The Bionic Sound Project

this girl’s journey to sound

Phonak MicroLink MLxS FM System Monday, January 22, 2007

Today’s goal was to get the FM System to work with the cochlear implant. This time, Catherine helped us fix it, and it worked on the first try!

I have the Phonak MicroLink MLxS FM system, along with the audio shoe (T-SP) for the Siemens Triano SP and the earhook (iConnect) for Advanced Bionics.

The boots/earhook look and feel humongous, so one of the issues is cosmetics versus being able to hear. I admit I’m turned off at this huge bulking monstrosity that’s perched on my ear, but after learning what it can do, it’s amazing and may be worth it.

I can hook it up to a stereo/television/computer/ipod and walk around my apartment, wireless up to 100 feet depending on which “cable” is used. The signal strength depends on which cable is used as the antenna is located in the cable. There’s also an option to use it with a cellphone, through BlueTooth, but I didn’t pay attention to that, as my hearing isn’t for telephone use.

Last night, I tried it out on my own at the apartment. It was after quiet hours, so I hooked it up to my computer, and I could hear the music from anywhere in the apartment, loud and clear. The best part was being able to do everyday activities, without having to worry about cords, dropping the iPOD, catching it on something. TOTAL FREEDOM. I could have used this last year, without having to freak out about my iPOD falling out of my pocket and into the tub of chemicals when working in the darkroom.

I can see how this technology can be manipulated…such as hooking it up to my iPOD, putting it in my backpack, and listening to music during really boring lectures (like I would ever do that). But the fact that the technology exists is what is so exciting to me. Nobody else knows that I’m listening to music but me.

I think my mom is going to be very excited about this. No more music blasting through the house when I’m at home. 😀

The only negative to the system that I can see so far, other than the cosmetics is that it cannot be used on an airplane while in flight. It operates on a radio frequency, and the booklet says “do not use on aero planes”. I also get static with it, but I’m not sure if it’s a microphone issue or a channel issue. The FM receiver can be changed to different channels, so if you’re in an area where wireless loops are available, you can change to that channel. But if you’re nearby, and have it set on that channel, you may not get the information from your area, due to interference.


24 Responses to “Phonak MicroLink MLxS FM System”

  1. Ian Says:

    My roommate is completely jealous of my FM system:
    Him: “Dammit, I want wireless headphones!”
    Me: “They do make those, you know.”
    Him: “Yeah, but they’re expensive.”
    Me: [dies laughing]

    By the way, a, uh, friend of mine uses his Lexis on airplanes all the time. No problems yet. He says it’s even possible to get around the no-iPod-during-takeoff rule.

    Is the iConnect specific to the MLxS, or can it be used with any Europlug-capable system?

  2. Allison Says:

    See, I’m not sure what you mean by the “europlug” prong. I’m assuming that it’s the three-prong system, if so, then here’s the answer to your question about the iCONNECT.

    I pulled off the MicroLink MLxS receiver off the iCONNECT and it has those three prongs, so I would assume they are interchangeable.

    Best thing to do is to check with the manufacturer of your FM system to see about the specs for compatibility with the Harmony or the Auria.

    With this FM System, it’s equipment you can check out for the school year. It’s a good thing because Mandy wants me to hold off on buying any accessories (headphones) until I get the Harmony and then I can test stuff together to make sure it actually works with the Harmony.

    And your friend is so bad! It could cause interference with the communications of the plane! I would hate to be the one that caused problems up in the air for the plane/pilot because of the FM System! Tsk. ;-0

  3. Hoh Says:

    I use Phonak’s SmartLink with my hearing aids, and whenever I get too far away from the SmartLink, I get static. If I attach the antennae to the SmartLink, I can go further away from it and NOT get static.

    Does the MicroLink come with an antennae?


  4. barb Says:

    love the info that you have on here. My husband is thinking of getting the phonak system with his implant and you are giving us hope that this will work.

  5. Allison Says:

    To Cindy,

    I’m not sure what you mean by antennae. There are different cables that you can attach to the FM microphone to pick the transmitting distance you want. There’s a 3 inch one, a 8 inch one (i think), and a long loop one that goes around your neck.

    To Barb,

    Thanks so much for your compliments. It *SHOULD* work with Advanced Bionics, but you have to have the earhook for it, the programming to make it work. It took us a few tries to get it going, and it’s not perfect (it was my first time that I’ve used an FM system on my own) so I didn’t always get it to work. I may not have been doing it correctly.

