11 Real-world situations where an amplifier for hard of hearing helps

When you’re not hearing with the best clarity in certain situations, you aren’t left with no options. Amplifiers for hard of hearing people have been the go-to to support people with hearing devices, like hearing aids or cochlear implants or those who can afford or don’t like to wear hearing devices.

Most audiologists fail to mention that hearing aids can only work best up to 5 feet in distance on average. Beyond the distance, the ability to hear clearly is increasingly difficult. If you’re not trained with lip reading or can fill in the blanks when you can’t make out voices or noises, you or others will notice that you’re not picking up much of what’s being said.

While technologies can be limited in their performance and may differ from person to person, you can experience improvement to help your quality of life. These improvements can occur with the help of amplifiers.

Amplifiers simply make noises or voices louder. Sounds can be increased over 80 to 100 decibels. This is the sweet pot for people who are hard of hearing. They may also include technology to clarify the sound as it gets louder. If you grew up using hearing aids during the analog days, you’ll understand or may appreciate loud sounds. It feels comforting knowing the sounds are closer to you and your body. You feel more alive and present, while digital tools block off all the noises to fix only on speech.

However, for some, amplifying doesn’t bring clarity; it makes more noise, which can be frustrating. So, not everyone is expected to benefit from amplification similarly.

Remember that amplification sounds aren’t discreet. If you are self-conscious about your hearing loss, you will notice when you use amplification. The noise is often projected louder, so everyone around you may find it too loud, which could bother you or others. You can also avoid others hearing loud noises using Bluetooth or telecoil connectivity with your hearing aids. This is a wireless connection between the speaker and your hearing aids or cochlear implants that is invisible to everyone else.

If you are experiencing the following real-world situations, first know that others are going through the same situation. It can be comforting to know that your experience is not unique. Others are going through related experiences every day.

We break down these real-world experiences regarding work, home and recreational activities.

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Workplace amplifiers for hard of hearing people

1. You’re not following the discussions on conference calls either in the board room or online.

In some workplaces, your team may be gathered in a meeting room to listen to a call from a telephone or hovering over a laptop for a video conference call. The sound speakers for these devices are not intended to project far and wide and cover all areas of the room. If you can’t hear the caller clearly, you may choose to sit near the phone or computer, but often, this isn’t possible.

A sound amplifier for a conference call can help amplify the sound and provide speakers with multiple directions. This is even better if the external sound speakers expand wirelessly across the room and are placed next to you.

2. You’re not able to hear on the phone well

This can benefit both the home and at work. Some phones have poor audio features. They may be cheap or VoIP phones, which makes it difficult to hear others on the line. You’ve tried turning the volume to the max, but people’s voices are faint. You contacted the IT help desk to fix the phone, but no one could seem to find anything wrong with the telephone line or the phone.

When you can’t replace the telephone in the office because it came in a package with the telecommunication services, an amplifier can help increase the faint voice to one that is loud and clear. These amplifiers attach to the phone outlet to amplify sounds from the handset so they can be heard more clearly.

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3. You’re not hearing the person speaking at team meetings or small conferences

If only one person is speaking at a time in a large room with 20 to 30 people in a space, and everyone is quietly listening to the speaker, and you’re unable to make out a word they are saying, and hoping that you’re not called to participate in the conversation or be perceived as not paying attention, you could use an amplifier.

You could get a portable voice amplifier that helps loudly project the speaker’s voice. Or you might choose a comparable solution with your hearing aid or cochlear implant, which the brand may have FM systems for you to use to capture the speaker and get the sound directly to your hearing aids. Suppose there are compatibility issues because your hearing aid doesn’t have a telecoil feature and only Bluetooth. In that case, you might look at portable voice amplifiers with Bluetooth features if your hearing aids can access any Bluetooth device.

Amplifiers for hard of hearing in the home

4. The TV volume is at the max, and that doesn’t help.

Flat-screen TVs are so thin that a large speaker system cannot project sounds in any room of any size. When you are fighting with your family about turning up the volume while they want to turn it down a bit, you can put the argument to rest.

Sometimes, an amplifier is needed to project sounds to hear from the opposite ends of the room. Several TV amplifiers can connect your hearing aids and the TV, or you can get a soundbar that will amplify sound through a speaker right next to the TV or stationed throughout the room.

