[Athen] Need a New FM System

Forman, Tracey traceyf at disability.tamu.edu
Tue Dec 16 17:58:20 PST 2014

We have a few different models of FM systems on hand in our office:

1. Comtek AT216: http://comtek.com/at-216
2. Comfort Contego: http://www.comfortaudio.com/us/users/find-assistive-listening-device/product-overview/comfort-contego/
3. Phonak Remote Mic: http://www.phonak.com/com/b2c/en/products/wireless-accessories/products/remotemic/hearing-aid-accessory.html

We had a student specifically ask for the Comfort Contego, because it uses a digital signal and not an analog signal (the Comtek AT-216 model is analog).

The student that uses the Comfort Contego model seems to like it. I have a few concerns because the unit doesn't seem that durable. The plastic on the transmitter and receiver units seems thin and probably won't handle too many drops. It also has a black & white LCD screen for displaying menu items. Again I am concerned about the display if the unit gets dropped or if the units gets wet (rain, perspiration). It is only rated for 100 feet of distance. We have some very large classrooms, so the student has to be prepared to sit up front for the system to work in most of our rooms. The base unit comes with either an FM loop or a headset for the receiver and a few accessories that work with TVs and phones. The transmitter is advertised to be worn by the speaker clipped on the top front of their shirt. I think the transmitter unit is a little large for that placement, but the system does not come with an external microphone. However I think you could buy an external mic with a clip, if needed, to make the transmitter a little less obtrusive. We have not yet tried this.

The Phonak Remote Mic transmitters & system were also purchased for specific students who had used them before or who had a Phonak receiver of their own for personal sound amplification. The Phonak Remote Mic system is Bluetooth enabled which will only allow up to 20 meters/60 feet of distance. The transmitter units are also very small -- which is nice for discretion, but can be easy for students or instructors to forget or misplace. I wish the Phonak units came with a case. Right now the full unit is just in a cardboard box with hard plastic to separate the parts. The separate transmitters (remote mics) are also just in a cardboard box with hard plastic framing. They do have a small faux-suede bag to slip the transmitter clip into, but nothing durable to really carry them around with. I will probably need to find a better storage/loaner case system for the long term.

The Comtek is a simple, durable FM system that comes with a number of accessories and works for long distances (300 feet). The most current model also allows for two sources of input (environmental and transmitter). We've had students with FM loops, cochlear implants and headsets use them. The unit comes in a durable travel case with a set of rechargeable 9V batteries and a place for a set of back-up 9V standard batteries. It can been seen as a little bulky to carry around.

If you have other questions, give me a call.

Tracey Forman
Disability Services
Texas A&M University
traceyf at disability.tamu.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Jeffrey Dell
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 3:04 PM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Athen] Need a New FM System

A few months ago I got a quote for 4 Williams Sound System PFM 360's.
I just got approval to buy them and got an unexpected surprise.
Unfortunately they are discontinuing these devices. From what I'm told we can buy the parts and assemble the kits ourselves but they no longer sell them as Personal FM Systems. I've been using the Williams Sound FM Systems for years with mostly great results.
My vendor recommended the Contego FM systems. They look great but I have no experience with these devices. Has anyone used these and what kind of results did you get?
Cleveland State
athen-list mailing list
athen-list at mailman13.u.washington.edu

More information about the athen-list mailing list