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Assistive Listening Devices are not actually hearing aids or implantable cochlear devices. These additional devices are used along with other hearing tools to help increase the volume of sounds or to help separate speech from background noises. There are multiple devices available that are designed for use in specific environments. This could be at-home use, for use in a stadium or auditorium or to be used in a place where background sounds can overwhelm everything else, like an airplane.

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Examples of the types of devices available include a hearing loop system that transmits sounds electromagnetically around a room. It is able to be picked up by the telecoil installed in a hearing aid or implant. A telecoil is a receiver that can translate electromagnetic signals into sound.Also useful with telecoil receivers are FM and infrared systems. FM systems are designed for use in public spaces and are a common type of system found in classrooms and other public areas. Infrared systems cannot pass through walls, so they are a good option when the information being shared is confidential, such as in a business office or courtroom.

Finally, individuals can purchase personal devices that amplify sound. These raise the volume of sounds surrounding the person with the hearing impairment, rather than improving it within a room. This makes it possible for the individual using it to hear better when driving, taking a walk or when inside their home. The device is much larger than a typical hearing aid, about cellphone-sized and often has a movable microphone to help capture sound better from various angles. The sound is not transmitted directly to the hearing aid as it is with other devices but instead feeds into headphones or earbuds being worn by the user of the amplifier.

These devices can be purchased from retailers and through online catalogs, but for the best quality people should always speak to a certified audiologist, like those at, first. These specialists help their clients to find the type of device that will provide the best result according to their specific type of hearing loss. They can also help to explain the difference between each device and how and where each can be used.

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