Assistive Listening Devices
An ALD is any kind of Assistive Listening Device that helps you hear more clearly in conversations, groups, theaters, and similar environments. There are several different ALDs now available on the market, which some assisting on a personal level and other for public venues. One popular choice for general use is a personal amplifier, which consists of a microphone, listening unit, and a volume control. Personal amplifiers are useful in cutting out background noise when speaking with someone in close proximity and may the the first step for people with a mild hearing loss before investing in a hearing aid.
ALDs can be used with and without hearing aids. In some cases they can even be used instead of hearing aids!
We carry a wide variety of consumer ALDs for you, including:
- Amplified phones and ringers
- Devices for hearing television and music (TV-Ears)
- Specialized alarm clocks and systems
- Personal FM systems
- Many other special purpose products for people with or without hearing impairment.
You can generally organize ALDs into Listening Systems and Visual Systems.
This usually means a transmitter that sends a signal to you, and a receiver that decodes the signal. However, the method of transmission varies.
FM Systems use radio broadcast technology to transmit sound from a source — like a human speaker, TV, radio or iPod — to a set of headphones, a small loudspeaker or your existing hearing aid. FM Systems are very helpful in noisy environments, or where the original sound source is some distance away.
Induction Loop Systems (Hearing Loops)
Induction Loop Systems use a permanently installed wire (hidden inside the floor or under a carpet) that connects to the microphone used by the speaker, and heard through existing hearing aids or headphones. You mostly find these in large group areas like theaters and auditoriums.
Infrared Systems are similar to FM, but transmit through infrared light instead of radio waves. Because they lack the power of FM systems, they’re often more practical in smaller environments. They’re also less expensive. Consumer products like “TV Ears” fall into this category
Personal Systems are also FM-based, but smaller, portable and more personal. These work well in classroom and lecture settings, restaurants, nursing homes, senior centers … any situation where the speaker is at a distance.
Instead of sound, these systems use sight to alert you to doorbells, fire alarms/smoke detectors, clocks and other alarms. They often use flashing light or vibration — or both — to alert you. Like sound-based systems, these can be used by people either with or without hearing impairment and are highly recommended for people living alone.
CaptionCall phones are a free assistive listening device that transcribes your conversations in real time while you are speaking. They are equipped with features to keep you well-connected: a large screen with clearly transcribed text for calls and voicemail messages, easily adjustable volume settings, a hearing loop connection to directly stream conversations to telecoil-equipped hearing aids, a visual ringer in which the screen flashes when the phone rings, and many more. CaptionCall phones are available free to anyone who has been certified as hard of hearing. Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids is a certified distributor of CaptionCall phones. Come visit us today for a hearing test and to qualify for your complimentary CaptionCall phone.
When you need hearing help, call ABHA.
We know what to do.
Whatever you need — something to help you hear the TV, the phone, or just to supplement your present hearing aids — ABHA can help.
If you have any questions at all about helping you hear better, stop by …or call us at 602.265.9000 or email [email protected].