How to Hear Better in a Noisy Environment

What are FM Systems?

Frequency Modulation (FM) Systems are wireless devices that provide additional assistance to people of all ages who wear hearing aids, cochlear implants and who struggle to hear in noise or over a distance. FM systems provide assistance by preserving the quality and clarity of sound without the interference of background noise.

How do FM Systems work?

FM system consists of two parts, a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter (which is worn by the person who does not have difficulty hearing) captures the sound via microphone and sends it to the receiver (which is worn by the person who has difficulty hearing). The communication between these parts is via a frequency modulation radio signal which is then sent to a hearing aid, cochlear implant, or earphone. Receivers come in many shapes and sizes such as neck loops, pen microphones, collar clips and table microphones.

FM systems can be used in a variety of different situations such as in restaurants, classrooms, meetings, while driving a car and at home when watching TV. In a classroom, the teacher wears the transmitter (microphone) and the child wears the receiver. The child will be able to hear the teacher clearly over the low ‘hum’ of students. The child will also be able to hear the teacher clearly no matter where he/she stands or faces.

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The car is also a difficult listening situation, especially when the driver is speaking while looking forward at the road and are unable to look directly at the person whom they are speaking to. The noise of the car engine and passing cars can create a high level of noise. An FM system can overcome the noise by sending a clear signal from the transmitter microphone, worn by the driver, directly to the receiver which is worn by the person having difficulty hearing.

FM systems give children and adults security in challenging listening environments. You do not need to wear a hearing aid or cochlear implant to benefit from an FM system. To find out more about FM systems, contact your audiologist. A new and better experience of hearing in noise awaits you!

By Anne Budden