What is a Hearing Loop?
A hearing loop is a wire that circles a room and is connected to a sound system. The loop transmits the sound electromagnetically. The electromagnetic signal is then picked up by the telecoil in the hearing aid or cochlear implant.
To use a hearing loop, you flip on the t-switch on the hearing aid or cochlear implant to activate the telecoil. Usually, no additional receiver or equipment is needed. Using a telecoil and hearing loop together is seamless, cost-effective, unobtrusive, and you don't have to seek additional equipment. Hearing loops are also called audio-induction loops or loops. If your hearing aid doesn't have a telecoil, you will need a headset plugged into a loop receiver to achieve the same effect.
Find out more by reading the Frequently Asked Questions about Hearing Loops.
What is a Telecoil?
A telecoil in a hearing aid functions as a wireless antenna that links to the sound system and delivers customized sound to the listener. A telecoil is a small copper coil that is an option in most hearing aids and is built into cochlear implant processors. Telecoils also known as t-coils and were originally used to boost the magnetic signals from the telephone handset. The telecoil is activated by a t-switch. All landline and some cell phones are designed by law to be used with a telecoil.
The telecoil can make a noticeable difference in your life when combined with hearing assistive technology such as the hearing loop. This pairing of technology bridges the space between you and the sound source. The hearing loop connects the listener directly to the sound source while most of the background noise is eliminated.
If you are buying a hearing aid for the first time, be sure to ask that a telecoil be included. With a telecoil you can expand the functionality of your hearing aid or cochlear implant.
Webinar: The Role of Telecoils in Hearing Device Use (October 2010)