If you find it difficult to follow conversations, especially when it’s noisy, a conversation listener (also called a personal amplifier) is the perfect solution. It’s particularly helpful if you don't have hearing aids, or in situations where your hearing aids are less effective – in loud places, or when you're struggling to hear over distance.
Why a conversation listener is useful
- Enhances the volume and clarity of conversations and other sounds
- Reduces distracting background noise
- Suitable for most situations
- Adjust high and low tones (bass and treble) to suit your needs
How it works
Simply point the conversation listener in the direction of what you want to hear, and it will amplify the sound and transfer it to your hearing aids, or ears, via your preferred listening option:
- Neckloop or ear hooks (if you use hearing aids with a loop or ‘T’ setting)
- Headphones, earbuds or stethoset headset (if you don’t wear hearing aids).
Control the sound
Conversation listeners feature different types of microphone and some use digital technology rather than analogue.
• Directional microphone
This picks up sound from the direction the amplifier is pointing to, while reducing sounds from all other directions. It helps you focus on the sound or speech you want to hear.
• Omni-directional microphone
Some listeners allow you to switch from the directional microphone to one that’s omni-directional. This means you’ll be able to pick up amplified sound from all around; helpful when you want to hear several sounds at once – for example, when you’re with friends or family around the dinner table.
• Super-directional microphone
Allows you to focus on specific sounds such as a guest speaker. It also helps to reduce unwanted background sounds from elsewhere in the room.
• Digital sound versus analogue
Some personal amplifiers use digital technology, rather than analogue, to process and amplify the sound – this gives better sound quality with reduced acoustic feedback (a whistling sound on high-volume levels) and less background noise.
Listen to the TV
Conversation listeners can also be used for watching TV, although we do have a dedicated range of TV listeners. To improve the sound further, some models have a TV kit. This is a cable that runs from the conversation listener to the TV and either plugs into the TV, or comes with a microphone that you place next to the TV.
Find the right conversation listener for you
Check out our top 10 conversation listeners for hearing loss that will transform your ability to hear again.
The Echo MiniTech Pro provides amplified, digitally-enhanced sound in conversations, watching TV, at work meetings and when you’re out and about. Choose the right microphone for the situation – plug-in ‘stubby’ for one-to-one conversations, meetings and on the move; or microphone with 1.5m lead for TV/audio equipment.
• Suitable for hearing aid and non-hearing aid users
• Connects to hearing loop systems, via headset supplied, if you don’t use hearing aids
• Switch easily between TV and conversation
• Comes with a 3m extension lead.
The LoopHear10 lets you follow conversations more easily and, thanks to the in-built T-coil, you can also enjoy amplified sound in any areas fitted with a hearing loop. Adjust the sound to suit your hearing needs using the volume, tone and left/right balance controls. It can be used as an alternative to hearing aids when wearing headphones.
• Fitted with a T-coil for use in areas fitted with a hearing loop
• Headset with rubber ear cushions included
• Rechargeable battery supplied
• Comes with a belt clip.
The Bellman Maxi Pro, with Bluetooth 5.0, makes conversations easy to follow using headphones, earphones, stetoclips, neckloops (bought separately) or your hearing aids. It amplifies both the ringtone and the caller’s voice on Bluetooth-enabled smartphones. Plus, you can use it to stream music at a higher volume from Bluetooth-enabled devices.
• Boost the sound of conversations, mobile calls and music
• Suitable for up to severe hearing loss
• Hearing aid-compatible
• Use to watch TV in conjunction with the Bellman Maxi Pro Bluetooth TV streamer (available separately).
The Bellman Mino is a mid-range listener which uses top-of-the-range sound technology, helping to reduce background noise and improve speech clarity. It has a choice of directional or omni-directional sound pickup, unique in this price bracket. The earphones can be used to listen to hearing loop systems – just press the ‘T’ button.
• Directional microphone to point at the person talking
• Omni-directional microphone, useful to hear a group conversation
• Volume and tone control
• Operating range up to 4m.
This wireless microphone transmitter is ideal for use in large meetings or conferences. Simply place it in the centre of a table and the omni-directional microphone will pick up speech from other people around the table. It will enable you to focus on work rather than on your hearing.
• One microphone is perfect for a small meeting
• For larger meetings, connect several microphones in a network
• Link the receiver to the microphone with the simple push of a button
• Up to 20 hours’ battery life.
The Crescendo 60 amplifier makes conversations, TV, radio and music easier to hear without disturbing others. Ideal for people with up to severe hearing loss, it’s hearing aid-compatible and suitable for non-hearing aid users via the neckloop or stethoset supplied. The adjustable tone control makes tricky sounds like ‘S’, ‘F’ and ‘T’ much clearer.
• Amplifies conversation, TV, radio and sound systems
• Neckloop for hearing aid users
• Stethoset headset for non-hearing aid users
• Up to 80 hours of battery life.
The Roger Pen is an outstanding conversation listener for using at work, at home and when you’re socialising. Enjoy superb sound quality, even in noisy environments, over distance and when several people are speaking. It has three automatic microphone settings (see below). Watch the video to see it in action.
• Omni-directional - picks up amplified sound from all around
• Directional - point it in the direction of the sound you want to hear
• Super-directional - hear the speaker’s voice, even up to 25m away, if they’re holding or wearing the Roger Pen
• Bluetooth compatible and connects wirelessly to your mobile phone.
Using the same technology as a digital hearing aid, the Sonido gives exceptional digital sound quality at a fraction of the price of other digital listeners. It helps you hear conversations, the TV and radio more clearly, while reducing background noise.
• Developed exclusively for Action on Hearing Loss
• Set the volume at different levels for each ear
• Tone and balance controls
• Works whether you have a hearing aid or not.
This handy gadget amplifies sounds and voices, while reducing background noise. Simply plug in the headphones or earphones and point the Pocketalker at what you want to hear. It’s suitable for up to severe hearing loss and can be used with or without a hearing aid.
• Volume balance settings if you have different hearing levels for each ear
• Tone control
• Easy to hold or use hands-free with the belt clip and lanyard included
• Listen in to hearing loops, even if you don’t wear a hearing aid.
This listening device will help you join in more easily when you’re chatting to friends and family. Placed on a table or clipped to your clothing, it automatically detects who’s talking and amplifies their voice, even over background noise. Use it with your hearing aids to follow group and one-to-one conversations. Watch the video.
• Six built-in microphones and 360° listening radius
• Bluetooth for wireless calls through mobile phones
• Connects to the TV, computer and other devices
• Choice of colours: champagne, white and grey.
Find out more
For full details about our top 10 conversation listeners, click on the ‘More Information’ button underneath each description above. Or, contact our Customer Services team who can advise on the best listening solution for you, or a loved one:
Telephone 03330 144 525
Textphone 03330 144 530
Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm.
We’re the only UK charity with a full range of products for people living with deafness, hearing loss and tinnitus, so we’re the ideal source of impartial advice. And every purchase means that you’re helping fund research to cure hearing loss within a generation.