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Why we use the Phonak Roger On

Phonak “hEARos” Cyril Dessel and Dany Mingas both lead active lives in spite of their hearing problems. In this joint interview, they share their tips for hearing better at work and during family meals.

Why we use the Roger On: Q&A with “hEARos” Cyril Dessel and Dany Mingas

Q: You both lead active professional and personal lives. Tell us a bit about your jobs and your passions.

Dany Mingas: My entire life revolves around the ocean. Having previously worked as a diver, I am now a consultant and specialist in underwater maintenance and repair work. I also work on projects relating to new developments at sea. I am incredibly fortunate to do a job that aligns perfectly with the things I’m passionate about. I love all marine board sports, such as surfing, long boarding, and wing foiling. I also go fishing and underwater hunting on a regular basis.

Since the end of 2018, I have really gotten into big wave surfing. For me this was a new challenge with new thrills, and one that requires a daily commitment to keep me well trained and prepared to surf these kinds of waves – and sometimes bailing!

Cyril Dessel: I am the manager of a professional cycling team. I’ve always been immersed in the world of cycling; I also raced for many years at a high level.

I’ve been wearing hearing aids for almost 20 years. I love sports in general, but I particularly love cycling and soccer. I also like getting together with my family and friends over a meal, either at a restaurant or at home. Socializing is very important for me.

Q: You wear hearing aids every day to help you hear better and live active lives. Are you able to pinpoint where voices are coming from and be properly involved in meetings at the office or family gatherings?

Dany Mingas: That largely depends on the acoustics of the room and the number of people talking. However, during business meetings with important content and lots of participants, I rely on an extra device in addition to my Naída™ Paradise hearing aids just to be on the safe side. The Roger On™ microphone is designed for situations like these, and works by eliminating ambient noise and amplifying voices.

Cyril Dessel: In these situations, and when there are a lot of people or it’s very noisy, my Audéo Paradise hearing aids aren’t quite enough for me to hear all sounds properly. This means I really have to concentrate hard and, as a result, I suffer from listener fatigue, which sometimes prevents me from leading an active life. That’s why I use the Roger On™ add-on, a microphone designed for use during any conversations where there is background noise or where the other participants are far away.

“I suffer from listener fatigue, which sometimes prevents me from leading an active life. That’s why I use the Roger On…”

Q: When you’re sat around a table, how many people does it take before it becomes harder for you to hear?

Dany Mingas: During private dinners, I would say that things get harder for me when there are more than three people. If we’re eating at a pub and the room is open-plan, I tend to struggle straight away. I find it impossible to communicate with the waiter, especially if they are wearing a mask that muffles their speech and stops me from lip-reading.

Cyril Dessel: It gets hard for me when there are more than six to eight people. It’s hardest in noisy places such as restaurants or meeting rooms with U-shape seating. This layout puts a big distance between people, so I have to be careful about the seat I choose.

Read more: 5 ways restaurants can be more deaf friendly 

Q: How does the Roger On™ microphone help you stay active?

Dany Mingas: In environments where the quantity, frequency, and intensity of ambient noise is high, or in challenging situations with six, eight, 12, or more people, and involving presentations or intense debates on business matters, the  Roger On™ allows me to hear like normal, even with all of these sound constraints. It lets me fully concentrate on the topic at hand, the presentation, or the discussions. It gives me greater confidence in my hearing, and therefore in myself. Without it, I couldn’t live the active life that I do.

“It gives me greater confidence in my hearing, and therefore in myself.”

Cyril Dessel: As the Roger On™ is a microphone, it helps me hear the people I am talking to better, whether that’s in a restaurant or at work meetings. I place it in the middle of the table, and I can hear everyone’s voices directly through my hearing aids. The sound is much clearer. If I want to focus on one specific conversation, I can just hold the Roger On™ in my hand. Then it automatically switches into pointing mode, and I only hear the person I’m talking to directly. This is also useful during family meals, when I want to talk to the person next to me or across from me.

Q: Do you have any anecdotes you wish to share?

Dany Mingas: For four years now, I’ve been in charge of running training courses on underwater technologies on behalf of my company. This training takes place over five days. It’s an intensive course, and the wide scope means it can be hard to take it all in. At the last session in October 2021, I went to the balcony just off our training room to have a cup of coffee during the 10 AM coffee break. I accidentally left my Roger On™ on my lectern.

As it was still connected to my Naída Paradise hearing aid via Bluetooth, I ended up hearing the participants still in the room. They were talking about the organization, content, and quality of the training course. In a nutshell, I heard some impromptu, unfiltered feedback from my participants!
It was nice to hear that I appeared to be successfully sharing my passion for the ocean, even in such a technical area as underwater technologies.

Cyril Dessel: One evening, I was out at a gourmet restaurant with my family and I put my Roger On™ on the table. Shortly after we started eating, the head waiter came over and asked me what it was. He thought I was spying on his restaurant and was recording everything that happened!

Watch: How to improve your communication with Phonak Roger

Author Details
The HearingLikeMe editorial team includes Jill Blocker von Bueren and Lisa Goldstein.