Assistive Listening Devices

Assistive listening devices, or ALDs, help people with hearing deficiency receive sound to their ears electronically. Hearing technology has developed to the point where devices work through apps and cellphones using Bluetooth technology. As described by hearing experts, ALDs improve the noise-to-speech ratio, making it easier to hear and understand normal speech. These devices also help eliminate background noise.

There are several types of ALDs to choose from and one of our audiologists at Northgate Hearing Services can help you find the right one for your specific needs:

  • Personal amplifier:This small box contains a microphone and a cord running to the ear. It picks up close sound and sends the sound to the ear. These are used for close conversations when noise is a problem. Personal amplifiers are reasonably priced and readily available.
  • FM radio system: For longer ranges in hearing speech an FM system might be the best choice. When speaking in conversation, the person speaking wears a microphone and the listener wears a receiving device to clearly hear the person talking. 
  • Infrared systems: The infrared signal carries sound via light waves. The system is useful in private settings but is interrupted by walls and objects. Infrared is useful for watching TV where there is an uninterrupted path for the sound.
  • Induction loop system: People with T-loop hearing aids can use an induction loop amplifying system. The device is a loop worn around the neck (but can be much larger, up to room sized) that transfers sound through a microphone and amplifier.
  • Bluetooth:This is at the top of the technology chain today. Many devices connect with Bluetooth wirelessly for better hearing. Cellphones and computers can be easily heard and understood using these devices which are not necessarily in the wearer’s ears.

ALDs use FM radio, infrared or inductive loop technology to receive and amplify available sound. People using hearing aids can also benefit from using an ALD. Some ALDs help hearing aids do a better job of directing the sound we want to hear and reducing those we don’t. Hearing aids greatly enhance the ability to hear but are directional and might need a boost.

ALDs use a microphone, amplifier and power source to capture sound. They are worn on the clothing. Some send sound directly to hearing aids and some have their own speakers.

To learn more about the ALDs offered by Northgate Hearing Services, schedule a visit to chat with one of our audiologists. We will help you find the perfect solution for your specific needs so you can live happier – and rest soundly. 

To learn more about the ALDs offered by Northgate Hearing Services, schedule a visit to chat with one of our audiologists on our Contact page.

We will help you find the perfect solution for your specific needs so you can live happier – and rest soundly. 


As of April 27, 2020, the office has reopened to further support patient care needs. In an effort to keep our patients, staff and community safe, we will be limiting the number of patients seen per day. We will be creating time buffers between patients to assist in social distancing and in-depth cleaning between appointments. Read more

The office will be closed on Monday, May 25th in observance of Memorial Day.