What do I need to consider when purchasing an assistive listening system?

An important consideration when purchasing an assistive listening system is ensuring it has the flexibility to meet the needs of deaf students who use different personal devices (e.g., hearing aid or cochlear implant) and is suitable in a variety of settings. Some questions for your institution to consider prior to purchasing a new system include:

Where will students need to use the devices? (1:1 meetings, classrooms, large venues, off-campus)

How many receivers will be needed? For large event venues see the ADA guidelines for the number of receivers needed.

Is the system flexible enough to work with students who have hearing aids/cochlear implants from a variety of manufacturers, as well as, for those who do not use personal devices and need a headphone connection?

What kind of feedback have you received from students in the past on your current system? (see Assistive Listening Systems 101: Student Evaluation Form)

NDC also offers a comparison tool that we recommend reviewing before purchasing a new system. You can also ask members of the NDC listserv for additional recommendations or referrals to specific vendors.

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Updated on July 28, 2022

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