Mary Rapaport is the director of product marketing at ReSound. Contact her at .

Listening in noisy restaurants is difficult, even if you have good hearing. Imagine how hard it is for those with hearing loss. Hearing in background noise remains one of the most prevalent complaints among hearing-impaired individuals.

Enter the Unite Mini Microphone. Since the launch of the Mini Microphone, we’ve heard very positive and encouraging stories about how it is helping transform the lives of hearing-impaired users.

With the Mini Microphone, control of hearing is given to the individual, or someone who loves them enough to ensure that they don’t miss another phrase, movie, joke, or interaction again. It directs the target message directly to the ear, not wasting time to stop at an FM boot/receiver, neck loop, or another intermediary device. It marks a departure from what traditional connectivity has been able to do up to this point. The Mini Microphone takes people beyond hearing thresholds and allows them to do things that maybe even normal-hearing people can’t do that well.

Patient stories range in simplicity—but never in importance—according to the person’s lifestyle. The ReSound support staff has heard heartwarming stories of how the Mini Microphone has literally saved marriages, allowing husbands and wives to communicate again.

It’s one thing to hear about what hearing technology can technically do, but we think it’s also valuable to learn how the technology is being applied in real-life experiences. With that in mind, here are some of the more unique and innovative applications in which the Mini Microphone is being used.


“We have a few older ladies who all have Aleras and Mini Mics, and they play bridge together at their retirement community,” says Jennifer Reeves LaBorde, AuD, owner of The Hearing Center, Pensacola, Fla. “Every lunch or game that the ladies have, they all take out their respective Mini Mics and put them in the middle of the table. One of their table-mates didn’t have Aleras, but she was so tickled by this gathering of the Mini Mics that she wanted one for herself; she called us to upgrade to Aleras so she could have ‘the little box to put on the table during bridge.'”

ReSound’s Mini Microphone


“My wife is a Licensed Massage Therapist and recently discovered she has a moderate high frequency hearing loss,” says Alphonse Anthony Sasso, regional manager at ReSound. “She has been talking about asking her patients if it is ok with them to clip the Mini Microphone under the head rest of the massage table so that she does not have a difficult time understanding them when they are facing their head to the floor.”

“I have a middle-school teacher who puts the Mini Microphone in the back of the classroom to hear the soft-spoken teen girls’ voices and also what is happening in his classroom when he turns his back or walks in the hall,” says Susan Schnack, AuD, owner of Sarasota Hearing Center, Sarasota, Fla. “He can hear them passing notes in the back row. Spooks those whisperers right out!”


“We have a patient who was fit by another provider. He has single-sided deafness, and was struggling with one instrument,” says Tricia Veik, licensed hearing aid dispenser, Concept by IOWA Hearing AID Centers in Ames, Iowa. “I introduced him to the Mini Mic, and his world opened up. We walked around the mall, and I wore it while walking on the side of his ‘dead’ ear and while standing in front of him on an escalator. The whole time, he was making the people with normal-hearing jealous because they don’t have one. Bye-bye, CROS aids!”


Today, many homes have working mothers. This makes the car ride home from day care an important moment for connecting. “For a hearing impaired parent, it can become yet another period of missed time that even the latest and greatest in hearing aid technology cannot overcome,” says Robin Donham, regional sales manager at ReSound. “One hearing-impaired mom told me she clipped the Mini Microphone onto her child’s car seat. Now her child’s voice is the only thing she hears all the way home.”


So many couples have commented to us about the difference the Mini Microphone has made to their relationships. From conversations being limited, being able to hear one another has brought a new lease on life to their marriage. “I think I’ve saved five or six marriages already with the Mini Mic!” says Jane Watson, owner of Audicles Hearing Services, San Antonio, Tex.

“One of my Mini Mic patients has created a new wearing position called the Bra Mount,” says Watson. “His wife can wear her Mini Mic inside her clothes and he still hears her without any annoying scratching sounds.”

In another example, we heard about a couple where both the husband and wife are hearing-impaired and binaurally aided. Each has their own Mini Microphone to hear their spouse and a TV streamer. They keep their settings so that the ear nearest the spouse is on the Mini Microphone, and the ear furthest from the spouse is set to the TV streamer. They hear exactly what they want to hear—each other—and their nightly line-up of old sitcoms.


A 12-year-old football player hands the Mini Microphone to his coach to be able to hear everything that the coach says during training and actual games.


A FedEx delivery man with tinnitus (but otherwise normal hearing) connects the Mini Microphone to his iPhone and leaves it in his truck, so that he can hear his Pandora music streaming app all day as he goes in and out of offices delivering packages.


One patient living in a nursing home has limited mobility, dexterity, and memory. Her loved ones realized that there are three key messages that she wants and needs to hear: the TV, the doctor/caretakers, and family members. A family member bought the Mini Microphone for her and counseled the staff in the nursing home on how to keep it charged and how to use it. The nursing home staff now place the Mini Microphone wherever the patient wants or needs to hear. She has begun answering questions again and interacting with others. There is no price that can be placed on a person’s ability to hear “I love you too” from a person who may not be there tomorrow.


Sometimes, there’s a good reason for eavesdropping on conversations. For example, listening to a loved one who has a disability.

“I have a patient who puts it on his wife—who has dementia,” says Schnack. “When they go into a grocery store, he can hear where she is, and when she gets too far away, he knows immediately.”

Although ReSound doesn’t recommend it, we’ve also heard that some patients tease that they can even use the Mini Microphone to spy on their spouse!

“One of my patients who is really hard of hearing told me that he and his wife can actually talk to each other from another room,” says Watson. “They attended a wedding reception recently, and when he came out of the men’s room laughing, his wife asked why. He said that he had heard her talking and panicked that he had gone into the ladies’ room instead!”

Similarly, others have overheard conversations they shouldn’t have heard, such as a surprise birthday party being planned, Christmas gifts being bought, and even a spouse flirting with a guest!

“A patient left my office and went shopping with her daughter-in-law,” says Watson. “The patient went into the ladies’ room at the store, and her daughter-in-law continued talking to the sales lady about wrapping up some of the things as a surprise for Christmas. When the patient came out, she said, ‘Well, now I guess I know what I’m getting for Christmas!'”

A great story is about a 90-year-old patient who left her Mini Microphone in the kitchen at night so that she can hear if her 92-year-old diabetic husband tries to sneak forbidden snacks. She has a cochlear implant on one ear, and when he sees her remove it, he thinks he is safe until he hears her yelling, “Get your hand out of the cookie jar!”

“I’ve used it with a set of demo hearing aids to listen to my student intern the first time she flew solo on an evaluation,” said Laura Toll Marchiano, AuD, Towson, Md.


It’s clear from these patient experiences that the Mini Microphone technology effectively improves the signal-to-noise ratio for the listener, especially in an environment with background noise. This technological advancement means reduced cost and hassle for the hearing instrument user.

Could these stories have been possible with hearing aids alone? Sometimes, maybe. But, there are limitations to hearing aids. Excessive noise and distance are certainly the top two, and both can be overcome using the Unite Mini Microphone.