by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
If you need a bit more volume when listening to audio devices such as FM receivers, iPods, MP3 Players, etc (but not telephones) when using neckloops, Music-Links or earbuds, you can get the boost you need with a neat little amplifier I just discovered at Radio Shack.
I had trouble hearing women’s voices on my new iPod–even at full volume when using earbuds. I just needed a bit more volume to make their voices understandable. The Radio Shack “3-Way Headphone Volume Booster” (Part No. 33-1109; $24.99) did the trick. You just plug this amplifier into wherever you’d plug in your Music Links or earbuds and plug the Music Links or earbuds into the amplifier, switch it on and you’re in business.
Note: since this amplifier has no volume control, turn down the volume on your audio device before you switch it on so you don’t inadvertently blast your ears with the increased volume. This is especially important if you are just wearing earbuds like I mostly do.
My iPod has lots of power to drive a neckloop or Music Links if I am wearing my hearing aids and using their t-coils. Its just when wearing earbuds that I can have problems. Mind you, I have an 80 dB loss so I need lots of amplification in order to hear in the first place. If you have normal hearing this kind of volume will damage your hearing. For us, it is the only way we can hear.