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Using a Personal FM System to Hear More ClearlyHearing aid technology keeps getting better, but hearing aidsalone do not make listening easier in all situations. Many thingscan interfere with listening, such as: background noise, a fardistance from the sound source, and sound reverberation. Mosthearing aids perform best in quiet environments or when sittingclose to your conversation partner.Using a Personal FM system (with or without hearing aids) makesit easier to hear in noisy environments or when conversing at adistance. They are also very helpful for watching TV or listeningto other audio devices.What are Personal FM Systems? Personal FM Systems are devices that can help those with hearing loss function more normally in day-to-day conversation. An FM system is often an accessory to hearing aids bu can be used without hearing aids as well. FM systems work like small radio stations.There is a small radio transmitter attached to a microphone, anda small radio receiver worn by the listener. For hearing aid users,the most convenient receivers are at ear level. The microphone isplaced on or near the person or device the listener wants to hear.The transmitter can also be connected directly to an audio deviceby using a stereo cord. This means the transmitter is plugged into the TV’s audio output jack, or into an MP3 player or iPod foreasy ear-level hearing, without removing the hearing aids. The
transmitter sends the radio signal to the receiver and essentiallydecreases the listening distance to merely inches instead ofseveral feet.Where Would I Use an FM System?Large distance between listener and sound source: Thefurther away you are from a speaker, the harder it is to hear theconversation, because the loudness of a sound decreases rapidlyas it travels over a long distance. So, while you may have nodifficulty hearing someone close by, you may have considerabledifficulty hearing the same person from across the room.Noise in the environment: Most rooms have background noisethat competes with the sound of interest. Background noise canmake hearing very challenging. For optimal hearing, speechshould be louder than the noise.This isn’t possible in some situations, such as at a large cocktailparty or in a busy restaurant. Background noise can also makehearing in the car more difficult. Television program producersoften include background noise to create a dramatic effect. Forthose with hearing loss, the noise often means a missed punchline or that the volume is so loud the conversation is drownedout.Poor room acoustics and reverberation: Sound waves bounceoff hard surfaces such as windows, walls without coverings andhard floors. This creates a reverberation that the ear experiencesas an echo. The result of excessive reverberation is a mixedmessage in the brain, followed by miscommunication.Any one of these conditions can create communication problems.Add them together and the effects can be debilitating. PersonalFM systems are a great way to overcome these issues.
What is the expected cost of a Personal FM system?Buying an FM system for personal use is an additional expensebeyond personal hearing aids. An FM package, including thetransmitter/microphone and ear-level receivers may cost from$2,500 to $3500. For use without hearing aids, a Personal FMsystem can be as little as $200 up to $1000, depending on thecomplexity of the system.New hearing aid systems, such as the ReSound Alera allow for a“companion” microphone accessory that transmits sound from amicrophone worn by the communication partner directly to thehearing aids. This accessory can be added to the hearing aidpurchase for as little as $400.The new technology in hearing aids is phenomenal.Advancements allow for better control of noise in the backgroundand for better speech enhancement. Still, there will be timeswhen an environment is too noisy or a hearing loss is too great toovercome the difficult listening environment. Personal FMsystems are a great way to combat this issue and are a greatcompanion accessory to a hearing system.If you think you might benefit from an FM System, call our officefor a free demonstration and see what an FM system can do foryou.
For More Information, Call Fidelity Hearing Center At: (562)-732- 4713 Or Visit Us At: http://hearingaidslongbeachca.com