Assistive Listening Systems -
How they work

Assistive listening systems all work in roughly the same way. They also aim to achieve exactly the same goal i.e. to help you hear better by directing good quality sound straight into your ears, either through your hearing aids or through a headset of some kind.

Pick up the sound with a microphone
Pick up the sound

The speech, music or other sound is picked up via a microphone or electrical connection.

Transmit the sound All ears
Transmit the sound with tin cans
Transmit the sound

This is done via a wireless signal of some kind.

Deposit the sound
Deposit the sound

There needs to be a suitable 'receiver' to 'catch' the transmitted signal.
Some signals can be 'received' directly by hearing aids.
a) Some signals can be ‘received’ directly by hearing aids.
b) Other signals have to be ‘received’ by a small phone-sized device and then bounced on to the hearing aid or to the headset.

Ear
Sound reaches your ear

You’ll experience the sound as coming straight into your hearing aids (or cochlear implant) or into the headset that works with the system.

Are service providers meeting your needs?

Use the Rate & Review Access Tool to share your experiences of how well you feel your needs have been considered and well. 

You can read about other people's experiences too.

Ideas for Ears will encourage service providers to read what’s said and to take action based on the reviews you leave.

Ideas for Ears Rate and Review

When it works well, you'll smile :-)

A properly working assistive listening system can make all the difference in the world. For many users, it transforms the experience of listening from a tiring battle into a more relaxed pleasure. 

All ears assistive listening systems
You can hear across a distance
  • Even the best hearing aids can struggle to pick up sound that is more than a few metres away.
  • They cut out reverberation as sound bounces around a room and/or booms out from a microphone.
  • They cut out distortion which naturally happens when sound travels across a distance.
You can hear when there's background noise
  • Even the best hearing aids struggle when there is lots of background noise.
  • These systems cut out the background noise and send only the sound being picked up by the microphone directly into your ears.

Advice & training

Ideas for Ears provides advice and training to facility managers and customer care teams to assist them in assessing the needs of customers and service users.

Drop us a note to find out more - info@ideasforears.org.uk

You may even be able to tailor what you hear
  • Headsets and many types of hearing aids will allow you to choose the volume you want to listen at.
  • It is often possible to also select if you want to hear only what the assistive listening system is sending to your ears or to select to hear ‘normal’ sound alongside it too.
  • The most comfortable option will depend on what you’re trying to hear, the assistive listening system in place, and the hearing aids or headset you are using.