Listening Devices Overview

Did you know that students who are deaf or hard of hearing who use hearing aids effectively in quiet environments may require an assistive listening device in the classroom? Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether or not to use an assistive listening device in the classroom:

  • Instructor’s voice which may include how loud he/she speaks, whether of not they have an accent, etc.
  • Background noise in the classroom
  • Room echo due to size of the classroom
  • Distance from the instructor

The most common assistive listening device is a Frequency Modulated System, often referred to as an FM System. The instructor wears a small microphone close to his/her mouth which then sends his/her voice to the receiver worn by the student. The Center has several FM systems available which students can loan out on a semester-by-semester basis.

Listening Devices


Phonic Ear Solaris Binaural Precision Hearing System

  • Website: www.phonicear.com
  • Brief Description:
    This system consists of a wireless transmitter and receiver, each with 40-channel built-in dial-selectable FM channels. The speaker wears the transmitter, which sends the sound through an FM radio frequency to the handset. The receiver amplifies the sound and sends it directly to the listener’s ear through ear-mics connected to the listener’s earmolds (transducers may be used as well). The Solaris Binaural can also be connected to personal hearing aids or a variety of other listening options.

Phonic Ear Toteable Sound Field System

  • Website: www.phonicear.com
  • Brief Description:
    This personal listening system consists of a FM transmitter that sends the desired speech or other auditory signal to the FM receiver, which is used by the listener. The signal is then amplified and sent to the listener’s ear. Since it is wireless, it can be used indoors and outdoors. It is especially useful in noisy areas or where there is a large distance from the speaker to the listener.

Williams Sound Personal FM Listening Systems

  • Website: www.williamssound.com
  • Brief Description:
    Students who are deaf or hearing impaired may also require an assistive listening device in the classroom. The most common device is a personal FM System where the speaker or class faculty member wears a microphone and the student wears an amplification unit. Students may borrow an FM System from the Center on an as-needed basis. Students are requested to fill out an equipment loan agreement form and work out the terms with the Director. Please contact the CSD for more information.