In the Loop: Get the Most out of Your Hearing with Hearing Loop Technology

In the Loop: Get the Most out of Your Hearing with Hearing Loop Technology

Dr. Kevin H. Ivory

Dr. Kevin Ivory, Au.D., CCC-A received his Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He then went on to earn his Doctor of Audiology degree from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, one of the top 10 audiology residential programs in the country.
Dr. Kevin H. Ivory

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Have you been hearing about hearing loop technology and wondering what it is and if this technology could benefit you? Here we take a look at hearing loop technology to help you discover if hearing loop technology is right for you.

What is a hearing loop?

A hearing loop also referred to as an audio induction loop, is a type of sound system for use by people who already use hearing aids. The hearing loop provides a magnetic, wireless signal that is picked up by the hearing aid when it is set to ‘T’ (Telecoil) setting.

The hearing loop consists of a microphone to pick up the spoken word; an amplifier which processes the signal which is then sent through a loop cable placed around the perimeter of a specific area like a meeting room, a church, a service counter or theater to act as an antenna that radiates the magnetic signal to the hearing aid user enhancing their experience in loud public spaces.

How Does a Hearing Loop Work?

An induction or hearing loop system transmits an audio signal directly into a hearing aid using a magnetic field. A sound source, such as a voice, cinema or audio system, is captured using a microphone or line out connection. The sound signal is then connected to an audio Induction loop driver that generates a current, which delivers the signal to a loop made from copper wire.  The wire surrounds the area where the listening audience is located and produces a magnetic field which is picked up when a hearing aid user switches on the Telecoil setting on their listening device. This delivers sound directly into the ear canal, without background noise and clearly so the sound frequencies needed to understand can be heard.

What is a Telecoil?

A telecoil acts as a sort of antenna for your ears. When you link this up with a sound system in a church or theater, you can get amplified sounds delivered directly into your hearing aids. Most importantly telecoils are easy to use. Most hearing aids models have a switch that gives you access to receive signals either from the hearing aid microphone or a loop system called a “T switch.” Activating the T-setting switches off the microphone so only signals transmitted from the loop system are audible.

Advantages of a Loop System

Hearing loop technology has a number of benefits for the hearing aid user. The main benefit is that an induction loop system makes life that little bit simpler for anyone with a hearing difficulty. The induction loop is meant to enhance one’s listening experience. With an induction loop, anyone with a hearing aid can enjoy TV programs at normal volumes as opposed to struggle to hear TV by turning up the television to abrasive levels for others in a room. The hearing loop only amplifies the sound it is meant to be amplifying directly to your hearing aid so you don’t have to worry about other distracting sounds.

Many recipients

A benefit of the induction loop system is that one loop will work for everyone in that room with a hearing aid. This comes in handy when multiple people have hearing aids in a room. Businesses or venues that install loop systems have virtually no maintenance on the system and do not have to purchase or maintain and repair headphones such as those used with infrared or FM systems. Loop technology uses a universal standard system any T-coil equipped instrument user can use at home or worldwide.

Hearing loops are discrete

Users do not have to “advertise” their disability by using headphones – they only have to turn on their T-coil – so there is no stigma attached to the usage of the loop system.

Help with important conversations

Portable induction loops can be used to amplify personal conversations. A benefit of an induction loop system is that, placed on the table, it means the other party can speak at a normal level and you can still pick up the conversation.

La Canada Hearing

If you think you might benefit from hearing loop technology, contact us at La Canada Hearing to find out more. We can consult you on the hearing loop technology that is perfect for you to help keep you in the loop.