All About Assistive Listening Devices

Bryan Green, HISAssistive Listening Devices

All About Assistive Listening Devices

With the increasing scale of the education system and business seminars where you have to interact with many people, coupled with the increasing cases of hearing loss, Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) become a necessity to aid your hearing needs. Whether you are a listener or speaker in any conference or classroom, ALDs provide assistance to communicate and receive messages clearly.

While deafness is very common in older age, this problem is not limited to the older population, and it can happen to anyone at any age limit. The reason may be anything, your age, your work environment is in a very loud area, continuous use of earphones at a high volume, and so on but if you end up with a hearing loss, you may have to deal with it permanently. Thankfully, with the advancement of technology, there are solutions to that and hearing aids are one of the most common solutions for your deafness. But these hearing aids are limited to some extent and may require that you need ALDs to assist and enhance your listening capabilities.

How do ALDs Work?

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs), also known as Assistive Listening Systems (ALSs), are technologies that are made with the idea of amplifying the sounds to assist you in your hearing needs. ALDs allows the intended sound directly into your ear with making it enhanced and separated from the background noise and improves speech to noise ratio.

Even according to some researches, people suffering from deafness require 15 dB to 25 dB loud sounds to achieve normal listening capabilities. ALDs are the only solution that can assist you with this situation without making the sounds too loud for others in many cases. These devices are commonly used in the place of employment, education, entertainment, and even for personal uses.

Types of ALDs

There are many kinds of ALDs available these days to assist you in your hearing needs but we will briefly discuss the top 5 technologies of ALDs.

  • Personal Amplifiers: It is a combination of a small box, as an amplifier, and a mic with an attached cord to provide clear one-on-one communication. This system is limited in range as it provides the amplification through the cord.
  • FM Systems: This wireless technology uses radio broadcast technology to transmit the sound. While the speaker has to wear a microphone transmitter, the listener has to wear a receiver to get the sound directly into their ear. This technology is mainly used in places where one person is speaking for many.
  • Infrared Systems: Instead of using radio broadcast technology this system uses light waves to transmit the sounds. It provides you the benefit of privacy as lights are not able to cross the walls but can also ruin the signal if some person or thing comes in between the signal. This system can be used in places where things are confidential.
  • Induction Loop Systems: This system uses an electromagnetic field to transmit the sound. In this technology to create an electromagnetic field, the insulated wire loop is created and used to communicate with t-coils and receivers that further transmit the sound into your ear device directly. These systems can assist your hearing aid to provide you with a clearer and louder sound with the flexibility of changing the volume according to your needs.
  • Bluetooth System: This technology allows you to listen to any other Bluetooth connectable device, remotely. This is also a wireless technology mostly used with smartphones, laptops, and televisions.

How ALDs are useful for hearing loss?

There is no doubt that hearing aids are very helpful in assisting people with deafness. But these hearing aids are not always successful in a crowded area where the surroundings are very noisy. In busy and noisy settings, you need a separate device to boost and enhance the intended sound and suppress other surrounding sounds to make communication and listening clearer. ALDs provide you that extra boost to keep your hearing level as it is in a quiet area. Inbuilt t-coil in many hearing aids makes it compatible with ALDs.

Many technologies have already been developed and are available to assist people with low hearing abilities. Amplified phones, hearing aid compatible phones, and alert devices are specifically designed for low hearing ability needs.

By using the ALDs you can enhance your listening capabilities if you are suffering from deafness and using hearing aids, or even if you have normal listening capabilities but want to improve your listening experience at a personal level. Many institutes and seminar halls are already using this technology to reach out to everyone sitting in the audience at once.

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If you’ve noticed changes in your hearing and struggle with communication, contact us today. We provide comprehensive hearing health services and we’re here to help!

Bryan Green, HIS
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