Hearing Aid Compatibility with FM Systems
Phonak offers a universal wireless FM system that is compatible with almost all behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing instruments. If the hearing aids are BTEs and purchased only three years ago, there is a great chance that they are FM compatible. In some cases a small modification of the aids is necessary. This is done by the manufacturer for a nominal fee. A miniature FM receiver will attach to the bottom of the hearing aids with a small plastic coupler called an audioshoe. These receivers pick up the wireless radio signal from the transmitter allowing the listener to overcome a variety of challenging listening environments including background noise and distance from the speaker.
If in-the-ear hearing instruments (ITEs) are used, they need to be equipped with a telecoil for FM compatibility. With ITEs, the FM receiver is plugged into a loop that is worn around the neck. The loop then generates an induction field that is picked up by the telecoil in the hearing instrument. The option is slightly bulkier than the BTE set-up but also offers the powerful advantage of FM to hearing impaired listeners.