Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)

Designed to facilitate communication. These include Bluetooth devices, induction loop systems, amplified telephones, FM systems, and personal amplifiers.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Oticon's ConnectlineOticon’s ConnectLine™ connectivity solution is the most complete and easiest to use system available today. It will enable you to connect wirelessly to TV’s, cell phones, land line phones, computers and MP3 Players – things that are part of everyday life for people of all ages. With ConnectLine, wireless connectivity is as easy as pressing a button.

Phonak's iComPhonak’s iCom – The communication interface
The freedom of wireless connectivity. For many of us leading an active life, keeping in touch with our environment means being able to interface with a diverse range of communication systems like telephones, televisions, MP3 players, computers or other audio sources. For hearing aid users, participating in these often important, sometimes just fun aspects of modern living has been a big challenge. Not anymore!


Communication on the telephone may be difficult for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing for varying reasons. The issues may be volume or tonal or a combination of both.

Assistive Listening DevicesFor those that use a hearing device, it is important to consider hearing device compatibility. When a telephone is noted to be “hearing aid compatible,” this means that the ear piece of the phone emits a magnetic field. If a hearing device is equipped with a telephone coil or “T-coil,” this coil is able to respond to the magnetic field, allowing the hearing device to pickup and amplify the voice from the phone directly. This also blocks surrounding sounds while the individual uses the telephone. The T-coil feature may also be used with a variety of assistive listening devices.

There are a few different types of telephone amplifiers to attach to a regular telephone as well as amplified telephones. Keep in mind that it is very important to try out any combination of telephones and devices before purchasing. As a suggestion, if a device is being considered and there is some uncertainly as to whether it will work with a particular telephone, bring it along to the store or demonstration center to try it out so that any issues of compatibility can be immediately addressed.

Classroom, Meeting Room, or Lecture Hall

The most common type of wireless device used in a classroom setting is an FM radio transmitter and receiver. With an FM, the speaker wears a small transmitter with a microphone. The listener wears a small receiver that may be used with headphones or with hearing aids via a neck-loop. This enables the speaker and listener to move freely without wires between them. Conference microphones are also available designed to be put in the middle of a table and pick up the voices of several people at the same time.

Theater, Cinema, or House of Worship
(Wide-Area Systems)

The types of transmission used in a wide area system are FM radio transmission, infrared transmission, and magnetic induction. All three systems transmit the sound signal which is received by individuals in the audience who are wearing special receivers that provide amplification. Please note that these different types of receivers are not interchangeable and can only be used for the particular type of system for which they have been designed.

There are a variety of receivers that are available with both FM and Infrared systems. Some are headset receivers that can be used alone while others are designed to be used with hearing aids that are equipped with telephone switches. In the case of an induction loop system, for individuals wearing hearing aids with telephone switches, no special receiver is required. However, for those not wearing hearing aids or those wearing hearing aids which are not equipped with a telephone switch, use of a special induction receiver would be necessary in order to receive amplified sound.

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