Assistive Listening Devices

About Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)

Although hearing aids do a good job of improving speech understanding in most situations, there are certain situations in which hearing aids alone may not be the best solution for a hearing-related problem. In these situations, products called assistive listening devices (ALDs) can be used, either on their own or in addition to hearing aids, to make listening easier. They can significantly improve your hearing and your success with hearing aids.

Assistive listening devices are particularly helpful in the following situations:

  • listening in a noisy environment or from a distance
  • listening to a television or radio from across the room
  • using the telephone • listening in a theatre or large lecture hall
  • hearing an alarm, doorbell or baby monitor

The following sections outline the most common assistive listening devices and the situations that they are most useful for.

Types of Assistive Listening Devices

 

Infrared Systems

A microphone is placed near the sound source. Using a special converter, sound from the microphone is converted into an invisible infrared signal that is delivered to a headset or earphones worn by the listener.

Best for:
Television viewing
Large room settings such as auditoriums, cinemas, theatres and churches
Hearing impaired individuals who are not wearing hearing aids

For more specific information on infrared listening device products, feel free to visit the Sennheiser Canada website.

 

FM Systems

The talker speaks into a microphone, often clipped into his/her collar, and the sound is delivered wirelessly to either (a) loudspeakers within the room, or (b) the listeners’ hearing aids.

Best for:
Educational/classroom settings
Large rooms such as conference rooms and theatres
Noisy listening situations

 

Telephone Amplifiers

For more specific information on amplified telephone products, feel free to visit the Clarity® website

a) In-line Amplifiers

In-line amplifiers are small, portable amplifying devices that are connected between the base of the telephone and the cord of the handset. They have adjustable volume controls, and tone controls to enhance the bass or treble pitches of the sound.

Best for:
Hearing impaired individuals with or without hearing aids Individuals who need a compact and portable phone amplifier Corded (modular) telephones b)

b) Volume Controlled Phones

Volume controlled phones have amplification systems built in. They have adjustable volume controls, and tone controls to enhance the bass or treble pitches of the sound. Some phones may also have high volume ringers. They are available in corded (modular) or cordless models.

Best for:
Hearing impaired individuals with or without hearing aids

 

Alerting Devices

Alerting devices use a visual (light) or tactile (vibration) signal to alert hearing impaired people to certain sounds. Examples include alarm clocks, doorbells, telephone ringers and smoke alarms that use vibration or strobe lights.

Best for:
Hearing impaired or deaf individuals who have trouble hearing traditional bells or buzzers, regardless of whether or not they wear hearing aids.

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