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      Products to help when you're out and about

      Trying to communicate in noisy places, from shops to restaurants to airports, can be very difficult if you have hearing loss. We don't want you to miss out on key information – or cracking conversations, so here's the lowdown on products that can help when you're out and about.

      Induction loop systems

      Induction loop systems help people with a hearing loss pick up speech sounds more clearly. It can be used when there is a lot of background noise or if the person you are trying to hear is far away (on the stage when watching a play) or behind a screen like a teller at the bank or post office. They'll work in a particular area if your hearing aids are switched to the ‘T’ setting (or loop programme). By doing this you're focusing on sounds – such as a person speaking – from the loop system microphone, rather than the internal hearing aid microphone, which amplifies all noises in the area.

      Remote microphone

      You'll find a remote microphone helpful if you're having a one-to-one conversation in a noisy area. Just place it close to the speaker and the sound it picks up will be transmitted straight into your hearing aids. Some remote microphones are also designed to pick up sounds from all around when placed in the centre of a group. You use a remote control or, in some models, an app to control them. You can control the sound you want to hear and adjust the speech and background-noise levels to suit you.

      FM systems

      FM systems are similar to remote microphones but they use radio waves to transmit sounds, so several people can pick up the same signal from one transmitter. This makes them suitable for group tours or conferences and lectures, as the speaker doesn't have to carry around several microphones. To receive an FM signal into your hearing aids, you will need an FM receiver attached to the hearing aid with a programme set to pick up this signal.

      Bluetooth streamers

      Bluetooth streamers not only allow you to channel the audio of a Bluetooth device straight into your hearing aids, they also allow you to control the sound of your hearing aids. This means that you can personalise the sound settings easily, depending on where you are. They also connect to assistive devices, like remote microphones, allowing you to control the sound picked up from that as well. You can also use your smartphone or tablet as a remote microphone to send sound to your hearing aids.

      Hearing aid apps

      Most hearing aids can be controlled via a smartphone app when connected to a Bluetooth streamer. Some newer phones, known as Made for iPhone (MFi) hearing aids, can be connected directly to smartphones and controlled through an app without using a streamer.

      Apps

      Other smartphone apps can also help make accessing services and entertainment easier. To find out more visit our Apps page.