A listening simulation: Providing auditory access to educational environments

This listening simulation can help you understand the different technologies so you can ensure students with hearing loss have the least restrictive access to education.

“The major barriers to learning associated with deafness are relate to language and communication, which in turn, profoundly affect most aspects of the educational process… For example, acquiring basic English language skills is a tremendous challenge for most students who are deaf.” 1

– US Department of Education

For all students, especially those with hearing loss, it’s important to hear well in school. Distance, background noise and reverberation can make this challenging for students with hearing loss. While we know it’s important that students wear their hearing instruments (like hearing aids, BAHAs and CIs) all day, unfortunately those devices are not enough. While language inputs in the student’s near-field may be clearly captured by their hearing instruments, teachers and peers communicating at a distance or over noise will need additional amplification.

Did you know that interactive class discussions represent one third of a student’s learning opportunities at school?2  The open dialogue between students enriches the learning experience, however, these discussions can be very difficult for a student with hearing loss to fully understand. Additionally, teachers regularly augment lessons with multimedia and often speaking during videos to be sure critical points are called out to the students watching the film. All students benefit from hearing these multiple language sources simultaneously. For students with hearing loss, they need technology that mixes these signals for their listening ease.

For most students, their support team is made up of passionate allies – most of whom have normal hearing. It can be easy for us to understand the theory behind signal mixing and adaptive gain, but until we listen to these features at work, we may not inherently understand.

Watch this 8 minute listening experience to hear a teacher mic, peer mic and multimedia transmitter at work in a simulated environment.

Next steps

After listening to this video, jot down the names of students on your caseload. Looking through that list, you can quickly tick off the names of students who are currently performing on pace. However, if a few names stand out to you as students who need a little extra help, these are good ones to work with your Phonak rep to trial these devices on.

Also, you may want to write down any questions about providing auditory access that this listening simulation makes you ask. Perhaps, you’ll want to share this video with colleagues to inspire conversations with your colleagues about unique student needs. Or if you’re a clinical audiologist, perhaps you have follow up questions for your patients’ educational audiologists.

Simulation description: 
  • A pair of Sky M-M70  hearing aids programmed to a flat 30 dB loss are active. They capture the sound then, routing it through the Klangfinder, transmit it directly into the camera.
  • Roger X (02) Receivers have been installed into the hearing aids through the Phonak Marvel hearing aid feature called RogerDirect.
  • Until the Roger microphones are unmuted, the only sound you hear comes from the microphones in the hearing aids.
  • The teacher mic is the Roger Touchscreen Mic . the peer microphone is the Roger Pass-around Mic .
  • The multimedia transmitter is the Roger Multimedia Hub ; first we see the Touchscreen Mic plugged into the PC through a 3.5 mm cable, then we see the “teacher” wearing the Touchscreen Mic and the Multimedia Hub plugged into the PC using a 3.5mm cable.
  • While a DigiMaster 5000 is in the scene it is not paired in this simulation. To learn more about the benefits of a Roger DigiMaster speaker, read this recent blog article.
  • A small speaker plays classroom noise measured at 70 dB. The speaker was approximately 10 feet away from the hearing aids and 12 feet away from the presenter.
  • No other sources of sound or input are included in this simulation.
  • During this video the presenter is using her ‘teacher voice’ and stands about 12 feet away from the Sky M hearing aids.


Please share this video with administrators, parents and colleagues. You may also share it socially with the share links above. If you would like to embed this video into your website, please contact marketing@phonak.com.  And here is an informative article for parents on this same topic.

Additional resources:


  1. US Department of Education (2018). “Deaf Students Education Services” Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq9806.html on 12/2/2019.
  2. Lejon, A. (2013). Children with hearing loss, are they really integrated into the classroom. White Paper. Retrieved from http://www.comfortaudio.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files)mf/inclusionorexclusionchildrenwithhearinglossaretheyreallyintegratedintheclassroom1309.pdf

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