Assistive Listening Devices

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Can you hear but have trouble understanding? New wireless Assistive Listening Devices, available at Michigan Avenue Hearing Health, help make speech clearer.

Even with hearing aids there can be situations where your ability to discern voices and sounds can be sorely tested. Many people have difficulty hearing speech in restaurants, churches, conference rooms, or larger business venues. But now wireless technology is helping people improve their hearing in places of poor sound quality. Assistive listening devices can greatly improve hearing and comprehension in crowded, acoustically inferior spaces.

What is Assistive Listening?

Have you ever tried to hear what someone is saying underwater? It’s almost impossible. You can perhaps hear sounds, but have difficulty making out actual words. Believe it or not, this condition typically occurs when the spatial acoustics of a certain setting are not quite up to snuff, such as a noisy restaurant, place of worship, lecture hall, or other large open-space venue. For situations like these, assistive listening devices can help hearing aid users hear and comprehend speech better.

What Are Assistive Listening Devices?

According to the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), assistive listening devices (ALDs) are sound amplification devices that improve the “signal to noise ratio” (SNR) in a space. These devices connect to your hearing aids to bring sound directly into the ear and separate background sounds from conversations, for clearer, more defined speech clarity.

How Do These ALDs Work?

Assistive listening devices raise the volume of the signal you want to hear and wirelessly send it directly to the ear. The increase in volume is done without increasing the volume to others in the vicinity. This will improve the signal to noise ratio for the hearing aid user which improves speech understanding.

The Most Common Type of Assistive Listening Device

The most common type of assistive listening devices are wireless accessories that work together with your hearing aids to improve your hearing over distance and in noisy environments. This type of ALD uses 2.4 GHz wireless radio frequencies to transmit sound to your hearing aids.

Mini microphones and Conference microphones- Sits on a desk or table or is clipped onto a person’s clothing to stream sound directly to your hearing aids to improve listening in noisy situations.TV Streamer- Plugs into your TV to stream stereo sound directly to your hearing aids so you can listen at a volume that is comfortable to you but will not change the volume for others in the room.

Phone Clip- Streams phone calls or music from Bluetooth-enabled phones to your hearing aids for hands free phone calls.If you’d like to see the latest in ALDs, make an appointment to visit Michigan Avenue Hearing Health, conveniently located on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. Our experienced audiologists can show you a wide array of ALD models that can fit your needs and budget.

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