Understanding hearing loops

Understanding hearing loops Hearing loops offer hearing aid wearers a front row seat at a local venue or in any setting where background noise may get in the way.  2013 501 Understanding hearing loops

People with hearing loss know that one of the biggest struggles in daily life is hearing in noisy situations. Whether you're going to church or a movie theater, hearing loops can help those who are hearing impaired because it cuts out background noise and amplifies the sound that you are trying to focus on. This burgeoning technology has made it possible for people with hearing loss to enjoy the best things in life once again.

What is a hearing loop?

hearing loop, hearing aids, assistive listening devices, hearing lossA hearing loop transmits sounds electromagnetically through a sound system that circles the room. The sound is then sent to the hearing aid wearer's device through a telecoil that is located within the aid itself. Users will have a t-coil switch on the hearing aid or cochlear implant that automatically picks up the signal.

Hearing loops take the voice from the microphone - which is heard throughout the entire audience - and bring it directly to the ears of the hearing aid wearer. The assistive listening system is one of the best received devices for people with hearing loss for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Personal sound: With a hearing loop, the sound is only being transmitted to the individual with a hearing aid, so others won't hear the echoing noise.
  • They work anywhere: Some other assistive listening devices only work in certain situations, but hearing loops are practical in every scenario, even in transit. It can help people as they go through ticket counters, teller windows, drive-thru stations and airport gate areas.
  • It's all the same device: Instead of having to juggle your hearing aid and a headset, the hearing loop system doesn't require extra equipment.
  • A universal magnetic signal: This will work no matter where you are or what hearing aid brand you use.

What do I need to use a hearing loop?

To utilize a hearing loop, all you need is a hearing aid with a telecoil. A telecoil, or t-coil, works as an antenna to pick up sound and deliver it straight to the listener's ear. The small copper coil is common in most hearing aids that are on the market today, and it can quickly be turned on and off with the flip of a switch.

Where can I use a hearing loop?

Hearing loops are most common in large rooms where hearing aid wearers would otherwise have trouble understanding a speaker in front of a large audience. For example, churches, auditoriums, theaters and courts make use of the electromagnetic system. Hearing loop systems can also be used in places like airports and train stations as well where background noise can get in the way of hearing important announcements about your traveling.

These systems can also be used on a much more personal level as well, such as in a home living room, office or car. While there isn't as much background noise in these places, a hearing loop can amplify the noise so that you don't have to worry about missing a single word.

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