I like technology. When step back and think about the daisy-chaining of all the components in the list below from an engineering perspective, I think holy crap that's ridiculous. When I do it as a user, though, it just... works. We have this technology and it works. I totally live in the future.

This is an actual section from my hearing aids paper (a small portion of the many pages describing wireless devices):

All these products work together as mix-and-match components in a larger and more customizable audio solutions system. For instance, I have a SmartLink+ (FM transmitter) and an iCom (relay device) with an attached MLxi FM receiver. I am also a dancer – but because of the severity of my hearing loss, I need to hear music at volumes that typically breaks through the walls of nearby listeners. How do I practice without disturbing the entire neighborhood?

  1. I use the extension on my SmartLink+ to plug in my music player via a 1/8” attenuated audio cable that goes between the SmartLink+ and my music player's headphone jack. (My music player does not have bluetooth.) I put this on the floor in the corner.

  2. I wear my iCom with the MLxi FM receiver and tuck it into my shirt.

  3. Music goes from my music player to the SmartLink+ via the 1/8” audio cable.

  4. Music goes from the SmartLink+ to the MLxi FM receiver via FM.

  5. Music goes from the MLxi FM receiver to the iCom via the 3-pin Euro connector.

  6. Music goes from the iCom to my hearing aids via NFMI.

  7. I dance.

I actually prefer doing this "dancing to music" thing without my hearing aids. They get hot and sweaty when I'm running about trying to figure out leaps, the wireless streaming sounds scratchier than the pure acoustic sound, and sometimes the connection will break and the music will stutter. The SmartLink/iCom interprets long silences (more than a second or two) as "we should automatically disconnect and give you input from your hearing aid mics now!" which is fantastic in some situations, and very annoying in others -- track changes and long rests are not the right time to disconnect my FM unit, thank you very much. And while the iCom is smallish (about the size of those little plastic packages of 2 saltine crackers that you get with your cup of chili at diners), it's still something I have to wear around my neck, a little square nub resting on my sternum, there to be crushed by belly-down floorwork or hugs.

But, y'know, I live with what I've got. And I've got engineering. And it only gets better -- that's one of the things I like about the engineering field... it gets better, it makes things better.