Hugh Hetherington Hearing Aid Museum
Hugh Hetherington Hearing Aid Museum

The Hearing Aid Museum

Hearing Aids of all types—Ear Trumpets, Carbon Hearing Aids, Vacuum Tube Hearing Aids, Transistor Hearing Aids, Body Hearing Aids, Eyeglass Hearing Aids and much more!

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Click on the "General Information" button (top button above) for an overview and general information on this category of hearing aid.

 

Miscellaneous Hearing Aid Accessories

Phonak SmartLink SX FM System

The Phonak SmartLink SX was made by Phonak A/G of Stafa, Switzerland (part of the Sonova Group) in 2004. The USA office of Phonak is located in Warrenville, IL.

The SmartLink SX was a three-in-one device: an FM transmitter, a mobile phone bluetooth link and hearing aid remote control. The SmartLink SX worked with all Phonak's hearing aids beginning with the Perseo, Claro and Supero.

The SmartLink SX measured 3 15/16" x 1 7/16" x ¾" (10.0 x 3.6 x 1.9 cm) and weighed 2 oz (57 g).

Read the Phonak SmartLink User Guide here.

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Front view of the Phonak SmartLink SX showing display window (top) and the six control buttons. Function: answer phone (upper left), hang up phone call (upper right), volume up on hearing aids (mid left), program key—P1 through P4 (mid right), volume down on hearing aids (lower left), FM only/FM plus microphone (lower right).

 

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Top view of the Phonak SmartLink SX showing the on-off switch. (You pressed and held it for 2 seconds.)

Below the on-off switch is the jack for the lavalier cord.

 

 

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Rear view of the Phonak SmartLink SX.

The three buttons (from top and down) determine the sound pattern the microphone picks up: "Super Zoom" (narrow-angle sound pickup), "Zoom" (wider-angle sound pickup) and "Omni" (360° sound pickup).

 

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Right side view of the Phonak SmartLink SX showing the multiple microphone ports (slot on left).

 

 

 

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The Phonak SmartLink's lavalier cord with integrated antenna. The lavalier cord plugged into the jack on the top of the SmartLink and extended the range of the FM transmitter from 10' (3 m) to 100' (30 m).

The lavalier cord doubled as a lanyard to hold the SmartLink SX around the speaker's neck.
 

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The Phonak SmartLink SX showing how the lavalier cord plugged into the top of the SmartLink.

Note: Phonak FM systems in the USA operated on one or more of the 23 narrow-band channels in the 216-217 MHz band. All Phonak FM transmitters and receivers are compatible with every other model of transmitter and receiver in the Phonak product line. Each transmitter and receiver channel 'frequency' is identified with a number. The number of the transmitter and FM receiver must be the same for these units to function together correctly.

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The Phonak SmartLink SX adapter for external connections showing the pin connectors that matched to the pins in the bottom of the SmartLink.

 

 

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The Phonak SmartLink SX showing how the adapter for external connections slid into the socket at the bottom front of the SmartLink.

 

 

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Top view of the  external connections adapter of the Phonak SmartLink SX showing the legend for the various jacks. On the left is the symbol for the battery charger. At the upper right is the direct audio input symbol and the lower right shows the symbol for the external microphone.

 

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Right side view of the external connections adapter for the Phonak SmartLink SX showing the 2.5 mm direct audio input jack (left) and the 3.5 mm external microphone jack (right).

With direct audio input you could use a patch cord and plug the adapter directly into a TV, CD player, MP3 player, etc.

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Left side view of the external connections adapter for the Phonak SmartLink SX showing the jack for the charger plug.

 

 

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Close-up view of the Phonak MicroLink Model MLxS FM receiver showing the on-off switch (right side), the Phonak name (top) and the 3-prong plug (left) that plugged into the "audio-shoe" (boot) on the bottom of a Phonak BTE hearing aid.

 

Note that by itself, the SmartLink FM microphone was useless. It needed a corresponding FM receiver attached to a hearing aid (or stand alone receiver) in order to get its signal into the hearing aid.

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Close-up view of the Phonak MicroLink Model MLxS receiver showing its small size in relation to a penny.

 

 

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Close-up view of the Phonak MicroLink Model MLxS receiver showing the switch on the left end (in the off position). When on, the hearing aid received sound from the remote SmartLink FM microphone.

The Phonak MicroLink Model MLxS receiver was  even smaller than the MLx receiver, but could receive any of the 23 frequencies in the 216-217 mHz band since it was a synthesized receiver and automatically detected the frequency set on the transmitter and switched to it.
 

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Close-up view of a Phonak "audio-shoe", "shoe" or more commonly, "boot".

The "boot" got its name because it fit on the bottom of certain behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids that had special direct audio input (DAI) connectors that mated with the connectors in the boot.

The clear plastic top snapped into place over the bottom of the hearing aid.
 

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The Phonak MicroLink MLxS FM receiver fit into the bottom of the boot (shown here unplugged).

 

 

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Close-up view of a Phonak "audio-shoe" with the MicroLink MLxS FM receiver plugged into it.

This whole assembly made the BTE hearing aid hang down more, but if gave FM capabilities to the hearing aid.

 

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If you had Phonak hearing aids that did not have DAI connections, did not have MLxS receivers, or wore other brands of hearing aids, as long as they had t-coils, you could wear the Phonak MyLink FM receiver and hear sounds from the SmartLink transmitter.

The Phonak MyLink consisted of a receiver that was attached to a neckloop. You wore the neckloop around your neck (obviously) and the t-coils in your hearing aids picked up the magnetic field from the neckloop and converted it to audio sound.

 

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Front view of the Phonak MyLink. There were no controls on the front—just various indicators that lit up showing you the status of your MyLink.

At the very top is the serial number and below it the model "MyLink" and below that the Phonak name.

Below that, the two orange bars lit up when your battery was almost drained. The 6 orange bars lit up to tell you your battery was "dead". The green bars lit up while charging the MyLink and the solid green lit up to indicate it was finished charging.

The volume control status indicator had a orange bar at the minimum (left) and maximum (right) volume limits and the floating green bar indicated the current volume level.

Below the volume indicators were the symbols for the jacks on the bottom—the earphone jack (left) and the recharger jack (right).

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Right side view of the Phonak MyLink showing + and - (up and down) volume control (top center) and the on-off switch to the right.

Read the Phonak MyLink User Guide here.

 

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Rear view of the Phonak MyLink.

 

 

 

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Top rear view of the Phonak MyLink showing the neckloop unplugged. The neckloop unplugged on just the one side. This made it easier to put on (if you had problems slipping the neckloop over your head) and was a safety feature. If the neckloop got caught on something, it would pull apart rather than pulling/trapping you to whatever it was caught on.

Between the jacks is a indicator light. It turns green for 3 seconds after you turn it on (to show it is on and working). It turns orange when the battery is almost run down.

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Rear bottomview of the Phonak MyLink showing the two jacks on the bottom. The jack on the left was for plugging in the charger to recharge the internal rechargeable batteries. The jack on the right was for plugging in earphones or earbuds for listening if you didn't have hearing aids. Note, it was a non-standard 2.5 mm jack.

 

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The Phonak SmartLink SX charger. The SmartLink contained a rechargeable lithiuim-ion battery that could be recharged via the external connections adapter.

Note: the MyLink used the same charger as the SmarkLink.

 


 

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