Over the years, I’ve seen most all types of headphones show up at the gym – from small “bud” ones to over-the-ears monsters. The one common denominator was a wire attached to either the person’s smart phone or the Cardio Machine’s TV screen.

Being a person who wears Hearing Aides, I’ve never been able to utilize this equipment. I would need to take out my aides, find a place to hold my super expensive electronic equipment, plug in ear buds and then turn the volume up to super loud. To top that off, I was still a “flip” phone guy. – Yes – I know – no excuses.

Two things happened at overlapping times. First, I got new mini behind-the-ear aides. These were blue tooth ready when worn with a receiver/transmitter/volume control hung around the neck.Unitron Bluetooth

Hurray, I could now hear the cell phone easily and without anyone hearing the other end of my conversation. In case you haven’t guessed, using a cell phone with hearing aides is less than easy. I usually default to the speaker phone, which is annoying to everyone around me. Since now the sound from the phone was beamed directly into my aides, the clarity was amazing.

Then I got a Samsung Galaxy S5. I entered the modern world. Now I was able to utilize Pandora and drown out the gym’s music which was always chosen by the kid at the front desk.

Let me digress. I am at the Verizon store working with a young guy. He checked – yes I could upgrade. I showed him my flip phone and the S5 I wanted – and I swear – he said:

“Whooaaaaa – are you sure you can handle this?”

The best part – No Wire. I was ahead of the curve. One day I looked around and there were people at the gym and elsewhere wearing things around their neck that were wired into their ear buds. Wireless Headphones had arrived. Check out Shrinkinguy’s Blog Post on Wireless Headphones.

Still, I had two problems. First the noise level at the gym was so loud, I had to turn the volume up loud enough for others to hear music coming from my ears. Hello – digital world! One adjustment by my audiologist and the background sound was toned down by 30% when the cell phone or music was on. Sweet. Plain old ear buds can’t do that!

Final problem – the TV on the Cardio machines. How do I access that sound. I have been suffering with just reading “closed captioned” when available, or the little stream of info running across the base of the screen for CNN and other news stations. 

The other evening, I was at a business networking event and my audiologist was there. We chatted, I complained – he said come in – I may have a solution. I did – and he did. Simplicity plus. A wire with the appropriate “male” plug portion at both ends. Plug one end into the Cardio TV and the other end into my blue tooth receiver/transmitter and I am now connected. This time – like everyone else – I am tethered to the Cardio machine’s TV screen. No problem – I can hear and no longer have to read the screen. Happiness.

This little wire has given me my own personal ear buds.

So now – tell me – why are glasses fashionable – but hearing aides need to be hidden? If you don’t need them today – you will need them tomorrow.

Edit 3-12-16: Went to the Gym early this morning. Tried our the new system. It worked! Beyond happy.  So why the heck didn’t I ask this question ages ago?