When people think of hearing loss and the available treatments, most primarily think of hearing aids. However, people with hearing loss have several options to aid their condition. One standard treatment is a hearing loop system.
Hearing loop technology utilizes a telecoil that transmits sounds to hearing aids equipped with a telecoil receiver. Today, most hearing aid manufacturers create hearing aids with induction loop compatibility, meaning they have a copper wire that communicates with the system. This hearing loop system is often called an audio induction loop.
What is Hearing Loop Technology and How Does it Work?
A hearing loop system operates by utilizing a wire or multiple wires that surround a room. These wires may be built-in into the ceiling or wrap around the floor. A microphone in the room will pick up sounds, amplify them, and send the signal through the wires surrounding the room. This induced current creates a magnetic field that comes from the wires.
All around the room, the magnetic field is present. Individuals with a device capable of picking up this magnetic signal receive it and process it. Each hearing device will convert the signal into sound waves directed to the wearer through their amplifiers or speakers.
Since most hearing aids come with telecoil technology, you can use them in a space that has an induction loop present. People do not need to use hearing aids, though. Instead, some individuals use headsets or other receivers that are built specifically for hearing loops.
Hearing Loop Benefits
First and foremost, hearing loops offer a clear, amplified sound. The technology processes the sound and eliminates background noise allowing for the clearest sound possible. This makes the hearing loop systems ideal for indoor environments where someone speaks live or over the intercom, music venues, and many other places.
Furthermore, as each person has a listening device, they can customize the sound further to their liking. Compatible devices may have various listening modes or volume control that can enhance the sound.
Another benefit is the discretion hearing loop systems offer. When in an indoor area with a hearing loop, individuals can use a small hearing aid to pick up the sounds. Nobody would know they were using the technology.
Additionally, as many hard-of-hearing people feel socially isolated, hearing loops help them overcome such feelings. Hearing loop systems also pose an ease of use that is unparalleled. Users switch their hearing aid to the Telecoil setting, and they’ll receive the sound.
Users with hearing loop compatible hearing aids also benefit from the fact that these loops are widespread. Today, many public areas use hearing loops. For example, users may find hearing loops in public transit locations, healthcare facilities, auditoriums, religious buildings, shops, and more.
Businesses, venues, and public areas that install hearing loops also get many benefits. Hearing loops are easy to install and offer widespread usage. Rather than pass around hearing sets, public venues can provide hearing loop technology for those who need hearing assistance.
The hearing loops stary active at all times and require no maintenance. Users can come in and out of the area and use the technology at their discretion.
Businesses and venues that need to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act can easily install a hearing loop. These hearing loops are internationally recognized as tools to accommodate those with hearing conditions. Thus, everyone who enters a premise where the sign is present knows they have aid if needed. Furthermore, hearing loops are the most cost-effective way to ensure anyone who enters a premises has the assistance.
What is an Induction Loop Compatibility?
Something compatible with an induction loop may refer to both the venues that use them or the hearing devices that use them. For something to be compatible with an induction loop, it must have the proper materials.
Devices Compatible with Hearing Loops
Most hearing aids on the market come complete with telecoils. Cochlear implants, behind-the-ear hearing aids, and even some in-the-canal hearing aids are compatible. However, many of them completely in the canal hearing aids are not compatible with induction loops. In addition, these devices are typically too small to feature a telecoil.
Induction Loop Compatibility Uses
Hearing loops exist in many places, both public and private. A very commonplace to see a hearing loop in use is in a busy public transportation area. Those with hearing impairments who use a hearing aid with a telecoil can hear clear announcements without background noises. Similarly, classrooms, auditoriums, and venues where a speaker or multiple speakers are present can significantly benefit from induction loops.
When an audience, large or small, is present, the venue and organizers must be aware of hearing impairments. A hearing loop in the venue allows the full audience to listen and participate.
On the other hand, individuals can install hearing loops in their own homes. A small hearing loop will not cost much, and it poses many benefits. If one or more person in the house has a hearing condition, they all can use the hearing loop. Speaking with each other will be clear and effective as background noise is significantly reduced.
Hearing Loop Installation
Installing a hearing loop in a public area or a private venue is easy and cost-effective. However, upfront, businesses will have to pay the hearing loop cost plus the person-hours it takes to install.
However, over time, the technology will prove worthwhile. Hearing loops offer the most widespread potential out of hearing aid technology. Once the loop system is installed, it rarely requires maintenance. Depending on the size of the venue, hundreds of individuals a day could benefit from the technology.
For the cheapest installation, businesses or venues should install a hearing loop during the construction of the business, not after. Then, while in the building process, the workers can determine the best location to place the loop and see any complications from the project’s onset.