Features Available in Hearing Aids
Many hearing aids have optional features that can be built in to assist in different communication situations. Some options are:
- Directional microphone
- Some hearing aids have a switch to activate a directional microphone that responds to sound coming from a specific direction. When set to the normal, nondirectional (omnidirectional) setting, the aid picks up sound almost equally from any direction. When the directional microphone is activated, the aid focuses on a sound coming from in front of you and reduces sound coming from behind you. This can be especially helpful in a noisy room or for face-to-face conversation.
- Telephone (telecoil) switch
- This feature is something that everyone should consider adding to their hearing aid. This switch allows you to move from the normal microphone “on” setting to a “T” (telecoil) setting to hear better on the telephone. You can talk on the phone without your hearing aid “whistling” because the hearing aid’s microphone is turned off! This feature can also be used with other hearing assistive technology that is telecoil-compatible. The T setting can be used in settings such as theaters, auditoriums, and houses of worship that have induction loop or frequency modulation (FM) installations. Some hearing aids have a combination “M/T” (microphone/telephone) switch so that, while listening with an induction loop, you can still hear nearby conversation.
- Direct audio input
- Some hearing aids have a direct audio input capability that allows you to plug in a remote microphone or an FM assistive listening system. This enables you to connect directly to a TV or other device, such as your computer, CD player, MP3 player, or radio.