Playback Equipment and Accessories for Talking Book Users

Contact your Reader Advisor if you would like more information, or to request an application for any playback equipment accessories.

Digital Cartridge Player

Talking book recordings require special playback equipment, which is available on free loan from our library. Accessories for these machines are also available. To retain a Library of Congress player and accessories, an individual or facility must borrow at least one audiobook or audio-magazine from us each year.


Headphones are only issued to readers who require them to read talking books in areas where loudspeakers are not permitted. Most often, they are used in shared living situations like nursing homes and hospitals.

High-Volume Player and Headphones

These are specially designed players with built in amplifers for individuals with significant hearing loss. The sound is boosted to a level that can cause permanent hearing loss to individuals with normal hearing.

High-Volume players require a separate application with medical certification.

Breath Switch

These are designed for people with little or no use of their extremities. It is used to control the Play/Stop function of the NLS digital players (advanced and standard); this unit controls no other functions.

The switch equires a separate application.

Pillow Speaker

This speaker is for talking book users who are confined to a bed. It is placed under the reader's pillow and usually allows the playback machine to only be heard by the reader.