Laryngectomy and Electrolarynx guide – Choosing The Right Electrolarynx
Choosing the right electrolarynx could be a hard task. There are different brands and models with different looks and feels to them. Your speech therapist will most likely give you several to try and choose from, however, in order to make this critical choice, you need to take several things into consideration before buying one:
1. Sound reproduction: different speech aid devices produce different types of sound. Is important to consider this because the ones that you think sound the best may not be the correct for you. In the process of learning to use it, you will find that the sound it makes changes with your skill to use the device itself.
Some devices only have a fire button and nothing else, but many have a wide arrange of options like volume control, tone control, and pitch control. Speech aids like this can sound in any way you like, and most importantly can be fitted precisely to your liking.
2. Battery: all electrolarynx devices have some sort of batteries that provide their power:
• Removable, proprietary battery. These usually come with two non-standard batteries, which you can exchange while the other is charging. That will allow you to have a working speech aid at all times. Unfortunately, it comes with a flaw. Proprietary means it is a unique battery made for this specific model of electrolarynx. They are usually tough to find and very expensive to buy. Most of them do not really hold a significant charge so you will have to replace and charge them often.
• Removable 9V battery. These use the same principle as the previous type, with the added benefit that they use a standard 9V battery that is widely available and cheap.
• Integrated battery. Considered the best one, is the design used by the latest electrolarynx devices. There is a big Li-Io battery integrated into the device itself, which holds a considerable charge that could last you days and can be charged in only 60-90 minutes. They could be charged via a standard USB cable, in your car, from your phone battery bank or even at your local coffee shop due to the wide variability of USB chargers.
3. Build quality: your speech aid is going to be a part of your everyday life. It is going to be in your hands as much as your phone, if not more. Expect to drop it or even get it wet. This is why it is so important to choose one of the top quality. Good build, sturdy devices with some sort of IPXX rating is what you are looking for. This will ensure you will be able to talk no matter the situation.