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Audio units & hearing aids

In the "planning for your tour" advice, Rick recommends someone who wears hearing aids bring headphones to listen to the audio units that the tour guides use. Anyone tried this? What type of connector does the audio unit have? - I mean USB? USB-C? the old little post that some phones used to use? something else? If the connector is not compatible, do you think listening to the unit with one earbud and keeping the hearing aid in the other ear would work? (to be aware of ambient noise) However, taking the hearing aid in and out all day invites loss of a very expensive and vital item. Trying to figure this out for my husband.

Posted by
2236 posts

My husband and one other tourmate bought headphones at FNAC last year in Chartres. They have that little audio post that plugged into the RS audio system. He took his hearing aids out while he used them, and brought them along for the tour this year. It was easier for him to take both hearing aids out and stick them somewhere safe during the guided tours. The year before he lost one in Sicily.

Posted by
6670 posts

I have something like this, or one like this should work. It fits behind one ear and the 3.5 mm plug goes into the "whisper" unit that receives the guide's signal and hangs from your neck. It works fine, though I have to be careful managing the earpiece and hearing aid and glasses, all competing for scarce space behind an ear. The earpiece can be worn on either ear and seems to work as well as the cheap earbuds they hand out on the tour. Headphones would be more comfortable but heavier and bulkier, plus they could keep you from hearing street sounds you might need or want.

Sometimes guides have these for us geezers but it's safer to bring your own.

Posted by
1176 posts

Last year it was the "the old little post that some phones used to use". But it's a new travel year and perhaps they've updated their equipment. A call to the office to ask might be a good idea.

Posted by
234 posts

Because my HA are Bluetooth compatible, I plug my AirFly Bluetooth transmitter into the Whisper device, pair my HA to the transmitter, and then, Bob’s your uncle, I’m able to listen to the guide without having to remove my HA.

Posted by
527 posts

We just finished a tour and they were indeed the “old little post that phones used to use.”

Posted by
864 posts

I’ve been doing this for a number of years now. I take the one hearing aid out, leave the other in and use the whisper earpiece. Just making sure that I place the hearing aid in a secure pocket. Someone on our tour last year had a Bluetooth device that he was able to pair the whisper system with his hearing aids similar to pairing your ha’s with your iPhone. Need to figure that out but not a techie :)

Just saw the post above, so you plug the Airfly transmitter into the whisper system where you would plug in their ear bud and it will pair with the blue tooth ha’s? Hallelujah! Thank you, Readerman!

Posted by
234 posts

When I did it on our VFR Tour last October, the guide thought I wasn’t listening because there was no telltale cord going from my ear to the Whisper device. I had to convince her that, through the magic of Bluetooth and technology, I was, indeed, “plugged in”!

Posted by
23472 posts

My hearing lost is high end -- Ssss, etc., Too much gun fire and the army didn't issue ear plugs. I remove one unit and use the head set for that ear. The aid goes in the case and special spot in my little shoulder bag. Has always worked well.

Posted by
60 posts

In Sept 2023 we were on a RS Tour in Sicily. I had an issue using my Bose wired ear buds with the audio system used on this tour, which I had successfully used on previous tours. We discovered the issue was that audio system used a 3.5 mono plug and my wired Bose used a 3.5 stereo plug. There is a little adapter to cure this problem. A two pack is $7 at amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/Stereo-Adapter-Female-RFAdapter-Headphone
.5mm Mono to Stereo Adapter, 2 Pack 3.5mm 1/8" Mono Male Plug to 3.5mm 1/8" TRS Stereo Female Jack for Radio, Headphone
I assume that that system in Sicily was an older version, but just in case it may be prudent to take along this cheap adapter if you plan to use anything other than the supplied wire ear bud.
If you are a Bluetooth earbud user, consider an "AirFly" adapter. Google it!
PM me if you want more information.
Headed to Portugal this Sept.
ps; to the above. I too wear Hearing aids. I have discovered the AirFly adapter works well with the cheapest AirPods from Apple. I use them without removing my hearing aids. Works on the airplane system too.

Posted by
60 posts

ps; to the above. I too wear Hearing aids. I have discovered the AirFly adapter works well with the cheapest AirPods from Apple. I use them without removing my hearing aids. Works on the airplane system too.

Posted by
6 posts

I used an air fly Bluetooth device that plugged into the RS whisper device but reception was poor to absent if I strayed very far from the guide and there was a slight delay between the reception of the airfly and the actual speaker when I was close that made it very confusing. I found it easy to just use the one whisper earbud in one ear and my regular hearing aid in the other.