    Good luck and let me know how it goes!

  6. Susan Says:

    I have a Phonak Smartlink SX and am overall pleased. however recently crackling has entered the scene. I’d like to in the future to get CI and I hope that it works with the Smartlink. I also JUST discovered the bluetooth feature.. WOW!

  7. Sharad Says:

    I want to buy the Phonak smartlimk sx FM system but worried about it’s cost. In India it costs about 190,000 Indian Rupees(INR ) and in UK 1180 pounds i.e.roughly equal to 82600 (INR). It is the difference of more than 50 %.
    I can not understand why this much difference and also I feel that there may be some seller who sells for less than this.
    Can anybody help me to locate the lowest priced seller for smartlink sx FM system?
    Thank you for your time and wish to help me.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.

    • Rajiv Says:

      Hi Sharad:

      You are right. I tried one Phonak FM and they told me a price of INR 230,000. That is expensive. I don’t think that you will get it lower than what was offered to you in India. However try to bring from abroad but check the warranty issue.

      Good luck


  8. Ashley Says:

    Well, I have SmartLink system, but I lost my MLxS things, so can you tell me how much it cost that MLxS thing?

  9. Allison Says:

    Hi Ashley,

    no idea how much it costs. I was able to “borrow” it from school, as anybody who wants one, can “check it out” for the year.

    But I would figure that it’s expensive… maybe $200? That seems to be the price for a lot of the CI accessories.


  10. Allison Says:

    Hi Susan,

    Hmm, in the past, when I’ve had crackling, it was usually due to some kind of interferece with some electrical equipment in the environment. It also had to do with the settings.

    I think that’s one of the reasons why I chose to not have external environmental noise, and just do AUX only. I haven’t used it since last year, so I don’t know what to tell you.


  11. Allison Says:

    Hi Sharad,

    I’m sorry I can’t help you answer your question. I’m not a dealer, nor do I have experience with overseas prices with hearing aid and cochlear implant accessories.

    Hope you find a answer to your questions soon!


  12. Sharad Says:

    Thanks for reply.
    I am trying to buy the smartlink sx , Please suggest me any one who sells it if you know.
    Thank you.

  13. Calvin Says:

    Tell me how you can do that on the phone, I Tried to turn on bluetooth and still no answer…. HELP

  14. Allison Says:

    For Sharad and Calvin, I really can’t help as I am not a technical support person, and I also don’t know where you can purchase it, other than from your audiologist that is in your area.

    I had a hard time with the bluetooth too. There’s a way to do it, and I don’t remember how to do it, as I don’t have it anymore. It was a loaner for me to try out.

  15. Colin Says:

    Here a couple of sites that have the Smartlink on sale.*:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7ASUS_enNZ312&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=D7b-SfiwCZzytAPJ8tzVAQ&sa=X&oi=product_result_group&resnum=1&ct=title

    Maybe you have already purchased one. I would be keen to know how you are going with it. Please visit my blog and tell me. I getting two Microlink Freedom’s and a Smartlink SX next week and will be posting my expierences with it. It will also have an interface for our home phone so I just pick up a caller ID phone, my brain programs itself for the caller and the unit will transmit FM directly to my implants. Cheers Colin

  16. Sharad Says:

    Thanks for reply.
    I am still looking to purchase smartlink SX of Phonak and 2 receivers, but unable to find the right seller (I mean offering it at reasonable price).
    Please tell me a seller offering it at lowest price.
    Thank you.

  17. Uday Says:

    I am trying to understand why I require two FM receivers MLXs FM receiver and Microlink Freedom FM receiver along with Smartlink transmitter ? Colin mentioned that he also was going to get two microlinks.

    Thanks -Uday

  18. Grzegorz Says:

    I have System FM Smartlink SX and want to sell, If you question, please contact. thank you

    • Grzegorz Says:

      I have System FM Smartlink SX and want to sell, If you have question, please contact e-mail: thank you

      • наталья Says:

        привет.мы из россии.у нас малыш глухой. ему сделали операцию и поставили кохлеарный имплант. сейчас он слышит хорошо,но понимает еще плохо. мы хотим приобрести FMсистему.как нам можно это сделать?как выбрать правильную для ребёнка?сколько стоит такая возможность?

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