by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A lady asked,
Do you know of a device that has a portable radio on it that is amplified enough for hard of hearing people to hear it—I mean a small handheld device. Would MP4 players have radio capabilities or would it be iPhone or something that you wouldn’t need to subscribe to?
If you are wanting a small portable radio that has a loud loudspeaker, you are probably out of luck as small size and loud volume (such as we hard of hearing people need) don’t go together. However, if you want a small, portable radio that uses earbuds/headphones and puts out lots of volume, you are in luck.
The nice thing about any audio device that has an earphone jack is that you can almost always plug a neckloop into it and hear via the t-coils in your hearing aids. That way you have lots of volume available to you from your hearing aids.
If you don’t wear hearing aids, then just plug in your favorite earbuds/headphones and listen that way. If it is not loud enough, what I do is use an additional amplifier to get the volume I need. I have devices that are loud enough to “blow my brains out” if I crank them all the way up. One such device I love is the Speech Adjust-a-Tone. Not only does it have fantastic amplification, it also has a 6-band equalizer so you can set the amplification by frequency to make up for your specific hearing loss. You can use a double-male stereo audio cable to connect it to any earphone jack on any audio device that is not loud enough for you. (You can get this patch cord at any Radio Shack store—Part No. 42-960 ). The Speech Adjust-a-Tone is quite a versatile device. You can also use it with your landline phone to really amplify the voice of the person at the other end.