This filter is much easier to breath through then the most common HME-
Here's a sample photo of most common used-HUMID-VENT-mini.
GibeckTrach Vent or Trach-vent HME 41112 has a larger "dead space" which makes breathing MUCH easier.
Tips for HME:
If you have been using the HME for a long period of time, or if it is hot and dry or windy, a few drops of saline may be added to the gauze type material to replace the lost moisture. You can buy saline drops at your local drug store or pharmacy (or see my article on making your on saline solution). If you are drinking plenty of fluids and have been using the humidifier, you probably won't need to moisten the gauze type material in the HME.
About speaking valves--mainly for tubes but hood has one as well:
Speaking valves cut down breathing ability (back pressure) and additionally you can't use a humidifying mask.
The key around this is to have a trach tube with at least an ID of 9mm or 10mm.
How do I talk-
If they don't damage your vocal cords when they do the surgery for the trach and if you have a speaking valve it's pretty easy as long as the fenestration hole is in the correct place to allow the air to pass over your vocal cords. Fenestration in the wrong place or no fenestration you will end up damaging your vocal cords.
If you don't have a speaking valve you will plug your trach to talk with your finger. Be aware that changes the trach position and it presses slightly against the back of your windpipe and can cause secretions and at times coughing.
Check out the Discussion Forums for more stuff on HME's and Speaking Valves