those working with them. The fmGenie is also packed with an unrivalled range of features. In this reference guide we will help you determine the features that are of benefit to you and the options to select - we will also help you decide which features to lock, disable or simply ignore.

What will a radio aid NOT do?

Well, a radio aid adds no gain (or power or volume) to a hearing aid - so a user will not be given increased amplification. It is the power output of the hearing aid, NOT the radio aid, that the hearing aid user listens to.

What does it do then?

The fmGenie will provide a consistent sound feed over varying distances just as if the person speaking was always at arm's length. The system can be used in conjunction with hearing aids, cochlear implant processors or headphones.

Who wears what?

The fmGenie transmitter unit is worn by the person speaking.

The fmGenie receiver is worn by the user who carries it around with them wherever they go. When using the fmGenie system, cochlear implant and hearing aid users still listen to their own aids but now the speaker's voice is fed 'directly to the ear of the user'. Headphone users simply listen to a receiver.

 

How does the hearing aid ?hear' the radio aid?

The input to the user's aid from the radio microphone receiver can be via a direct input connection (if available) or an inductive loop pick-up 'T' coil. The fmGenie will provide a consistent level of sound wherever the hearing aid user or person talking may be in the room. There is a great improvement in the 'signal to noise ratio' heard by the user with much less background 'mush'.

What happens if the person speaking talks loudly?

The Connevans fmGenie system has an automatic gain control (AGC) to prevent loud sounds from causing discomfort or distortion.

How well does it work?

The fmGenie has a very good frequency response with low levels of distortion. For hearing aid users the overall performance of the system will probably be limited by the user's own hearing aids - if the hearing aids are correctly fitted then the overall system will perform well; but if the hearing aids are badly chosen or fitted it will not. The system will give a range of at least a room inside or coverage outside of over a football pitch, thus meeting most requirements.

Who will the fmGenie help?

Your audiologist is the best person to consult with regards to suitability of equipment. However, as a rough guide an fmGenie radio aid will be of benefit to anyone who is a good hearing aid user. If you are able to sit beside a hearing aid user in a quiet room and communicate via their hearing aids rather than by lip reading (i.e. if the person is able to make good use of their hearing aids) then a radio aid will probably be helpful, allowing the hearing aid user to 'listen at a distance'. The fmGenie will help to counteract the problems of distracting sounds outside that quiet room situation. The fmGenie will also help those with a mild or no hearing loss using a pair of headphones who just require help with concentration in lectures.

How does it sound?

Using a pair of test headphones it is possible for a hearing person to 'get a feel' for the improvement that an fmGenie can give in noisy situations. When demonstrating an fmGenie to a user sitting nearby, an initial response from the hearing aid user of 'sounds the same', is not unusual. It is difficult to improve on the hearing aids themselves and because a consultation room is usually quiet it is not until we move outside into a more usual level of ambient noise with a greater distance from the person talking that the user realises the potential benefit of a radio aid. Bear in mind however, that a hearing aid user is not used to interpreting sounds from afar. 'Over here' means nothing, people often don't understand at first where the sound comes from if they cannot see the speaker talking. A radio aid increases the emphasis on sound, but visual clues are still important. Experience and practice are necessary to make full use of this available 'sound'.

Is the fmGenie a true wireless radio system?

Yes. The Connevans fmGenie is an FM radio system working on a similar basis to the domestic BBC VHF radio network, although the fmGenie operates at a higher frequency and cannot be picked up on a conventional domestic radio. BBC Radio 2 transmits between 88-90.2 MHz in the VHF FM band and narrow band radio microphone systems for the hearing impaired operate around 173-175 MHz. In order that a number of radio aid systems may operate on the same site, a number of channels have been allocated, each with specific frequencies. Manufacturers use varying channel coding systems; the fmGenie uses a channel number code system follow this link to see the frequency/channel chart.

Who manufactures the fmGenie?

The fmGenie radio aid system - what is it?

 

Principle of operation

The fmGenie is a wireless communication system designed specifically for use by people with a hearing loss. The system consists of two main elements: a transmitter and a receiver . The transmitter unit collects the sound and transmits it without loss of quality to a receiving unit. Both 'ends' of the system are portable and the receiving unit presents this relayed sound in some way to the user.

 

Design objectives

Radio systems for deaf and hearing impaired people have been available for many years. The concept for the fmGenie was to design a product with high visual appeal and acceptance combined with functionality and features second to none.

The fmGenie has been designed to work with personal hearing aids. It is the user's hearing aids that provide the hearing loss correction and the power or gain for a user. However it would be acceptable to say that a radio aid adds 'effective' gain because as the speaker moves away from arms length distance there is no reduction in the volume (or power!) presented to the hearing aid user.

