Assistive Listening Devices Tech Review

Although hearing aids do a great job of improving the quality of life and the sounds around us, they do not always provide enough amplification on their own.  Whether it’s a person’s difficult-to-fit hearing loss or a challenging listening situation, sometimes we need to explore alternative methods to improve hearing.  One way of doing this is to consider the use of Assistive Listening Devices, or ALD’s.

Assistive Listening Devices are different types of sound amplifiers that help to improve the quality of hearing for a person who is Hard of Hearing and/or who may or may not already wear hearing aids or cochlear implants.  The aim of ALD’s is to separate the sounds you want to hear from the noise around you, improving your Signal to Noise Ratio.  This is especially helpful if the speaker or sound you want to hear is more than a few feet away.

Let’s talk about some different types/kinds of ALD’s:

Personal Amplifiers
The first type of ALD is the personal amplifier, which is a small microphone device that the person you are trying to hear can speak into and you will receive the signal loudly and clearly in your ears.  This helps to reduce background noise, which is the true cause of the signal being degraded and having difficulty hearing the message in the first place.  These types of ALDs allow you to converse in social or work situations that are normally challenging or impossible.  Personal amplifiers can be used by themselves (without hearing aids) or in conjunction with hearing aids or cochlear implants.  There are many different styles of personal amplifiers, a few pictured below:


FM Systems
Another popular type of ALD is the FM system.  An FM system transmits sounds from a speaker or microphone to the hearing aids to make it easier to hear someone speaking in an educational setting or a large group meeting setting.  The FM system has two parts: the microphone, which is worn by the speaker or teacher, and a receiver used by the person who is trying to hear what is being said.  The receiver can be a small speaker mounted on a desk or table, or it can also be a small attachment that fixes to the person’s hearing aid.


ALD’s for Television
Another common complaint is that the television still sounds unclear, garbled, or environmental noise affects the quality of sound from the TV, even with the use of hearing aids.  Do not despair!  There are ALD’s that can be used with or without hearing aids, and will help your TV come through clearly and at a comfortable volume without disrupting your watching companions.  Many people find the ALD’s for the television especially helpful at night after they take their hearing aids out if they want to watch TV as they fall asleep.  Simply follow the instructions and plug the device into the audio jack on the television (or whatever is required) and rest the headphones in the charger when you’re finished watching; it’s that simple!  People love these devices for their convenience and ease of use.


Assistive Listening Devices are very helpful for a number of challenging listening environments and can improve your quality of hearing, either alone or in conjunction with hearing aids.  Call Hearing Revolution today to learn more!



Until next time,


Dr. Kristin