When dealing with Hearing loss, sometimes hearing aids don’t provide enough assistance. There are multiple kinds of Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs, also called Assistive Listening Systems) that help supplement hearing aids, but aren’t used to replace the hearing aid.  At Manatee Ear Center, serving patients in the Manatee and Sarasota County, Florida area since 1977, we can help you decide which ALDs fit your needs.

What is an Assistive Listening Device?

An ALD is an amplifier, and it carries sound directly into the ear. They extend the use of hearing aids and cochlear implants by separating the sounds you want to hear from background noises. An ALD is necessary because it creates an increase in volume to the person suffering from hearing loss to achieve the same level of accepting sound (as people with normal hearing) without it being too loud for others.  From mild to profound, many levels of hearing loss sufferers can use ALDs.

ALDs help by reducing any effects caused by distance by the sound and the person. They also help hearing loss sufferers by minimizing background noise and echoes. Most commonly, ALDs are used for entertainment, employment, education and home or personal use.

What are the common types of ALDs?

  • Infrared-uses light based technology. In situations such as court proceedings, ALDs are used to guarantee privacy and confidentially because light does not pass through walls.
  • FM systems-uses radio broadcasting technology at a high frequency when used in conjunction with a portable transmitter that is worn on the body. Commonly used in educational settings.
  • Inductive Loop systems-uses an electromagnetic field to send sounds. They can be found in movie theaters and entertainment venues. They are accessible to people who are T-coil hearing aid users because they are not required to wear receivers.

At Manatee Ear Center, our audiologist, licensed hearing aid specialist and expertly-trained staff have the experience and education required to find the right hearing aids for you, based on the results of thorough evaluations and your lifestyle, cosmetic and budget needs.


Better hearing begins at Manatee Ear Center - serving Manatee and Sarasota County, Florida.