The principle of an electronic (artificial) larynx is to have an external mechanical sound source that is substituted for the larynx. This method of speaking is quickly and easily learned, produces a strong sound, is powerful, requires a device with batteries, and the use of one hand. It requires turning the device on before and off after speaking.
The vibrations are generated by an external battery operated vibrator (called electrolarynx or artificial - larynx) which is usually placed on the cheek or under the chin. It makes a buzzing vibration that reaches the throat and mouth of the user. The person then modifies the sound using his/her mouth to articulate the speech sounds.
Although it may be frustrating to use at first, with proper training and practice, most people can become very effective EL speakers in a very short period of time. If possible, it is a good idea to hold and operate the EL in one's non-dominant hand since it frees up the other hand to write.
The advantage of artificial larynx is:
- voice is restored after surgery immediately
- maintenance of the hardware is minimal
The disadvantage, however, is:
- the quality of sound may seem mechanical