Assistive Listening Devices
Historically Assistive Listening Devices have offered the consumer options where traditional hearing aids have fallen short. Devices like infrared TV Ears, amplified telephones, and FM systems still offer viable options for some people. New hearing aid technology coupled with digital hearing aids now offer additional help and in many instances, superior and user friendly devices provide bluetooth streaming for cell and landline phones, and TV adapters that stream the sound through a device and then to your hearing aids. As well, one can listen to audio by streaming through computers, tablets , ipods and MP3 players.
Most manufacturers require a streamer device either coupled with an antenna cord that one wears like a necklace, or a device with an internal antenna and it is simply clipped to ones shirt. These devices are approximately 3” long by 2” wide and ½” thick. The dimensions vary by manufacturer. They are run by a rechargeable battery that is integrated into the device. The streamer is connected to your hearing aids and has to be compatible with your hearing devices. You cannot use hearing aids from one manufacturer and a streamer from another. There are also hearing devices from several manufacturers that directly pair with your cell phone and do not require a streamer. Since there is no external streaming device, there will be a shorter battery life for those hearing instruments. Average battery life for a hearing aid is one week; but when using streaming, the battery life may be only several days. For those who like the features of streaming without an external device, shorter battery life may be acceptable.
Another useful device is a small personal microphone, approximately 1” long, that is used in conjunction with the streamer. You would use it primarily when you are with one other person. That person wears the mic on his lapel; you wear the streamer and your partner's voice streams through the mic to both of your hearing aids. This can be especially helpful in noisy environments.
Hearing aid technology where the hearing aid has a dedicated T coil program can be used in certain churches, auditoriums or public arenas where the venue is "looped". The speaker would use a microphone and the sound is transmitted through the "looped" room directly to your hearing devices.
Come visit our offices in Boulder, Louisville and Lafayette to demo new hearing aids and find out all your options for assistive listening devices.