What is an Assisted Listening System?

Assistive listening involves using an Assisted Listening Device (ALD) to amplify sound and bring it directly to the ear.  These devices are able to filter out the desired sound from background noise—enhancing the sound the user hears.

How Assistive Listening Devices Work

Assistive listening devices (ALDs) are small amplifiers that bring sound directly to the ear of the user.  They separate the sounds, particularly speech, that a person wants to hear from background noise—improving the “speech to noise ratio”.  They can be used with or without hearing aids or a cochlear implant.  These devices help improve hearing during phone conversations, in theatres or a lecture hall, during tv shows or movies, in places of worship, and have many other everyday uses.

Solutions for Hearing Impaired

We offer RF, IR and inductive loop assisted listening systems for any size venue.

Our assisted listening systems are ideal for churches, courtrooms, auditoriums, boardrooms, classrooms, and public meeting spaces.


Updates to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

In 2010, new standards for the ADA became law. These standards took full effect on March 15, 2012, and are mandatory for all new construction or renovations. The following are highlights of the changes, specifically for assistive listening systems.

  • An assistive listening system shall be provided in assembly areas where audible communication is integral to the space. This means that any space where people gather is required to have an assistive listening system. The assistive listening system must cover the entire space of the venue, not just one area. There is more information below regarding what types of venues and spaces are required to provide assistive listening systems.
  • Assistive listening is required where there is an amplified sound. If there is a microphone and/or speakers, a system is needed. Courtrooms must have assistive listening systems, even without amplified sound.
  • The original ADA requirements specified that the number of assistive listening devices was 4 percent of seating capacity. The new requirements have been scaled to match the total occupancy of the venue. There is more specific information below regarding how many assistive listening devices (ALDs) are required.
  • The new, 2010 requirements of the ADA state that a percentage of assistive listening devices must be hearing aid compatible to interface with t-coils in hearing aids. This is accommodated via neck loop technology with RF or IR assistive listening systems.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires public facilities to provide equal access to people with disabilities, including those individuals who have difficulty hearing.

Want to know how many receivers you'll need? Check out this handy calculator from our friends at Wiliams Sound.
ADA Compliance Calculator

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FM Assistive System

An FM System is a wireless assistive hearing device that transmits sounds directly from the source of the receiver.  This type of ALD can be used to improve the use of hearing aids, a cochlear implant, or on its own without either device. They work to reduce background noise in, particularly noisy places.

FM systems are designed to help individuals needing auditory assistance or language interpretation overcome background noise, reverberation, and distance from the sound source. Ideal for large-group listening scenarios. Individuals use personal FM receivers anywhere within the coverage area to hear crystal-clear sound directly from the sound source.

Williams AV Assisted Listening

Hearing Induction Loop

A hearing loop, or induction loop, uses telecoils to magnetically transmit sound directly to hearing aids and cochlear implants through a magnetic field. They work to reduce background noise and other competing sounds in loud environments. These systems use a wire, or flat copper tape of loop(s) that are typically installed on the floor of a venue.


Infared System

An infrared hearing system is a popular alternative to an induction loop system. A typical system consists of an audio source, an infrared radiator (transmitter), and infrared listening receivers.


WiFi assisted listening is a newer product that allows you to use your phone or other WiFi-enabled devices to connect to a network and listen to an audio broadcast.  This is great for people with Bluetooth earbuds, or those who prefer not to use a pack.

Both Williams Sound and Listen Technologies offer combo systems providing the standard FM assisted listening pack and the ability to broadcast over WiFi.

Williams AV WIFI/RF Combo System

Why Choose JD Sound and Video for Assistive Listening Systems?

  1. Expertise and Experience: With years of experience in the audiovisual industry, JD Sound and Video has the expertise and knowledge to design, install, and maintain assistive listening systems that meet the specific needs of your organization or venue.
  2. Cutting-Edge Technology: We offer state-of-the-art ALS solutions from leading manufacturers, ensuring superior performance, reliability, and compatibility with a wide range of audio devices and environments.
  3. Customized Solutions: Our team works closely with you to understand your requirements and objectives, designing customized ALS solutions tailored to your budget, space constraints, and user preferences.
  4. Comprehensive Support: From initial consultation to system installation, training, and ongoing support, JD Sound and Video provides comprehensive services to ensure the success of your ALS implementation. We are committed to delivering exceptional customer service and satisfaction at every stage of the process.

Contact JD Sound and Video Today

Ready to enhance accessibility and inclusivity in your organization or venue with assistive listening systems? Contact JD Sound and Video today to learn more about our ALS solutions and how we can help you create a more inclusive environment for individuals with hearing impairments. With our expertise, dedication, and commitment to excellence, we are your trusted partner for all your audiovisual needs.