Assistive Hearing Technology to Enhance Your Ability to Communicate

Hearing aids usually provide the best solution to help individuals with a hearing loss continue to go on with their daily life, but are there situations and circumstances when hearing aids aren’t enough?

Hear at Home recognizes that you might need something more than your hearing aids to enjoy a better hearing experience and richer quality of life.

In addition to fitting you with hearing aids and providing ongoing support, we provide assistive hearing technology to boost your ability to communicate in public and private settings by filling in the gaps for hearing aid users.

Assistive hearing technology can be broken down into two different types of devices: assistive listening devices (ALD) and assistive listening systems (ALS).

Assistive listening systems (ALS) help individuals with hearing challenges to hear better in places like theatres and lecture halls.

A hall filled with people demonstrating assisted listening device benefits

ALD Hearing Devices

ALD Hearing Devices

In general, ALD enables personal connections to audio sources for music and TV as well as visual, tactile alerting or alarms.

Amplified and Captioned Telephones

Specifically designed for people with a hearing loss, amplified devices allow you to turn up the volume in order to hear speech clearly whether you’re wearing your hearing aids or not, and they often come with amplified ringtones so you’ll never miss a call.

Captioned phones provide real-time captioning, like the closed captions you see on TV, and are particularly helpful for people with a severe to profound hearing loss.

Hearing Aid Compatible Phones and Telecoils

By law, telephone manufacturers, including iPhone and Android smartphones, must make phones compatible with hearing aids. Hearing aid compatible phones usually use either acoustic coupling, which amplifies sounds from the phone as well as any noise around you, or telecoil coupling, which requires a special feature that only picks up the phone conversation while blocking out background noise.

Some smartphone apps can serve as their own unique ALDs, like caption apps that provide text translation for speech.

ALDs for Televisions

Turning up the volume on your television isn’t always the best option for those around you and it can distort the sound, making it even more difficult to understand. Some television amplifiers work even without hearing aids, such as TV Ears® or a wireless headset with a personal volume control that plugs directly into your TV’s earphone socket.

Alerting Devices

Alerting devices typically rely on amplified sounds, visual cues and even vibrations to alert you to sounds in your environment. Some examples are vibrating alarm clocks and doorbell alerts that flash the lights to let you know someone is at your door as well as vibrating and flashing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Assistive Listening Systems for Public Settings

Listening Systems

Assistive listening systems (ALSs) are used in public settings such as a theatre, airport, church or lecture hall. They are mandated and regulated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and public facilities must post notification of the system at entrances to buildings with ALS.

There are three approved types of Assistive Listening Systems:





Hearing Loops (aka induction loops or audio frequency induction loop systems). They include a system of copper wire placed within a room, theatre or counter connected via a special loop “driver” to a public address or sound system. Sound is wirelessly transmitted via small changes in the magnetic field and is directed into the telecoil of hearing aids, cochlear implants or telecoil receivers worn on the body.

FM or DM Systems

FM or DM Systems (radio frequency assistive listening systems). This type of ALS transmits wireless, low-power FM frequency radio transmissions from a sound system to FM receivers. Using the system requires a receiver and either headphones or a neckloop, but those with telecoil-equipped hearing aids or neckloops do not need headphones.

Infrared Systems (IR)

Infrared Systems (IR). Speech or sound transmission from a public address system uses invisible infrared light waves to send signals from a transmitter to an IR receiver. This technology requires line-of-sight and is interrupted in direct sunlight.

Assistive Listening Technology Available from Hear at Home

Listening Technology

  • Amplified Telephones
  • Alerting Systems
  • TV Listening Systems
  • Personal Amplifiers (Pocketalkers)
  • Remote Control Speakerphones for Independent Communications
  • FM Listening Systems
  • Infrared Systems
  • Loop Systems
  • Vibrating Alarm Clocks and Watches
  • Sound and Hearing Aid Conditioners
Jennifer Abbott of Hear At Home Mobile Hearing Clinic North Vancouver with an assisted listening device connected to a laptop

Ask Hear at Home About Assistive Hearing Technology

Hearing aid technology is a big help for people with a hearing loss, but if you have unique needs that aren’t addressed by your hearing aids or you aren’t yet ready for hearing aids, Hear at Home’s assistive listening devices or systems provide a solution to assist with private or public communication.

To learn more about the variety of assistive hearing technology available from us, use the adjacent form to contact one of our hearing care specialists who is able to address your questions or concerns.

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