- Audiology Services
- Audiology Products
- Hearing News
Hearing loops are
commonplace in Europe. In England, everywhere from Westminster Abbey
to public transportation ticket windows are looped.
The U.S. has been
slower to embrace hearing loops because, until recently, many hearing
aids were not equipped with telecoils. According to the American Academy of Audiology,
today almost 70% of all hearing aids dispensed in the U.S. have telecoils, and that number is
on the rise. As a result, there is increasing interest in hearing loops.
Proponents such as
David G. Myers, PhD, a hearing-impaired professor of psychology at
Hope College in Michigan, the Hearing Loss Association of America, and the American Academy
of Audiology are leading the charge to loop more public spaces in the U.S.
Hearing loops are increasingly being embraced as a way to help hearing impaired people
enjoy clear sound in:
In the Southeast,
hearing loops are being installed in retirement communities, places of
worship and auditoriums. The public sector has been a bit slower to embrace the technology
than in other parts of the country, but change is coming.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the biggest
challenge to hearing loop effectiveness?
A: User education is actually the biggest challenge. Many people have no idea that their hearing aid or cochlear implant has a T-coil. Even if an organization posts the universal hearing loop symbol, people may not fully understand that they can easily take advantage of the technology using their existing assistive hearing device. It helps to provide some information about T-coils on signs, in programs and in public presentations.
Q: Are there any
venues that just cannot be looped?
A: Ninety percent of all facilities can be looped effectively. Steel and concrete with rebar can make an installation more complex. It is important to have a professional hearing loop installer conduct an initial site assessment to determine the effectiveness of a hearing loop for a particular venue.
Q: Is non-structural
magnetic interference a problem with hearing loops?
A: Generally not. Old computer monitors, old fluorescent lighting, and some old dimmer switches generate interference, as do some cars and all airplanes. But all the successful current installations show that interference-free installation is nearly always possible.
Q: Can hearing loops
serve those without telecoil-equipped hearing aids or without hearing aids
A: Yes, hearing loops typically come with portable receivers and headsets to serve people who don’t have T-coil equipped hearing aids. As T-coils have become commonplace, we find that most receivers and headsets are not used.
Q: Can hearing loops
be used in adjacent rooms?
A: Yes, systems can be designed that control sound spillover between adjacent rooms.
Q: Can you see the
A: No, the hearing loop does not affect the venue’s architecture or appearance at all.
Q: Do I need to do
anything to maintain a hearing loop?
A: Just check it monthly to make sure that it is working properly. Installations often come with a special listening device to allow a non-hearing aid wearer to access the induction loop.
Q: How do people know
that a hearing loop is available?
A: The venue will post this internationally accepted symbol