I’ve had a long day today. So I’m going to unwind by introducing my Roger Pen to you!
So far, I’ve had Phonak’s Roger Pen for a little over a month. In the time leading up to it, I (maybe a little obsessively) trawled through Phonak’s (not very helpful) website, stumbled upon (the comparatively more helpful) Phonak Pro site, digested blog posts and had my eyes glaze over on audiologyonline.com – a really good resource for the more technical bits of how things work, but it does take some patience, I think. All until I could get my hands on it.
I still don’t yet have the DSLR photos with me, but I’ll put my phone pictures up in the meantime before adding the rest in later.
I got my Pen one Friday afternoon from my audiologist, then carefully unboxed everything that night. Here’s everything that came in the box.
Above, some of the more important things: the Pen, of course, an invaluable user guide, charging dock, audio cable with a micro-USB plug at one end and a standard 3.5mm audio plug at the other (for listening to stuff on a computer). The charging plug is also adapted for use in the UK/EU/US. You just switch the plug plates out if you have to.
I thought the TV cable one was really cool, though I haven’t had the chance to use it…yet!
On to assembling the charging kit! The charging wire links up the electrical plug and charging dock. There’s a USB plug on one end and a micro-USB plug on the other. The pen slots into the charging dock via another micro-USB plug. Because micro-USB cables are so common, charging it is a pinch even if you don’t have the dock with you. Here’s looking at you, Apple.
But the USB plug doesn’t fit in fully into the slot. It won’t. It wobbles around if you try. That’s one thing I hate about it.
Two ways of charging the pen:
- With the charging dock –
And 2. With just a micro-USB cable –
Thoughts so far: I came from the Phonak SmartLink and inspiro, and before that, a clunkier version of both, with wires and manual switching of channels (quite fun!) which I can’t seem to find online. Online, the pen looked like it had a casing made of solid metal or aluminum. Given all these, I was expecting it to have some heft to it. It’s not – it’s surprisingly light! The casing is really plastic, so no big surprise there – but it’s still way lighter than what I’m used to. Plus or minus? We’ll see how well the casing holds up. So far, no one’s dropped it…yet. Or I will probably chicken out and sew a cover for it.
We ordered integrated FM receivers to go with the pen, since my old ones won’t work with it.
I have a Phonak Bolero V. My old faithful Naida UP III dAZ went bananas and conked out on me. I slightly regret the Bolero purchase, especially since we got the Naida repaired later on and everything looks and hears great again. Like brand spanking new. But the Bolero is alright too. Here’s it with the receiver on.
The putting on of the thing is somewhat finicky – you have to poke the screws out of the original with a slim wand gadget they enclose with the receiver, then remove the door and stick the receiver on, then poke the screws back through. It’s my first time using an integrated receiver! Up till now, I’ve always used an audio shoe and connected the receiver to the pin jack in the shoe.
Here’s my CI FM receiver. It’s definitely lighter than my other receiver, which can be a pro/con depending on how you look at it. The rubber grip of my other one feels more sturdy, but lends the receiver more weight too. In contrast, this one is plastic.
There’s a notch at the top of the FM receiver so the flap on the CI (above, centre photo) slots right in, comfy-like. That design feature’s been around for awhile – I had it on my old FM receiver, too.
I’m using the Pen for school, so I dug out the neckloop to try and figure out how it works. It’s considerably shorter than the other loops I’ve used, but is a very nice length – I’d say ~8 inches or so from the mouth.
The photo below shows how you adjust for length.
Just pull the loop through and stick it in place in the hole to the left. It should hold. No one has yet needed to adjust for length, so I can’t tell you whether it actually holds or not. The other end of the rubber grip consists of a set of two magnets which you pull apart to hang around your neck because of the short loop, like so:
Things I like about the pen so far:
- Bluetooth. So cool! It definitely makes phone calls wayyyy easier. I usually use Bluetooth for phone calls. I switch between using Bluetooth and the audio cable when I’m listening to music/lecture videos. I have T-Coil earphones but rarely use them…I should really!
- It’s light. And not obtrusive.
- Works fairly well – there’s less interference than I’m used to.
- Charges really quickly – I think less than an hour. I’m afraid of it running out of battery on me, so I haven’t tried to push its limits yet.
Things I can’t stand:
- Bluetooth is hit-and-miss. I have to fiddle around with it fairly often, switching it on and off again both here and on my computer. So far, it’s worked quite reliably with my phone.