Assistive Listening Devices
If you’re a hearing aid wearer, then you know that hearing aids go a long way toward helping you elucidate speech and environmental sounds. However, even with advanced devices, there are some situations where you need a little extra help. For these times, many people find assistive listening devices very useful.
What are assistive listening devices (ALDs)?
There usually are three parts to an ALD: a microphone that picks up the sounds, a sound processor, and an amplifier that increases the volume and sends it to the recipient's ear. The speaker is needed because people who have hearing loss tend to need 15-25 decibels more than the average person to hear clearly.
If I already have a hearing aid, why do I need an assistive listening device?
Hearing aids are useful for speech improvement but less successful in distinguishing background noise from the spoken word. The ALDs can compensate for poor performance in several listening situations, such as:
- Sounds from further afield. As we move further from sound sources, sound fades, making conversations more difficult to understand.
- Echo and reverberated environments. Big, open spaces and rooms with minimal furnishings are not conducive to a pleasant listening environment. Sound waves tend to bounce off hard surfaces, causing reverberation and unclear speech sounds.
- Background noise. Background noise creates disturbances, which makes it hard for you to concentrate on speech. Hearing aid users have no choice but to turn up the volume when they are having difficulties in those cases. That adds to the background noise sadly.
ALDs are designed to separate different sounds and only increase the volume of the desired sounds.
In what situations are assistive listening devices most useful?
In public places where sound sources are far from the listener, assistive listening devices are particularly useful. Here are some areas they work well:
- political rallies
- schools and universities
- work conferences
- meeting rooms
- while making phone calls
What kinds of assistive listening devices exist?
These make it easier for those with hearing loss to watch TV. These systems allow the user to listen to television without disturbing others and are ideal for watching Tv when everyone else is in bed.
For more information on ALDs and to look at the options that we offer, contact us today!