Frequency Modulation (FM) Auditory Trainers

FM auditory trainers are a special type of amplification device that is commonly used in classrooms. Trainers consist of a student-worn receiver and a lapel-type microphone worn by the speaker to transmit the speaker's voice. The receiver unit of traditional FM auditory trainers is about the size of small crayon box and connects via wires to a hearing aid. FM hearing aids that contain a small receiver and are worn behind the ear are also available.
The main advantage of FM auditory trainers is their ability to transmit the speaker's voice without the attenuation caused by physical distance and background noise. Many systems allow the student to select the FM microphone, an environmental microphone, or to listen to both simultaneously. Like hearing aids, FM auditory trainers must be electroacoustically adjusted for each child.
In addition to aiding children with hearing loss, FM trainers have been used for children with central auditory processing problems.

[Brookhouser: 1999] [Lewis: 1991] [Schwartz: 1996]


Helpful Articles

Thibodeau L.
Benefits of adaptive FM systems on speech recognition in noise for listeners who use hearing aids.
Am J Audiol. 2010;19(1):36-45. PubMed abstract

Authors & Reviewers

Last update/revision: August 2010
Current Authors and Reviewers:
Authors: Richard Harward, AuD
Karl White, Ph D

Page Bibliography

Brookhouser PE, Beauchaine KL, Osberger MJ.
Management of the child with sensorineural hearing loss. Medical, surgical, hearing aids, cochlear implants.
Pediatr Clin North Am. 1999;46(1):121-41. PubMed abstract

Lewis DE, Feigin JA, Karasek AE, Stelmachowicz PG.
Evaluation and assessment of FM systems.
Ear Hear. 1991;12(4):268-80. PubMed abstract

Schwartz, S.
Choices in Deafness: A Parents' Guide to Communication Options.
Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House; 1996. 0933149859