Assistive Listening Devices

Assistive listening devices (ALDs) are portable systems that help individuals with hearing loss communicate more effectively. Unlike hearing aids, which amplify sounds, ALDs work by separating speech from background noise. This allows the person with the hearing impairment to hear more clearly.

Some ALDs are used in conjunction with hearing aids, while others work as standalone devices. ALDs are useful in a number of situations, primarily those involving distance, poor acoustics and noisy backgrounds.

What Types of Assistive Listening Devices Are Available?

assistive listening device san diego

There are several different types of ALDs available, for both large facilities and personal use. Some focus on amplifying speech, while others utilize computer programs to convert text to speech. Some of the different types include:

FM Systems

FM systems rely on radio signals to transmit amplified sounds directly to your hearing aid. They consist of a microphone, transmitter and receiver, and are used in a variety of public places such as classrooms, restaurants, movie theaters and churches.

The microphone is worn by the person speaking (or placed in close proximity to the sound source) and the signal is broadcast from the transmitter to the receiver, which is tuned to a specific frequency.

Personal Amplifiers

Personal amplifiers are essentially small FM systems used in smaller, more intimate settings where radio signals are less effective; they are often used when watching television, traveling by car or spending time outdoors.

The microphone is built directly into the unit, and is often directional, allowing you to aim it in the direction of the sound source in order to pick up the signal most effectively.

Infrared Systems

Infrared systems work on the same principle as FM systems, but use infrared light instead of radio waves to transmit sound. The transmitter converts sound signals into light and beams those to the receiver, which then translates the light signal back into sound.

An advantage to infrared systems is the fact that their signal is unable to pass through walls as it does with FM systems, eliminating competing broadcasts that might hamper the listener and preventing confidential information from being disseminated. They are particularly useful in courtrooms and large movie theaters.

Hearing Loops

Hearing loop, or induction loop, systems utilize electromagnetic energy to transmit sound directly to your hearing aid or cochlear implant. They consist of a sound source (public address systems are popular), an amplifier, a loop of wire and a receiver or telecoil (t-coil), a tiny wireless receiver built into many devices.

When you are in close proximity to the loop, you will receive clear sound free of background noise. Hearing loops can be connected to all types of audio sources, and are often set up in public facilities such as airports, churches and lecture halls.

Alerting Devices

Alerting devices hook up to telephones, alarm clocks, doorbells and other electronic devices. They alert you through a loud sound or flashing light, making you aware of an incoming phone call, a visitor at the door, etc.

Contact San Diego Hearing Center for more information or to schedule an appointment.

ClearTV Wireless TV Listening System

CS2001M ClearTV Wireless TV Listening System

Listen to your TV or stereo without disturbing others. The sound from your TV is converted into invisible light waves, which are then converted into high fidelity sound. There are no cords to worry about and no interference from cordless phones, garage door openers or ham radios. One of the really unique features of this device is the individual volume control in both the right and left earpieces to accommodate different hearing requirements. Works with regular, cable and satellite TV.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS PRODUCT WILL WORK WITH LCD AND MOST PLASMA SCREEN TV’s.


Portable Phone Amplifier

Portable Phone Amplifier (black) CSIL95

Key Features

  • 40 dB Adjustable Amplification
  • No need to replace your existing telephone
  • Offers a 30dB max gain with the slider controls plus a 10dB ‘Boost’ button for occasional added amplification
  • Universal dial provides compatibility on 99% of telephones
  • 1-year warranty
  • Free Tech Support For Life of the Product
  • Eco Friendly
  • Assistive Listening Devices cla7bt
  • Bluetooth Amplified Neckloop Accessory CLA7BT

Bluetooth Amplified Neckloop Accessory

Bluetooth Amplified Neckloop Accessory CLA7BT

Key Features

  • Excellent reception and transmission of audio signals
  • No interference from background noise
  • T-coil compatible
  • Binaural design
  • Trouble-free operation
  • Offers a 30 dB max gain
  • Rotary volume control for easy adjustment and multiple levels of amplification
  • Built-in microphone
  • 1-year warranty

TV Ears® Original

TV Ears® Original

Key Features

  • Appropriate for moderate to severe hearing loss
  • Transmission covers 900 square feet
  • Compatible with 95 KHz theaters
  • Balance control & voice enhancement technology
  • Works with plasma screen TVs and fluorescent lights when combined with the power stacker accessory (sold separately)
  • One year warranty

Clarity Ring Signaler

Clarity Ring Signaler

Key Features

  • Adjustable ring tone (up to 90 db) with bright ringer light
  • No batteries, power cord or special jacks required
  • Includes 8″ and 6′ telephone cords
  • One Year Warranty

Sonic Boom Alarm Clock

Sonic Boom Alarm Clock

The Sonic Boom, with adjustable volume and tone control, is guaranteed to wake up even the heaviest sleepers. When the alarm goes off, the user can select to wake up to any combination of a loud audio alarm, flashing lights (by plugging a lamp into it), or shaking bed (sold separately).

  • Five-year warranty

The Lifetone HL™ Bedside Fire Alarm and Clock

The Lifetone HL™ Bedside Fire Alarm and Clock

The first of its kind, the Lifetone HL™ Bedside Fire Alarm and Clock uses a 520 Hz square-wave sound pattern, proven by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, to be more effective at alerting and awakening people with hearing loss and heavy sleepers than standard fire alarms.

The Lifetone HL™ is both a state-of-art fire alarm and an attractive and easy-to-use alarm clock.

  • Two year limited warranty