Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

Artificial Larynx

Device to help you talk without a voicebox

What does it do?

The larynx is a body part that helps us talk. It is a part of the throat and holds the vocal cords. You might call this area your voice box. The larynx helps us breathe and use our voice. When we speak, air is pushed from the lungs. This air vibrates the vocal cords so we can make sound. Other parts of the vocal tract and our mouths shape this air into speech. Sometimes the larynx needs to be surgically removed. This surgery is called a laryngectomy. A person might have a laryngectomy because of damage or cancer. After this surgery, a person breathes through a hole in their neck. Without a larynx, a person can no longer use their voice. An artificial larynx can help someone without a larynx speak.

An artificial larynx is also called an electrolarynx. It is a small device that you press to your neck. It makes a sound. When you move your mouth while pressing this device to your neck, the sound will come across as speech. The electrolarynx sounds robotic, but it helps a person speak independently again. Many people learning how to use the electrolarynx get speech therapy to help.

What kinds of artificial larynxes are there? 


Most artificial larynxes are held up to your neck by hand. Examples include:

Hands Free

Griffin Labs makes a holder accessory for their artificial larynxes. Other companies are designing new products to meet the need for hands-free use. One of these companies is Syrinx.

A black cylindrical electrolarynx device.

How do I see what's new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:

artificial larynx, electrolarynx

How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania you would need to find your state's AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out. Do we have this in our lending library?


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Hali Strickler

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