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What is an FM System? How Does It Work?

Posted Jan 14 2009 7:49pm

What is an FM System? How Does It Work?

Off and on I talk about my FM system, a Phonak Zoomlink. It has the microphone and settings (surround sound or omni-sound, partial focus, and very focused (directly aimed at the speaker’s voice or object I want to listen to). This new receiver is custom-made for the Cochlear Freedom. It really puts the sound of the speaker, who may be thirty feet away, directly in my ear, as though as if I am standing right next to him/her. It is an assistive listening device (ALD).




Because I use an FM system, I know how it works and forget that some people don’t have a clue to what I am talking about, even those who have hearing loss and never used it.

Let’s get “clueful,” shall we?

(Source: http://www.phonak.com/consumer/products/fm/applications/whatisfmsystem.htm )


An FM system is a wireless system that transmits sound directly from source to ear. It consists of an FM microphone and one or two FM receivers. (This just means some people just use one receiver for one or two-one for each hearing aid/cochlear implant processor.)

The FM microphone is actually a microphone connected to, or inside, a radio transmitter. The microphone picks up the desired signal, which is often the voice of a person that you want to listen to. The transmitter then sends it via radio waves directly to the FM receiver. The FM receiver, in turn, is connected to the hearing instrument. The sound is delivered to the hearing instrument, the hearing instrument applies the right amplification and the voice can be heard as if the talker was speaking from a very short distance.


There are also Phonak FM receivers for cochlear implants and bone-anchored hearing aids. However, the basic principle remains the same.

In a previous post (Squeezed In), I talked about how I now have a new receiver for my FM transmitter(Phonak Zoomlink) because I only had one receiver for the hearind aid ear; I didn't have one for the new processor for the cochlear implant.

Here are some older posts I made about the receiver for my hearing aids:

My, What Big Ears You Have

The Boot

I hope this post gives you a much clearer understanding of how FM systems work.


posted by Shari @ 7:06 PM  

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