Assistive Listening Devices for Watching Television and
Hearing Conversations or Events in the Community
Hard-wired personal amplification
A hard-wired system has an amplifier and a head set. The amplifier
receives its signal from a microphone that is either placed
by the TV or plugged into the TV headset jack. The amplifier
sends the sound to a headset over a wire.
- It is easy to use.
- It does not require any installation.
- Hard-wired devices are relatively inexpensive.
- The sound quality is very good.
- Hard-wired devices provide more amplification than infrared
- Can choose many different types of accessories (standard
headsets, ear buds, or neck loop for T-coil hearing aids). Choose the accessory most comfortable for your lifestyle.
- Hard-wired devices can be used for one-to-one communication
in addition to watching the TV. An example of a portable
single amplifier that can be used for conversations is a
product called a Pocket Talker. It includes a microphone,
a compact amplifier with volume control, and a choice of
three ear piece options. It runs on two AA batteries that
provide about 100 hours of use. Many individuals find this
type of product very helpful.
- This device is portable.
- The hard-wired cord allows for limited distance between
user and TV.
- The cord may be cumbersome and difficult to arrange. Be
cautious- if the cord runs along the floor from the TV to
the user it may cause someone to trip.
- Requires batteries that will need to be replaced or recharged
as often as every 5-8 hours of use time.
- May have compatibility issues with some hearing aids because
the person must wear headsets. The person has the option
of removing his or herhearing aid and losing the power the
hearing aid offers or placing the headset over the hearing
aid. When wearing a headset over a hearing aid, the person
may experience a high-pitched whistle or feedback from their
hearing aid. Feedback from hearing aids can be caused by
many problems, but in this case is caused by the headsets
getting too close to the microphones on the hearing aids.
FM Hearing System: Frequency Modulated Hearing System
This system consists of 2 parts: a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter sits near the course of the sound and has
a little microphone. It transmits sound via FM radio waves
to the receiver (Infrared uses a beam of light). The receiver
is worn by the person with hearing loss. Most receivers are
a box similar to a portable cassette player or radio. The
receiver itself can be clipped onto belt or put in the pocket. There are several different listening options available to
couple the receiver.
Receiver Listening Options
- Walkman Style headsets: A very popular option. Comfortable to wear. Typically requires taking any hearing
aids out or risk feedback.
- Ear buds: Fit inside the ear. Smaller and more
cosmetically appealing, but one cannot wear hearing aids
at the same time. This may be uncomfortable to wear for
extended periods of time.
- Neck loop: A neck loop is worn around neck and
can be placed under clothes. This is only for users who
have a telecoil on their hearing aid. It provides the advantages
of both the hearing aid and the FM system.
- Individual FM receiver: This individualized receiver
is for people with behind-the-ear hearing aids. It is easy
to use and has no cords or wires. It hooks directly onto
hearing aid and is powered by the hearing aid battery. This
is the most expensive option.
- Flexible enough to be used with the TV, personal conversations,
or in any area in which noise, distance or reverberation
are an issue such as church, meetings, classrooms.
- Receivers can either be connected directly to hearing
aids or can be used instead of hearing aids.
- No wires connecting the transmitter with the receiver. This allows for more independence.
- Comes in many different styles, power levels and features
to accommodate almost any type of hearing loss.
- This device is very portable.
- It is more expensive than other systems.
- Learning how to use an FM system is more involved than
- The unit needs to be charged regularly.
- It requires speaker to wear microphone and transmitter.
Click here for
PDF files about Assistive Listening Devices