Assistive listening devices can go by many names including personal listening device, assistive listening systems or personal amplifiers but they are all essentially the same type of device. They help to amplify the speech or the sound you want over all other noise. So they aren’t quiet a hearing aid but have some of the same features of a hearing aid. The job of an ALD is usually a combination of the following:
Some assistive listening devices include more advance noise cancelling technology, apps to control settings and features or specifically amplify speech so they are more advanced than those sound amplifiers you see featured in late night commercials. Some like IQbuds Boost are actually classified as an ‘intelligent’ earbud offering a suite of advanced functions.
There are different devices for different situations.
Which assistive listening device is right for you depends on the situation you need help listening in. If it’s simply phone calls that are the most difficult than a amplified phone would make sense, or a personal audio amplifer could also be used but only if you also need help in other situations. If you struggle to hear the TV when listening with family or want to listen in bed while your partner sleeps then an TV listening device is your best bet and much more comfortable than those bulky headsets found at electronic stores. If you need help at work or in noisy environments and most areas of your life than a personal audio amplifier is a better option for you. They typically include some level of noise cancelling and work great in loud environments such as work, restaurants, malls, downtown areas etc. Which device you choose can also come down to budget, convenience and more. For instance a Vitasound P300 device is less expensive than IQbuds or IQbuds Boost but also requires you to carry around in your pocket or purse the amplification device. Where as IQbuds fit in your ear and are more discreet. IQbuds Boost also offer a suite of additional features such as advanced noise cancelling and a smart phone app that will test your hearing and customize the earbuds for specifically your hearing challenges. Which is why they are considered a bridge between personal amplifiers and a hearing aid. Obviously these extra features come with a price but depending on your situation you may find it worth it and if you break out the cost of time, efficiency and daily use they may actually not seem that much more.