5. You missed hearing the phone ring.

Some people use their phones—not mobile phones to which I am referring, but old-fashioned landline phones. These phones don’t have the features you can find on a mobile phone: vibration or flashing camera light notifications. This makes it hard for those who can’t hear the phone ringing. Sometimes, your phone’s location may not be the most convenient place to hear the ring.

Have you ever been in another room going about doing something, and suddenly you see that you’ve missed many calls? the callers assumed you were out and left a message. You’re surprised that you missed not noticing the phone ring.

Ring amplifiers exist to help you hear when the phone is ringing. It takes the “silent” ring and makes it loud for you to hear, and maybe also your next-door neighbour with sensitive ears.

6. You sleep through your alarm clock.

Remember the day when you had an important event happening the next day? How did you sleep? Many of us sleep with anxiety and are unable to get a good night’s sleep. We are worried that we won’t be able to wake up from a deep sleep the following morning. Often, it’s because we can’t hear alarm clocks ringing anymore.

When you are experiencing situations where you can no longer wake up while your alarm is going off continuously. A louder alarm may help you. These alarms are not typically an adaptive tool that amplifies your alarm clock. It is a new stand-alone alarm clock that provides the sound amplification.

Everyday amplifiers for hard of hearing

7. You were unable to get through using an intercom.

If you are ever in public spaces or within your building complex, you must hear someone speaking directly to you or making announcements. It can be challenging when nothing that comes out of the speaker makes sense to you or what others are saying.

One option is to avoid using the intercom at all costs. However, another idea is to know that there are manufacturers who designed amplifiers for intercom systems that allow you to connect your hearing aid telecoil feature (if you have one) to connect directly with the hearing aid.

8. The noise echoes all over the place at church services.

Your place of worship should be a spiritual place where you can receive the message from your higher power. But sometimes, the message comes in the form of echoes and weird noises that don’t match any vocabulary in your language. The space isn’t designed to absorb sound well; all you hear is vibrating all around.

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Amplification devices for the church or your place of worship exist to help clarify the sounds in a way that allows you to get the maximum output from the microphone at the podium.

9. You want to hear while doing water-related activities.

Many of us like solitude activities, but sometimes, we also like doing other things, like going on a canoe ride, sailing in the ocean, or venturing out in a Scandinavian spa facility with steam rooms and saunas. If you wear expensive hearing aids or cochlear implant devices, you worry that you might damage them if you participate in these activities.

Sometimes having a spare and cheap amplifier is enough to allow you to stay aware of what’s happening around you and enjoy your recreational activities. If the hearing amplifiers are cheap enough, you’re not too worried about the damage because you can comfortably buy another one. Ensure that the amplifications are enough to hear what you feel needs to be heard. It’s not to replace your hearing aids but to help you stay aware of emergency sounds or someone yelling out for your attention.

10. You’re not capturing the instructions while you’re working out.

You love your Zumba, Stepmasters, or spinning classes but don’t know what your instructor tells you to do. You follow everyone else in the room. Your workout comes from being all over the place, not from the efforts of following your instructor. Some fitness instructors can’t speak up loudly to cover every inch of the fitness room. It can strain their voices. If there is too much noisy equipment and distractions, it is hard to hear.

An instructor who invests in a headset with an amplifier is golden. You need to be where the sound booming from the speaker is. Choose your spot next to the speaker, and that’s what will keep you following along and getting a good workout.

11. You refuse to buy or wear hearing aids.

Some people just can’t be bothered with hearing aids. The devices don’t help them hear. They don’t like the small buttons and find it difficult to change batteries with their hands, as well as arthritis. It becomes a hard task to get the hearing aids to operate in the morning.

Sometimes, simple devices like Pocketalker, which contain a headset and an external microphone with a case to amplify sounds to the headset, are all needed. For others, there is just one button—on and off (or a bit more buttons)—which makes a big difference compared to high-tech devices.

Amplify your life with sounds

There are many solutions or add-ons to help us boost up sounds. There is no reason to settle for the little noise you can hear. Leveraging tools that can help you and others at different times in their lives. Some options can help you at any time.

If you liked this post, you’d LOVE Making Sense Sunday

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