The fmGenie provides a high quality sound feed to allow the hearing aids to work to the best of their ability in a wide range of situations. Your fmGenie has also been designed to allow you to gain maximum benefit from future improvements in hearing aids.

What is special about the fmGenie?

The fmGenie is a leader of a completely new generation of radio aid system. It has a status display which gives visual feedback on how the fmGenie is working. This display provides information and reassurance to both the user and those working with them. The fmGenie is also packed with an unrivalled range of features. In this reference guide we will help you determine the features that are of benefit to you and the options to select - we will also help you decide which features to lock, disable or simply ignore.

What will a radio aid NOT do?

Well, a radio aid adds no gain (or power or volume) to a hearing aid - so a user will not be given increased amplification. It is the power output of the hearing aid, NOT the radio aid, that the hearing aid user listens to.

What does it do then?

The fmGenie will provide a consistent sound feed over varying distances just as if the person speaking was always at arm's length. The system can be used in conjunction with hearing aids, cochlear implant processors or headphones.

Who wears what?

The fmGenie transmitter unit is worn by the person speaking.

The fmGenie receiver is worn by the user who carries it around with them wherever they go. When using the fmGenie system, cochlear implant and hearing aid users still listen to their own aids but now the speaker's voice is fed 'directly to the ear of the user'. Headphone users simply listen to a receiver.

 

How does the hearing aid ?hear' the radio aid?

The input to the user's aid from the radio microphone receiver can be via a direct input connection (if available) or an inductive loop pick-up 'T' coil. The fmGenie will provide a consistent level of sound wherever the hearing aid user or person talking may be in the room. There is a great improvement in the 'signal to noise ratio' heard by the user with much less background 'mush'.

What happens if the person speaking talks loudly?

The Connevans fmGenie system has an automatic gain control (AGC) to prevent loud sounds from causing discomfort or distortion.

How well does it work?

The fmGenie has a very good frequency response with low levels of distortion. For hearing aid users the overall performance of the system will probably be limited by the user's own hearing aids - if the hearing aids are correctly fitted then the overall system will perform well; but if the hearing aids are badly chosen or fitted it will not. The system will give a range of at least a room inside or coverage outside of over a football pitch, thus meeting most requirements.

Who will the fmGenie help?

Your audiologist is the best person to consult with regards to suitability of equipment. However, as a rough guide an fmGenie radio aid will be of benefit to anyone who is a good hearing aid user. If you are able to sit beside a hearing aid user in a quiet room and communicate via their hearing aids rather than by lip reading (i.e. if the person is able to make good use of their hearing aids) then a radio aid will probably be helpful, allowing the hearing aid user to 'listen at a distance'. The fmGenie will help to counteract the problems of distracting sounds outside that quiet room situation. The fmGenie will also help those with a mild or no hearing loss using a pair of headphones who just require help with concentration in lectures.

How does it sound?

Using a pair of test headphones it is possible for a hearing person to 'get a feel' for the improvement that an fmGenie can give in noisy situations. When demonstrating an fmGenie to a user sitting nearby, an initial response from the hearing aid user of 'sounds the same', is not unusual. It is difficult to improve on the hearing aids themselves and because a consultation room is usually quiet it is not until we move outside into a more usual level of ambient noise with a greater distance from the person talking that the user realises the potential benefit of a radio aid. Bear in mind however, that a hearing aid user is not used to interpreting sounds from afar. 'Over here' means nothing, people often don't understand at first where the sound comes from if they cannot see the speaker talking. A radio aid increases the emphasis on sound, but visual clues are still important. Experience and practice are necessary to make full use of this available 'sound'.

Is the fmGenie a true wireless radio system?

Yes. The Connevans fmGenie is an FM radio system working on a similar basis to the domestic BBC VHF radio network, although the fmGenie operates at a higher frequency and cannot be picked up on a conventional domestic radio. BBC Radio 2 transmits between 88-90.2 MHz in the VHF FM band and narrow band radio microphone systems for the hearing impaired operate around 173-175 MHz. In order that a number of radio aid systems may operate on the same site, a number of channels have been allocated, each with specific frequencies. Manufacturers use varying channel coding systems; the fmGenie uses a channel number code system follow this link to see the frequency/channel chart.

Who manufactures the fmGenie?

The fmGenie system has been designed by Connevans and is manufactured, sold and serviced in our works in Merstham - Made in Britain

Connevans Limited
Bridge House
1 Nutfield Road
Merstham, Surrey, RH1 3EB
United Kingdom
Customer Service
01737 247571
Minicom
01737 644016
Fax
01737 223475
Email
info@connevans.com
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