What are Assistive Listening Aids and what are the types available?
An introduction to new available assistive listening solutions.
There are several types of ALDs available: Hearing Loop systems, FM systems, Infrared systems, Personal Amplifiers. All of which can be used by the right person in need of them according to their particular needs as suggested by their audiologists.
Assistive Listening devices include any device which helps a hard to hear or a deaf person to communicate more effectively through direct sound amplification. Assistive Listening Devices facilitate communication breaking down the barriers to active communication. These aids help to make social discussions and group chats handier in a noisy environment.
Among the several types of ALDs available, some are designed to facilitate its use in large places like classrooms, theaters, places of worship and airports. Differing from the types intended for personal use, helping in face-to-face chats in small settings. All of these can be used without or with hearing aids or cochlear implants. The ALDs for huge facilities consist of Hearing loop systems, Infrared systems and (FM)frequency-modulated systems.
Hearing Loop: Its parts and its functioning mode are as explained below.
Hearing loop or Induction loop systems transmit sound using electromagnetic energy. This system is compiled of 4 parts. A sound source, An amplifier, A thin loop of wire, A receiver.
In the Hearing loop system or a T-coil or telecoil which is a minute wireless receiver that is built into many hearing aids or cochlear implants, it directly picks up the amplified sound travelling through the loop creating an electromagnetic field. A listener for better listening must be wearing the headset or must be near or within the loop to pick up the signals. As the sound is directly picked up by the receiver, it’s much clearer, compared to the challenging background noise related to numerous loud environments. A Hearing loop can be connected to places with huge public address systems, a TV or any other audio source. Even Portable loop Receivers are available for those who have no facility of embedded telecoils in their hearing aids.
Some portable Hearing loop systems make it possible for hearing impaired people to improve their listening experience, as needed to proceed with their day-to-day activities. Helping to improve their quality of life.
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