Most times, hearing aids are not enough when you have hearing loss. You’ll need extra help by using assistive listening devices (ALDs). They will help make the conversations clearer, doorbell louder, or even hear when the alarm rings in the morning so you can start your day.
There are many ALDs; some can only work with hearing aids, while others work perfectly fine independently. If you wonder whether you should ditch your hearing aids and go for an ALD, read this article to know more about the devices before making the decision.
What are Assistive Learning Devices?
They are devices used to amplify sounds to differentiate speech from noise. It’s often used in public gatherings such as classrooms, places of worship, public events, and so on.
In such crowded places, it’s usually difficult for someone who has hearing issues to distinguish between voices. Hearing aids could help to an extent. But users who seek more precise sounds without any form of distortion will prefer using an ALDs.
Here are some essential details to know about ALDs:
1. ALDs Come in Three Parts
There are three parts of an assistive learning device: the microphone, transmitter, and receiver. The microphone creates the sound the transmitter delivers the sound while the receiver receives the sound. Every ALD must have these parts for proper functioning.
2. There are Three Categories of ALDs
You can find varieties of ALDs. But they are usually under three categories, which are:
- Inductive loop
The FM system
When you are in a public setting, the FM system comes in handy. It is a wireless assistive device that helps in broadcasting sounds. You can use it in noisy areas such as public gatherings or classrooms. It filters the noise and makes it easier to hear and understand what people say in such locations.
In an FM system, you’ll find a transmitter microphone and a receiver. The microphone is for the public speakers, while the receiver is for those who wear hearing aids.
With an FM, you can completely block out background no or allow a combination of speech and noise. It’s all in the settings. This type of ALDs is more beneficial for children with hearing loss who have to attend classes.
The infrared system receives sound from a transmitter through the aid of infrared light waves. One disadvantage of infrared is that it’s affected by sunlight. And as such, users can not use it for outdoor activities during day time. Due to its setting as a straight-line technology, users will have to sit in central spots for it to be effective. Sitting in areas with poor sightlines may lead to little or no sound signal. Users also need a receiver and an earphone to use this device.
Induction loop systems
The assistive listening device, also known as the hearing loop, is quite effective compared to others. It’s connected to a sound system through the help of a copper wire placed in strategic places around a room. Users can then connect with it through hearing aids, hearing loop receivers, headphones, telecoil receivers, or cochlear implants.
3. ALDs Come Connected With Other Devices
Due to the progress of ALDs, some devices such as smartphones, cellphones, TVs now come with their assistive listening technology. The most prevalent technology is found in a home alert system. The professionals behind sereneinnovations state that home alert systems help you know what is going on in your environment. Having a hearing disability means you are often oblivious to the sounds around you, which could be detrimental to your safety. But with an alerting device, you can feel safer.
Some examples of alerting devices include doorbell alerts which inform you through flashlights that a visitor is at the door. Then there are also smoke and carbon detectors that may vibrate or flash. Lastly, the alarm clocks vibrate when you set the time. You don’t need hearing aids with these unique devices.