Radio aids – optimising listening opportunities: Guide

Gill Weston, Pauline Cobbold, Cate Statham and Helen Maiden with contributions by James Mander, Gary Webster and Brian Copsey | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

Why use a radio aid?

Modern hearing aids and cochlear implants allow most wearers to hear quiet speech when the listening situation is quiet and with a known speaker.   However, in reality, the world is a noisy place and a great deal of communication takes place in less than ideal listening situations.  There will be times when a CYP may struggle to hear.

Radio aids work with a CYP’s hearing aid or speech processor to make it easier for them to listen to and concentrate on the sounds or voices they need or want to hear, particularly when there is background noise or other distractions in the environment.

Radio aids help to overcome the problem of distance by bringing the speaker’s voice right into the listener’s ear.  Receivers on hearing aids and speech processors work best at a distance of around 1 metre but children are not often at this critical distance from the speaker.  Sound energy decreases the further away from the source one goes.  The doubling of the distance will result in a decrease in 6dB.  This is known as the Inverse Square Law.