Accessories for Hearing Aids: Why They Are Essential for Optimal Hearing

accessories for hearing aids hearing aid remote microhpones

Maximizing Hearing in Challenging Environments with Hearing Aid Accessories

Even with the most advanced hearing aids, certain environments can present significant challenges to clear hearing.  A prime example of a noisy environment is a bustling subway station during rush hour. The constant roar of trains arriving and departing, the echo of announcements over the PA system, the chatter of commuters, and the clatter of footsteps on hard surfaces all contribute to a cacophony of sounds. This relentless background noise can make it challenging to hear announcements clearly, understand conversations, or even maintain situational awareness, presenting significant auditory challenges for anyone, especially those relying on hearing aids. Here’s how accessories for hearing aids can make a powerful difference:

Let’s start with Noisy Environments!

Noisy Environments: In places like restaurants or crowded gatherings, background noise can be overwhelming. Remote microphones can be placed near the sound source or worn by a conversation partner, streaming their voice directly to your hearing aids and reducing background noise interference.  Some examples of noisy environments are:

  1. High Ambient Noise Levels: The combination of conversations, machinery, and background music creates a constant stream of noise that can overwhelm hearing aids.
  2. Multiple Sound Sources: With sounds coming from all directions, it becomes difficult for hearing aids to distinguish and prioritize the sounds you want to hear, such as a friend sitting across from you.
  3. Reverberation: Hard surfaces, such as tiled floors and large windows, cause sounds to bounce around the space, creating echoes that can make it even harder to focus on speech.

How Accessories Can Help

  1. Remote Microphones: Placing a remote microphone on the table can significantly improve your ability to hear your companion. The microphone captures their voice clearly and transmits it directly to your hearing aids, minimizing background noise interference.  Most newer technologies if not all have remote microphones.  Some brands offer better technology then others.  For reference on the brand you are interested search our blogs for that brand and remote microphone.  We keep up with the latest accessories for your needs.

2. Directional Microphones: Accessories that enhance the directional focus of your hearing aids can help by zeroing in on the sound source directly in front of you, making it easier to follow the conversation.  Not all brands have directional table mics but many do.  Phonak specializes in accessories.  Starkey just came out with a newer table mic with directional microphones.  Widex has a new Sound Assist that has diretional microphones that work on tables and has clear sound.

Other Environments Where Accessories for Hearing Aids Are Helpful:

  1. Large Venues: In theaters, lecture halls, or places of worship, it can be difficult to hear clearly from a distance. FM systems and telecoils can connect to the venue’s sound system, delivering clear audio directly to your hearing aids, ensuring you don’t miss important information or dialogue.  Many of these large venues must provide accessibility for ADA laws.  Most venues offer FM systems as they are the most reliable and affordable for the venue.
  2. Outdoor Activities: Wind and other environmental noises can disrupt hearing clarity. Wind noise reduction accessories or windshields help minimize these sounds, making it easier to enjoy outdoor activities and conversations.
  3. Television and Media: Watching TV or listening to music can be challenging due to varying sound levels and background scores. Bluetooth streamers can connect your hearing aids directly to your TV, smartphone, or other devices, providing consistent and high-quality audio.
  4. One-on-One Conversations: In environments with competing sounds, having a direct and clear conversation can be difficult. Personal amplifiers or portable speakers can enhance the voice of the person you are speaking with, ensuring you hear them clearly without straining.
  5. Work and Meetings: In professional settings, clear communication is crucial. Conference microphones and communication accessories can help capture voices from multiple directions, ensuring you catch every detail during meetings or conference calls.
  6. Travel: Navigating airports, train stations, or busy streets can be overwhelming. GPS and navigation apps integrated with your hearing aids can provide clear audio directions and updates, making travel more manageable and less stressful.

Why we need hearing aid accessories is to enhancing Hearing at a Distance for hearing.  While hearing aids have made significant advancements in technology, their built-in microphones still face limitations when it comes to hearing sounds at a distance. Here’s why:

Limitations of Hearing Aid Microphones

  1. Designed for Proximity: Hearing aid microphones are optimized for capturing sounds that are close to the wearer. They work well in one-on-one conversations or quiet settings but struggle to pick up distant sounds accurately.
  2. Background Noise Interference: In noisy environments, hearing aid microphones can capture unwanted ambient sounds, making it difficult to focus on distant speech or specific audio sources.
  3. Directional Limitations: Many hearing aids have directional microphones that prioritize sounds coming from in front of the wearer. While this helps in face-to-face conversations, it can be less effective for sounds originating from different directions or further away.
  4. Reduced Clarity: The further the sound source, the weaker and more distorted the sound becomes by the time it reaches the hearing aid microphone, reducing clarity and intelligibility.

