J'ai trouvé comment faire marcher le M-DEX correctement! C'est pas si mal!
I have just listened to the really interesting talk on audiology, hearing aids, and hacking them embedded below. Helga (@helgarhelgar), the speaker, is a friend-of-a-friend, fellow geek (probably geekier than me!) with hearing aids. And she has a few years’ headstart on me exploring the tech. I’ve just started going through her blog, hack and hear.
Midway through her talk, I was inspired to give the disappointing M-DEX another chance (I wrote about it in my previous article about hearing aids).
Lo and behold, I figured it out, and it doesn’t work too badly!
Here’s the trick:
- first of all, it increases the general volume of the hearing aids, so the horrible crackling sound I heard when I tried to use it with the phone is actually (mainly, as far as I can tell) outside sound: muting the “room” (with the mute button) takes care of that
- second, music sounds like crap, even on the music programme (the M-DEX music programe — as far as I’m aware my aids don’t have one yet); this is maybe because of my hearing aid settings or programme, and understanding better how compression works and feedback loops are countered, I’m also understanding why my hearing aids behave badly during my singing rehearsals => so I’m sticking to voice for the moment
- third, the M-DEX user interface is pretty crap, it’s hard to figure out which button to press when to obtain a desired result: what I do now is first mute, then press the middle button to get to the bluetooth menu, then enter that; however, if bluetooth is on and the device is selected (on my computer for example), it “switches on” when I start playing sound. Pressing the red button when listening to sound from the phone/computer and when on mute goes back to the main programme and un-mutes (if you’re just on normal mute it doesn’t do that). Very confusing. It’s probably going to take me some time to learn when not to press on which button.
- fourth, it’s possible to pair the M-DEX with more than one device (I mistakenly thought it wasn’t) — to prevent the M-DEX from kicking into gear unexpectedly, I turn off bluetooth on the devices if I’m not using them, or turn off the M-DEX
- fifth, the M-DEX needs to be pretty close to the hearing aids (which is why they provide a lovely strap so you can hang it around your neck like a necklace), or at least somewhere that is at a stable distance — if you move it around it crackles really annoyingly, and if an ear gets out of range the sound in it dies.
So, I might end up keeping the expensive toy after all if I settle on the Widex hearing aids! Still need to test it with a real phone call though, which I’m not going to do while in Spain.
Update: looks like I’m not alone in thinking the M-DEX is suboptimally designed!
After the glowing review of my hearing aids and my audiologist, it is unfortunate that I have to be so negative about the other component in question. The M-DEX is a piece of shit — I am a software engineer and architect, and I have never seen such poor interface quality or assumptions about the listener.
- More About Hearing Aids (And Geeking Out a Bit) (2012)
- A Week With My Superpower (2012)
- Nokia 6280 Shortcomings (2007)
- Entre gris clair et gris foncé (2001)
- Miglia Dialog+ Cordless Skype Phone (2007)
- LIft13, Mobile Stories: Christopher Kirkley, Sahel Sounds (2013)
- Sync Multiple Google Calendars on iPhone: Finally Figured it Out! (2011)
- AIDS Awareness (2001)
- Invest in Social Media Training (2009)
- Lots of Going Solo News (2008)