What is an FM system?

An FM system is a hearing aid enhancer designed specifically to help improve speech understanding in difficult listening situations.  The system delivers sound directly to your ears, cutting through the background noise so you can understand and communicate with the person speaking.

FM systems are wireless and easy to use.  They consist of a microphone (transmitter) that you can place near the speaker, TV, radio or any other sound-producing device.  The sound is then amplified and delivered directly to your ears through a receiver (attached to your hearing aid) without the interference of background noise.  Once background noise is reduced, speech is easier to understand.

The FM signal can be transmitted distances up to 30 feet or more.  The result is a direct and clear link from the sound source to your ears. Whether you are wearing a BTE or a custom instrument, there are many options for improving listening in noise and/or group situations using an FM system.

Please contact Hearing Evaluation Services (HES) to determine which solution is best for you and your listening needs.  We also provide free in-house demonstrations of FM equipment at our Amherst, Orchard Park, or Williamsville locations.

Who is a candidate?

FM systems are designed for hearing aids users who do well in quiet, but struggle in noisy environments.  If you have trouble hearing in noisy restaurants, places of worship, conference rooms, your car, or on your cell phone – an FM system may be a perfect solution.  As FM equipment is used in conjunction with hearing aids, ideal candidates are those who are motivated to use the necessary additional equipment in difficult listening situations. If you you think an FM system is right for you, talk to your audiologist to learn about your options.

FM System Components: Transmitters & Receivers

HES uses high-performing hearing technology to effectively treat each patient’s hearing impairment across all listening situations. We use Phonak FM transmitters and receivers, which can be paired with a Phonak hearing aid or an aid from another manufacturer. Phonak is the nation’s leading hearing technology company with products sold around the world from Europe to Africa.

FM transmitters and receivers work together to provide the patient with the best possible sound quality and amplification. The transmitter captures the sound and sends (transmits) it to the receiver.

FM transmitters come in a variety of styles to meet your individual hearing needs. They can be handheld, worn around the neck, or stationary. Some are simple and easy to use, while others incorporate advanced features such as Bluetooth technology and may require a little extra training.

FM Receivers also come in a variety of styles and work with several hearing aid styles. Some FM receivers used with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are connected directly to the aid, while other BTE receivers can be integrated into the aid. Another type of receiver style can be worn around the neck for use with custom in-the-ear products that have a t-coil.

Before you begin using an FM system, your audiologist will explain all of your options to help you choose the most appropriate receiver and transmitter to treat your individual hearing needs.