When you get a new pair of hearing aids it is important to understand how to take advantage of all the features and benefits they offer. Today, let’s take a look at one of the most useful and widely used options for hearing aids: loop technology, also known as telecoil.
Loop systems are used in public spaces all over the world to assist in communication. Much like closed-circuit television, loop systems transmit audio within a closed boundary. Anyone with a hearing aid equipped with loop technology is able to stream that audio directly to their hearing aid for crisper, more focused sound and increased comprehension. Loop systems can be built to nearly any size, systems may enclose an area as big as a stadium or airport terminal or be limited to a bank teller’s window. Throughout the world, loop systems are used to increase public accessibility for the hearing impaired.
How Does a Loop System Work?
Loop systems are a fantastic way to deliver clear and undistorted sound to those with hearing difficulty. The way they work is actually quite simple. Telecoil loops are attached to a sound source, often a microphone. Sound spoken into the microphone is sent through an amplifier and into a copper wire that “loops” the perimeter of the area that loop system sound will be broadcast to. Usually, the wiring for a telecoil is concealed in the floor or ceiling of an area.
The amplifier sends the sound signal through the wire as an electric current. Like all electrical current, this generates a magnetic field around the wire. This fluctuating magnetic field can then be detected by a tiny coil-wrapped wire within your hearing device. Your hearing aid translates this magnetic signal back into sound and also amplifies that sound according to your hearing needs. The sound signal is smoothly and instantaneously delivered directly into your ear canal making it easier to comprehend and free from distracting background noises.
Where Can You Find Loop Systems?
Loop technology is the international standard for hearing accessibility. It has a wide range of applications and is at work in a diverse array of situations. The international symbol for the presence of a telecoil loop system is an ear shape crossed by a thick, broken line and the capital letter “T” in the corner. Look for loop systems in public places. Loop systems are available in many classrooms, places of worship, movie theaters and transportation hubs. While hearing loops can make large spaces easier to navigate, they can also help with private conversations. Look for hearing loops in places like bank tellers, pharmacy windows and information kiosks. Telecoil loops also make transportation easier. You can find loop systems in many different travel situations, from airplanes and taxi cabs to bus terminals and travel kiosks.
Take Advantage of Hearing Loops
Loop systems are high-performing accessibility tools that can be used discreetly by those with telecoil-equipped hearing aids. Opting for telecoil-compatible hearing aids means that you can easily receive audio from loop systems that is amplified directly through your hearing device. By simply switching on the loop control on your hearing aid (this can be by either a physical switch, or remote option, or both), your hearing aid picks up the transmissions of the local loop system.
Equipping your hearing aids for loop systems is one of the simplest and most versatile features to take advantage of. New users are often surprised to see the breadth of settings where hearing loop systems are available as well as how effective they are at delivering clear audio. In studies of listener comprehension between people with hearing loss listening via a hearing loop and those without a loop system, participants ranked their ability to hear on a 10-point scale. Over 85% of participants using hearing loops ranked their hearing experience at level 8 or higher. In contrast, only 13% of those not using a hearing loop ranked their hearing at 8 or above.
Want to know how you can use your hearing aids to access the benefits of hearing loops? We are here to answer your questions and connect you with the best hearing solutions for your needs! Drop us a line today!