Assistive Listening Devices

More than the Newest Hearing Aids

Here at Vail Valley Hearing Center, Dr. Rinn understands that Assistive Listening Devices are an important aspect of improving overall hearing health. Simply put, ALDs are used for specific hearing situations and often in conjunction with hearing aids. They are helpful for both clarification and amplification of sounds, especially in social situations that include background noise and require the patient to focus on a singular set of speech or conversation.

In addition to the newest hearing aids, Dr. Rinn is happy to offer the most customized and advanced ALD solutions to enhance our customers hearing abilities and to improve their overall quality of life. With so many different kinds of devices to choose from, it is important to consult an experienced audiologist to find out what is right for you.

Dr. Rinn will recommend assistive listening devices, as well as how they can be used with various styles of hearing aids based on your needs. The following are some examples of assistive devices:

  • FM Systems such as the ReSound Unite: Every word children hear helps them learn, communicate and take part in what’s going on around them. With the right hearing aids, properly fit, your child won’t miss out on a thing.
  • GN ReSound Bluetooth Accessories: Unite Mini Microphone is the ultimate, portable voice and sound streamer. The TV Streamer 2 transforms your hearing aids into wireless headphones. The Unite Remote Control so you’ll never lose track of your hearing aid settings. And, the Unite Phone Clip gives you more freedom, comfort and control when on the phone.
  • Telephone Amplifiers are built-into current generation hearing aids, such as the PhoneNOW setting within the ReSound Linx which improves hearing in even the most difficult listening environments.
  • Vibrotactile Alarm Clocks,
  • Various Alerting Systems,
  • CapTel types out words on a phone as someone speaks,
  • Widex: Dex Bluetooth Accessories such as the Widex Link ensures that your hearing aids can communicate with each other – and with your TV, mobile phone or other devices
  • Bluetooth Stethoscope,
  • Phonak: ComPilot/TVLink S to pair Bluetooth compatible hearing aids with cell phones, computers, iPods, and TV’s.

For more information regarding our partners who provide Assistive Listening Devices (GN ReSound, Oaktree Products, AbcoPhonak, WidexUSA and Westone), please visit their websites.

Hearing aids and cochlear implants have been designed to enhance conversational speech, in one-on-one situations and in relatively quiet situations. They still work but are less useful in other situations such as:

  • Places with significant background noise
  • Listening from a distance like a large lecture hall
  • Listening to a television from across the room
  • Listening to the radio or using a phone

In many of these circumstances Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are helpful.

FM Systems

FM systems are very popular in educational settings. As such, they transmit over FM radio waves and maximize a speaker’s voice. Since the sound is broadcast directly from a microphone, listeners don’t have to worry about background noise.

T-Coils and Loop Systems

Infra-red TV headsets and closed-captions (CC) can be used while watching TV. Amplification helps in some cases but one of the most common ALD systems is tele-coils (T-Coils), which have been available in many hearing aids for more than 50 years, and loop systems.

Loop Systems transmit electromagnetic signals into a “looped area” (such as a living room or an auditorium) allowing the hearing aid wearer to perceive the sound signal through the tele-coil switch on t-coil supplied hearing aids.

Alerting Devices (ADs)

Beyond the most common ALDs (used for auditoriums, television and telephone), there are many visually based alerting devices (ADs) designed to alert hearing impaired and deaf people to special circumstances and situations. Special alerting devices are built into alarm clocks with strobe lights, or perhaps vibrating pillow inserts—to help wake people who cannot hear the typical alarm. Additionally, fire and smoke alarm systems are available that offer visual alarms, too.

Bluetooth Listening Systems

With the introduction of Bluetooth wireless connectivity, more and more of the products that were previously “add-ons” to hearing aid systems (such as remote microphones, TV and telephone-based ALDs, FM systems and more) are being incorporated into advanced hearing aids as a more complete and often seamless “listening system.”

If you think you could benefit from the use of ALDs and ADs, give VVHC a call today to get the best and most useful products to enhance your listening experience.