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Assistive Listening Devices
Assistive listening devices can help extend the benefits of all hearing treatments
Some people find it is beneficial to use additional items called assistive listening devices (ALDs) to improve hearing in specific situations―such as on the telephone, radio and television listening, lecturers in classrooms, public address systems and other specialized settings. An assistive listening device can be used with or without hearing aids, cochlear implants or a direct bone conduction system and may improve speech understanding.
Personal frequency modulation (FM) systems
FM systems are like miniature radio stations working on special frequencies set by the Federal Communications Commission. The personal FM system is made up of a transmitter microphone used by the speaker and a receiver used by you, the listener. Some public spaces, like churches and theaters, may have these types of systems available. The receiver sends the sound to your hearing aid, cochlear implant or direct bone conduction system either through direct audio input or through a loop system worn around your neck. Personal FM systems allow you to adjust the volume to meet your needs.
Infrared systems are often used in the home with TV sets, but, like the FM system, they can also be used in large settings like theaters. Sound is transmitted using infrared light waves. For example, the TV is set at a volume comfortable for family members, and an infrared system transmitter sends the TV signal to your receiver, which you can adjust to your desired volume.
Induction loop systems
These systems are most common in large group areas such as churches and theaters. They can also be purchased for individual use. For common area use, an induction loop wire lines the perimeter of the room (for example, a church or theater). The sound of interest (for example, a speaker or microphone) is linked with the induction loop creating an electromagnetic field in the room. To access this field of sound, the user must enable the telecoil setting on their listening device (hearing aids, cochlear implants or a direct bone conduction system) and can then make personal adjustments for sound quality.
There are many other ALDs such as telephone amplifiers, amplified answering machines, paging systems and vibrating wake-up alarms. Some of these ALDs do not require a hearing aid or implantable hearing solution.
Find a Hearing Specialist in your area to learn more about assistive listening devices and the steps to getting an assistive listening devices.
The information contained on this website is for informational purposes and is not intended to replace medical advice. Please consult a hearing healthcare professional.