What is FM?

An FM system is a wireless system designed to help you better identify and understand speech in noisy situations and over distances of up to 15 metres (50 feet). Some FM systems work together with hearing aids, while others are aimed at people with otherwise normal hearing.


How does it work?

The person you are speaking with wears or holds a transmitter microphone (or places this in the middle of your group). This transmitter picks up their speech and uses harmless radio waves to send this to one or more FM receivers, which are worn behind the ear (i.e. connected to your hearing aid).

What will my child hear?

Your child will hear the speaker’s words directly in their ears, without the distracting background noise, allowing them to enjoy and participate fully in every conversation.


Benefits of FM for pre-school children include:
  • Hearing instructions/conversation when unable to see who is talking (i.e. parent pushing a pushchair, nursery teacher giving instructions)
  • Hearing over distances, such as catching their attention to stop them at a road
  • Hearing in noisy places, such as playgroups or parties
  • Hearing during mealtimes
  • Hearing when travelling in the car

FM for school-age children

Many children who have hearing aids are provided with FM technology from their Specialist Teacher for the Hearing Impaired while they are in a school setting. However, some children do not meet the criteria to be provided with FM technology and those that do are usually only able to access it in school and not out of school where there are also many challenging listening situations that could benefit from FM technology.

Benefits of FM technology for school-age children include:
  • Hearing the teacher clearly in the classroom (overcoming distances and background noise)
  • Hearing classmates during lessons and group activities
  • Hearing instructions at distances, such as during PE or sports or in supermarkets
  • Hearing in noisy places, such as after-school activities or parties
  • Hearing during mealtimes
  • Hearing when travelling in the car

Benefits of FM for college/university include:

  • Hearing conversations over distances, such as shared kitchens in residential halls
  • Hearing and participating in group situations, such as mealtimes
  • Hearing conversations in the same room as background noise, such as the TV
  • Hearing in noisy places (i.e. canteens, restaurants, bars, shops)
  • Hearing the TV clearly, such as in shared common rooms
  • Hearing conversations on the telephone, mobile phone or through your PC
  • Hearing through a range of multimedia devices to keep in touch with family friends
  • Hearing in lectures, practical sessions, meetings and following group discussions
  • Hearing in the car

FM with hearing aids

FM can work not only with traditional hearing aids but also with Bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA) and with cochlear implants allowing these hearing aid users to benefit from FM technology.

For more information on FM technology and products including leaflets and videos visit the Phonak website

Hear it from the people that use it – watch videos and hear their FM stories



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