Your communications needs in today’s world depend much on modern technology. Many hearing aids do not work well in noisy environments. People who are hearing impaired sometimes cannot hear the doorbell, the smoke alarm, or the telephone ringing. Children with inner ear infections often have central auditory processing problems that impair hearing in a noisy situation.

Assistive listening devices (often called ALDs) are the solution to these problems. The main feature of these hearing products is that they allow you to distinguish sounds and block out the background blare.

A microphone transfers the sound directly into your ear so that the sound is not mixed with outside noise. These devices improve face-to-face communication, reception of electronic media, and telephone signal.

What if my hearing aids or cochlear implants are not enough?

Cochlear implants and hearing aids have many benefits. However, there are situations where background clamor interferes with sound perception. If you cannot hear well in crowded rooms, public arenas, and noisy situations, an assistive listening device could help. Sometimes, with a single hearing aid or cochlear implant, you increase the noise level when you attempt tom turn up the volume. For this reason, experts recommend using an ALD.

What can I do to hear?

For people who do not hear well in noisy environments, there is the personal amplifier. This device has a listening attachment, a tiny microphone, and volume control. Personal amplifiers also enable communications when the speaker is several feet away. The technology uses infrared FM and a hearing loop system. With the help of radio waves, light waves, and magnetic fields, personal amplifiers transmit the sound from a distance to provide solid communication. Each of these systems has options for personal use or amplification in a large area.

Are there any special features built into hearing aids?

Behind-the-ear hearing aids and cochlear implants have many options. They come with a special microphone that transmits sound directly from the speaker to the hearing aid. On the down side, they are more expensive than purchasing separate units. Behind-the-ear hearing devices also provide digital audio streaming from Bluetooth devices with the help of gateway products. Basically, this means that you can connect to internet or mobile phone.

Do I have to wear headphones?

There is a possibility to use a neckloop that is plugged into a headphone jack, especially if the device is T-coil associated. T-coil neckloop represents an insulated loop of wire worn around the neck to transmit information to the hearing aid through a magnetic field. The benefit of T-coil assistance is that it allows listening with both ears in the absence of headphones. The connection of T-coil and hearing loop allows quick and easy communication and provides excellent sound.

What works best for face-to-face communication?

Auditory assistive listening devices provide you with the ability to achieve a “face-to-face” communication. They are connected directly to the source of the sound, and they transmit the sound directly to the ear without interfering with other ambient sounds. Additionally, ADLs use FM, infrared, and inductive (audio) loop. These devices must be connected to T-coil or direct audio input, which allows connection of small FM receivers to the bottom of the hearing aid. This technology allows the hearing aid to function as a receiver when you are listening in a noisy environment.

What device helps with telephone reception?

The amplification of sound through the telephone handset is now possible thanks to phone amplifier technology. The amplifier is held up to the hearing aid’s microphone for acoustic coupling. If the equipment is connected to the T-coil, the hearing aid can be functional without feedback.

Telephone amplifiers are available for wired and wireless phones. If you still have communication problems with a voice telephone, you can use the Voice Carry Over (VCO) or “read and talk” telephone. VCO allows direct conversation with the help of an operator that translates the conversation on the other side and displays the conversation on a small LCD screen.