Hearing Aids – How To Buy Right

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs). ALDs are designed to improve hearing in specific listening situations. They are designed to emphasize ONE signal. That signal might be a faraway voice (e.g., a lecturer in an auditorium), listening to TV, trying to converse in a restaurant, use a telephone or hear your alarm clock. The most common ALDs are wired devices; one example is the pocket talker. A pocket talker looks like a transistor radio and is designed for close listening situations. Normally, a pocket talker comes with a plug-type microphone. Ad from one web 助聽器:

Can’t Hear In Restaurants, Automobiles . . .

. . . Or Other Places With Background Noise?

The Portable Amplifier That Helps You In Difficult Listening Situations

The price is $149 plus $12 Shipping and Handling.

ALDs can also be found in Radio Shack, Sharper Image and some hearing aid stores.

Similar in purpose but more flexible are wireless systems. They work much like a radio station; one part (the transmitter) accepts sound input and transmits the signal through the air; the other part (the receiver) receives the signal usually with headphones. Because these systems are wireless they provide more flexibility than the Pocket Talker. TV Ears is an example of an infrared wireless ALD; the transmitter is plugged into the audio out connector on the TV and headphones which contain the receiver can be used up to 50 feet away with line of sight. The headsets have a volume control. Systems start at $130.00.

Other ALDs include amplified phones, alarm clocks that also vibrate your bed, wireless door bells and more. For any one specific hearing problem there probably is an ALD solution.

2. Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids. My definition of an over the counter hearing device is any amplifier that has the physical characteristics of a hearing aid in size and shape but requires no hearing test, office visits, or custom fittings. You can purchase them directly on the internet or by mail order. They are designed to fit most and to provide peak amplification for voice range frequencies, the frequencies we have the most difficulty hearing as we age. What started as a choice of a very few just ten years ago has grown dramatically. These devices are manufactured with regular hearing aid components

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