Assistive Listening Devices

Hearing aids have helped people suffering from hearing loss around the world. Still, despite the advancements made by hearing aids, there are certain conditions or conditions where those devices can lack the full capacity to pick up sounds.

Environmental acoustics also reverberate in open spaces with bare walls and floors, reducing the efficacy of hearing those sounds. Even the very best hearing aids won't accurately capture the sound needed.

The good news is that special devices called Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) help people catch those hard-to-pick sounds.

An Assistive Listening Device is not a hearing aid, but it can help you hear better. Typically, they're tiny, portable devices designed to amplify sounds. The hearing loss of each person is different, so one way to customize your hearing experience is to get an ALD and have more support when and where you need it.

ALDs can also be used independently, but work best when paired with hearing aids. ALD's have proven to help most effectively in three areas: chatting on the phone, watching TV, and holding in-person conversations.

Types of Assistive Listening Device


Personal amplifiers

Personal amplifiers are the most popular assistive listening devices. This small gadget comprises a receiver with a microphone and a short cord and is useful during one-on-one conversations. The person talking to you can connect the microphone to their clothing and enhance their voice for a comfortable listening experience for the user, cutting through background noise. These are nice when you're sitting still or only talking to one person.


Amplified telephones

An amplified telephone is a unique form of telephone built, especially for individuals with hearing loss. To intensify sounds even more than a regular phone allows you to turn up the unit's volume. These can make it easier to hear the person on the other end.


Captioned telephones

Captioned telephones are a more recent development. The words spoken by the talking partner are picked up by these phones and relayed in text form on a large screen. Adjustable volume and tone controls are also included in Captioned phones, allowing them to customize their hearing level much like an amplified phone.


FM system

FM systems relay sound using radio waves. In schools, they are often used to make students hear their teacher better. The instructor uses a small transmitter and microphone, while the student uses either a portable receiver with a headset or earbuds.

FM systems work particularly well indoors. The best thing about FM signals is that they can reach through walls and ceilings and are not limited to sightlines, which gives them an advantage over infrared ALD systems.

For those with unilateral (or one-sided) hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and some types of learning disabilities, the devices have also proved very beneficial.


TV Listening Devices

If you love to catch up on the latest shows and are a wearer of hearing aids, you may encounter sound problems such as distortion occasionally. Maybe occasionally, you'll turn up the volume to be able to hear better. But with the others in the space, that's not likely to go down well, and it doesn't always help you hear.

Luckily, to enhance the experience of watching TV, we now have TV listening devices. By connecting this device directly to your hearing aid, these hearing aid attachments improve the sound, so you can change your volume without interrupting other people.


Alerting Devices

Alerting systems keep you linked to the world around you. These devices use enhanced sounds or visual cues. Examples include vibrating alarm clocks, doorbell warnings that use flashing lights, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that vibrate or use flashing lights to get your attention.


Induction Loop Systems

Many hearing aid models use a T-coil. This feature leverages wires built into the foundations of public environments such as auditoriums, lecture halls, and concert halls. They can use this electromagnetic field to relay sound signals right to the t-coil or copper wire in your hearing aid. This helps immensely during concerts, speeches, and religious events that involve somebody talking or performing far away from you.