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Audio connections for mobile phone conversations with The Grid 2

The Grid 2 enables you to make phone calls from a mobile phone or an Aircard inside your computer. You can:

  • Dial a numbers and make an outgoing call
  • Answer an incoming call
  • Hang up to end a call

If you are using a Bluetooth phone, the first step is to make a connection between The Grid 2 and your mobile phone. If you are connecting to your phone with a cable, or it is an Aircard, you can skip the Bluetooth setup.

Audio connections to the phone

When making a phone call, the sound travels in two directions: you need to hear the other person, and the other person needs to hear you. There are several options for arranging this, and you will need to consider which suits you best.

For hearing the other person speak, the main options are:

  • Locate the phone close to your head (e.g. on a wheelchair head rest)
  • Set the phone to “hands-free” operation
  • Use a Bluetooth hands-free headset
  • Plug an headphone into the phone
  • Connect the phone to an amplified speaker

There are also several options for how the other person will hear you. This will depend on whether you are using your own voice, a computer voice, or a combination of both.

  • Locate the phone close to your head
  • Set the phone to “hands-free” operation
  • Use a Bluetooth headset
  • Connect a microphone to the phone
  • Connect the phone to the audio output from your computer

Notes and complications

Selecting the best solution will depend upon individual requirements. Here are some notes on our experience with some of the above suggestions.

Locate the phone close to your head

This is quite a simple solution, and these are often the best. The phone may not pick up sound from the computer very well, so this is not ideal if you need to use computer speech.

Hands-free phone

Setting a phone to hands-free is a good option, but it does make calls less private. It is also hard to use in a noisy environment. The biggest drawback with this option is that most phones do not have a setting to automatically answer in hands-free mode, and you cannot control this from The Grid 2. This means that you need to press a button on the phone to go into hands-free operation.

Use a bluetooth headset

There are a large number of Bluetooth headsets available and these can be used if you are using your own voice to communicate (they do not pick up computer output very well as they try to block out background noise). However, most phones will not pair with two Bluetooth devices, so you would need a cable connection between your phone and your computer.

Connect a microphone and headphone/ speaker

Most phones have a combined microphone/headset socket on the base, and are provided with a combined earpiece and microphone. When you connect to the microphone/headset socket, the phone’s speaker and microphone will both turn off. This means that you cannot have just a microphone or just a headphone/speaker; you need to use both.

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