How Assisted Listening Devices and Accessories For Hearing Aids Help

  • Remote Microphones

    • Can be placed near the sound source, such as a speaker or TV, and wirelessly transmit the audio directly to your hearing aids. This ensures clearer and more focused sound without the interference of background noise.  This provides for a more direct sound into the hearing aids where normally the sound bounces around the walls etc. and is not as clear.
  • Frequency modulation (FM) systems

    • Consist of a transmitter microphone worn by the speaker and a receiver connected to your hearing aids. This setup enhances the clarity of the speaker’s voice, even at a distance, making it ideal for classrooms, lectures, or meetings.  The user has to get a receiver which usually looks like a Walkman.  Hearing aids are not needed for this type of listening system.
  • Induction loops

    • Often called hearing loops are in many public spaces like theaters, churches, and airports are equipped with induction loop systems. Hearing aids with telecoils can pick up the audio signal directly from these systems, bypassing ambient noise and improving sound quality.  You don’t need a hearing aid if the venue offers a t-coil listening loop headphone.  In any case we prefer t-coils as they are cleaner and clearer than the FM systems.  Think about having to go get the FM system from the venue, leaving your license so you don’t steal it, and labeling yourself hearing impaired.  Many people don’t like that label and feel embarrassed.  We advocate for loops.
  • Bluetooth Streamers

    • Connect to devices like smartphones, tablets, and TVs, streaming audio directly to your hearing aids. This is particularly useful for phone calls, media consumption, and virtual meetings, ensuring clear audio without the limitations of distance.  Most hearing aid brands have this option now and some are better than others.  You may look at our blogs and study how your brand hearing aids work with the Bluetooth Streamer.
  • Personal Amplifiers

    • Handheld devices amplify sounds and transmit them to your hearing aids. They are useful in situations where you need to hear distant conversations or sounds more clearly, such as in large gatherings or while watching TV.  We offer many of these in the store.  One of them offers a wireless microphone from the amplifier.  We highly recommend these as well.  Check out some of these products like the TriHear.

An Accessory for Starkey Hearing Aids - A Remote Microphone

Enjoy one-on-one conversations in noisy environments with the small, easy-to-use Mini Remote Microphone accessory. Clip the microphone accessory onto the clothing of the person you're talking to, or use it as a TV streamer by placing it near the sound source.
Members Pay: $275
An all in one accessory that Fits into the palm of your hand. Remote microphone, Bluetooth streamer, table mic, and more!

Please note that the Sound Assist works ONLY with Widex Moment hearing aids! If you have any questions about it, please feel free to reach out via a contact form.

Members Pay: $300

Phonak Hearing Aid brand's Roger Clip-On Mic is a small microphone designed for one-to-one conversations.

Featuring a directional microphone, the user can focus on a conversation with their partner. It can also transmit the sound of multimedia devices e.g. T.V. Worn on a shirt, it is a stand-alone microphone that can also be used together with other Phonak Hearing Aid Brand Roger microphones, allowing communication between multiple speakers. Phonak Roger Clip-On Mic includes an audio input and can be used with TVs and other multimedia devices for direct steaming. Phonak's Roger is compatible with virtually every hearing aid and cochlear implant that has a direct audio input or t-coil.* * a Roger system consists of a Roger microphone and Roger receivers.
Members Pay: $672

Widex Remote Microphone Accessory

COM-DEX Remote Mic is a stylish add-on to the COM-DEX solution. Hear conversations easily - close up and in detail. Even in noisy environments. The Widex COM-DEX Mic accessory is the answer to difficult one-to-one conversations - Great for noisy car rides to hear your loved ones as they speak into the Mic.  Place the COM-DEX Remote Mic in front of your conversation partner for discreet listening within a range of 10 metres.
Starting at
Members Pay: $260

With Signia hearing aids and the Signia Streamline Mic, you can enjoy the 4-in-1 experience of this awesome hearing aid accessory:

  • Hands free phone calls, music, and more!
  • Turn your hearing aids into wireless stereo headphones
  • Remote microphone accessory for speech understanding and more in noisy environments
Members Pay: $250

Rexton Smart Mic Accessory:

• A small remote microphone accessory that uses Bluetooth® to stream the speaker's voice to MyCore devices. It also offers hands-free operation for Bluetooth-enabled devices. • Can be used as a remote control. • Can also be used as a companion microphone to directly stream live conversations to the hearing aids.
Members Pay: $245.95
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