Remote Microphone / FM Systems

Chloe with Roger Focus Remote Mic SystemA remote microphone assistive listening device (previously known as a personal FM system) can make a huge difference in a child’s ability to understand and focus on instruction at school. The child’s teacher wears a microphone and transmitter that picks up sound close to her mouth and delivers it to the student through tiny ear-level receivers or ear-buds. This allows the child to hear the teacher clearly as if she was talking directly into the child’s ear. The microphone worn by the teacher can easily be taken to different rooms if the child needs to change classes.

The newest technology, uses a digitally modulated (DM) signal that is synced with the child’s ear-level receivers similar to Bluetooth. This provides superior sound quality over adaptive FM systems and does not have the risk of interference from other FM systems. Since remote microphone systems amplify teachers’ voices over the background noise in the classroom, they are very helpful for children with APD that have poor ability to understand and remember sentences presented in background noise or very poor ability to shift their focus to one ear when needed. In children with APD even low level background noises (such as the hum from computers, children sneezing, shuffling papers, and pens clicking) can be very difficult to tune out. This is especially difficult for children with amblyaudia (lazy ear) since sounds that occur on the side of the child’s overly dominant ear override information coming from the other side. These children often exhibit poor ability to shift their focus to the side of the weaker ear. This can seem like the child has an attention deficit if he or she gets distracted or shuts down in background noise. However, stimulant medication for ADHD cannot correct this problem because it is a deficient auditory processing skill.

Roger Focus invisible in the earBrain imaging and electrophysiological studies have documented that since ear-level remote microphone systems improve the clarity soft sounds (such as f, t, p, k, th, h and blends) they improve the consistency of neural responses to sound (i.e. a “b” sounds consistently like a “b” instead of sometimes sounding more like a “d”). This actually improves the brain’s listening skills and the effects remain even when the system is not worn anymore.

Children with ADHD, Dyslexia, and Autism Spectrum Disorder also benefit greatly from remote microphone/FM systems. Many studies have proven that since these listening systems provide the brain with a clearer auditory signal, the child is better able to process speech in background noise and focus on instruction. There is also now plenty of research documenting that children with dyslexia who used remote microphone hearing aids / assistive listening systems had more consistent auditory brainstem responses to speech. This is because the clearer sound quality facilitates the child’s awareness of the distinctive features of speech sounds which contributes to improvements in phonological awareness and reading.  The Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University, has many research articles as well as an excellent slideshow demonstrating the importance of this for reading.  Many schools are now using sound field (speaker) systems to transmit the teacher’s voice to speakers positioned around the classroom. However, ear-level receivers are much more effective at improving the clarity soft sounds and provide the best signal-to-noise ratio over sound field systems. To find out more about how remote microphone technology can help your child contact Auditory Processing Center.

Roger Focus Sandalwood with Roger Pen 1Auditory Processing Center offers a free in-office demonstration with your child so that you can see the benefits first hand.  We also have remote microphone systems that can be checked out for a one-week trial.

Additional Information

  • Up to 43% of Children with Learning Difficulties Have Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
  • 25% of Children with Learning Difficulties Have APD and Dyslexia
  • Auditory Processing Center, LLC
    541 Highway 80 West
    Suite C
    Clinton, MS 39056
    Phone: (601) 488-4189
    Fax: (601) 488-4888