Hearing aids, when used properly and appropriately, can provide significant improvements in one’s daily living. However, what if hearing aids aren’t adequate? There are various sorts of assistive listening devices (ALDs) available to complement hearing and communication.
Assistive listening devices (ALDs) are designed to improve communication by amplifying soft sounds, making them easier to hear. There are many types of ALDs available, and the best type for you depends on your specific needs. ALDs can be used in a variety of situations, including watching television, using the telephone, attending meetings or lectures, and participating in small-group discussions.
Types of Assistive Listening Devices
Assistive listening technology makes it simpler to hear, reach out, or communicate with devices. Hearing aid-compatible phones, amplified telephones, smartphones, TV-compatible gadgets, and alerting equipment are just a few examples of assistive listening technologies.
An amplified telephone has a louder receiver volume and generates sound waves that are easier for people with hearing loss to hear. They can also have extra features, such as visual ringers and caller ID displays.
Amplified phones are made for people who have hearing loss. You can increase the volume to hear what people are saying more clearly. These types of phones can be used even without hearing aids. These phones can help an individual pick up high-pitched audio, which is something that the majority of people with hearing loss have trouble with. Some amplified phones also have extra features, such as visual ringers and caller ID displays.
Captioned phones also provide live captioning, which can be significantly beneficial for individuals with severe to profound hearing loss.
Telecoils and hearing aid-compatible phones
All telephone manufacturers are required by law to make phones that can be used by people who wear hearing aids. This includes modern phones like Androids and iPhones. Usually, these phones use either telecoil or acoustic coupling. With acoustic coupling, the phone picks up the sound of the other person and/or any other noise and significant sounds around the user. Telecoil coupling uses a small coil of wire inside the hearing aid that helps to reduce background noise.
If you have a telecoil in your hearing aid, you can use it to pair to the phone without using acoustic coupling. This can be helpful if you have difficulty hearing with acoustic coupling or if there is a lot of background noise.
Numerous hearing aids have a built-in telecoil. However, there are instances when it may not yet be activated. We recommend asking your hearing care provider or audiologist about telecoils. People who spend a significant amount of time on the phone can benefit greatly from telecoils.
Assistive listening devices for TVs
When you seem to struggle watching television, it can be hard to enjoy your favorite TV series or movies. Increasing the volume of the TV can make the sound muffled, distorted, and harder to comprehend. Additionally, when you’re watching TV with other people in the room, turning up the volume might not be a favorable option for everyone. Not to worry though as there are a variety of TV ALDs that can be used even without necessarily wearing hearing aids.
Wireless headsets or neckloops
A wireless headset or neckloop is a great option if you want to watch TV without bothering others. The audio from the TV is transmitted wirelessly to the headset or neckloop, which you can then adjust to your preferred volume. This setup also works well if you have difficulty hearing in a group setting.
Some ALDs help you listen better, while others help you stay safe by alerting you to sounds in your environment. These devices use visual cues, amplified sounds, or vibrations to let you know when something important is happening. For example, vibrating clocks can help you wake up on time in the morning, doorbell alerts with flashing lights can help you know when someone is at the door, and assistive listening systems can help you hear better in difficult listening situations.
Using assistive listening systems in public settings
If you have trouble hearing in places like auditoriums, theaters, or large meeting rooms, assistive listening systems (ALS) can be a big help. Most of these systems use wireless technology to transmit the sound directly to your ears, which can make it much easier to hear what’s going on.
An assistive listening system (ALS) is a type of technology that can be used in public places like theaters, airports, churches, and lecture halls. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires most public locations to have some form of ALS.
The three types of assistive listening systems recognized by ADA are:
Hearing loops are devices that help people with hearing aids or cochlear implants to hear better in certain situations. The device consists of a copper wire that is placed in a theater, counter, or room. This wire is connected to a publicly accessible sound system. The sound is transmitted wirelessly into the person’s hearing aid or cochlear implant through a process called inductive coupling.
Infrared systems (IR)
Infrared systems use invisible light waves to send music or speech from a publicly accessible sound system to an infrared receiver. This type of technology can’t be fully functional under direct daylight, because it would be hard to see the light waves. Infrared signals are produced and received in a straight line which is why users are advised to position themselves at an angle that is as central as possible.
FM or DM systems
RF assistive listening systems, often known as RF ALDs, offer wireless low-power FM radio transmission from a sound system to FM receivers. A receiver is required by everyone using the system, either headphones or a neckloop. Neckloops are useful for individuals who wear telecoil-equipped hearing aids since they eliminate the need for headphones.
How to choose an assistive listening system
First, you’ll need to decide which type of assistive listening system will work best for you.
Consider the following factors:
– The size of the room or area where you’ll be using the system
– The number of people who will be using the system
– Whether you’ll be using the system indoors or outdoors
– The type of hearing aid or cochlear implant you have
Once you’ve considered these factors, you can narrow down your options and choose the assistive listening system that’s right for you.
Assistive Listening Devices in Rockledge, FL
If you’re looking for assistive listening devices and hearing aids in Melbourne, FL, we can help. Harbor City Hearing Solutions carry a wide range of assistive listening devices and can help you choose the right device for your needs.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation!