Sometimes hearing aids just aren’t enough in certain situations, such as crowded social events or places with extremely noisy backgrounds.
Assistive listening devices (ALDs) are portable systems that help hearing aid wearers listen and communication more effectively. Unlike hearing aids, which amplify sounds, ALDs work by reducing the signal-to-noise ratio and are used in situations where hearing aids need a little extra help.
ALDs are an accessory to your hearing aid and connect to your hearing aids through Bluetooth. Bluetooth works by utilizing high frequency radio waves to transmit data between electronic devices. And Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids are able to stream signals from other electronic devices directly to your hearing aids, which allows you to stay connected more easily and provides a more personalized listening experience.
Types of Assistive Listening Devices
Telecoil and Looping Systems
Hearing loop systems transmit sound directly to your hearing aid with electromagnetic energy. They consist of a sound source (public address systems are popular), an amplifier, a loop of wire and a receiver or telecoil (t-coil), a tiny wireless receiver built into many devices.
When you are in close proximity to the loop, you will receive clear sound free of background noise. Hearing loops can be connected to all types of audio sources and are often set up in public facilities such as airports, churches and lecture halls.
Microphones are very small, subtle devices that are designed to be placed near a speaker or conversation partner to gather sound that is then wirelessly streamed directly to your ears. Microphones are helpful when you need to carry on a conversation successfully in a loud environment like a restaurant or sporting event. They’re also helpful in meetings, lectures, classrooms and other similar settings.
Remotes offer convenient control over the settings on your hearing aids, so you don’t have to worry about making adjustments to programming, settings or power manually. Remote controls can be small handheld devices kept in a pocket or purse—and many hearing aids can even be controlled directly through your smartphone using a simple app.
TV streamers allow you to stream clear sound from your television straight to your hearing aids, meaning you can hear your favorite program while your friends and family are able to listen at a comfortable volume. The streamer connects directly to your television, stereo or computer and turns your hearing aids into wireless headphones at a range of more than 20 feet.
Call Audiology Associates Hearing Center at (530) 272-2247 for more information or to schedule an appointment.