Let’s explain a Hearing Loop System:
A hearing loop system (sometimes called an induction loop) is a special type of sound system for use by people suffering from hearing loss. T-coils inside of hearing aids, implants, and hard of hearing receivers will pick up the wireless, magnetic signal created by the hearing loop.
Below is a diagram of a simple room with a hearing loop:
Below is a diagram of a hearing loop at a checkout counter or bank:
A video by our friends at Contacta explaining hearing loops:
How can Hearing Loop Systems help?
Hooray for hearing loops! Hearing aid users across the country are chanting, “Get in the Loop!”. Induction hearing loops are a simple solution to an invisible problem that many hard of hearing people face daily. In simple terms, a hearing loop system consist of a wire looped around a room and plugged in to an amplifier, which is then plugged in to an audio/sound system or TV. Churches and public auditoriums are the perfect environment for hearing loop systems. There are residential loops available for home TV rooms, which can be wired or used with a seat pad that includes a hearing loop system. They plug in to the TV and the hearing aid wearer merely turns on their T-coil. Voila! No need to turn up the volume and annoy others in the home! Not to mention that the sound is CLEAR.
Why use a hearing loop?
- Cuts out unwanted background noise
- No need to use a receiver/headset
- Sound goes directly into the hearing aid or cochlear implant
- Anyone with a cochlear implant or compatible hearing aid can take advantage of the Hearing Loop
- It is inconspicuous
- Cost effective
- Any number of users can use the system
How new is this technology?
Induction Loop systems have been in use in Europe for years and it is rare that a public area does not have a loop system. All hearing aids in Europe are required to have T-coils, which is not the case in the US. Yet.
Hearing Loop Systems average cost?
The cost of a loop in a residential setting can be $300-500. Installation costs are minimal or homeowners can even install the loop themselves. Commercial loop systems involve professional design to make sure any interference is compensated for and that the installation complies with IEC standards. Typical costs are from $5,000 to $15,000 for most installations, depending on the size and construction of the room. However, venues such as sports arenas, airports and large theaters can run in to six figures. Certainly, having a professional installer is important since a bad installation serves no one.
Hearing Loop systems are versatile!
There are even hearing loop systems available for counter installations such as pharmacies, bank windows, ticket counters, etc., where it is important to hear clearly. A portable hearing loop system may work for some in meetings or restaurants. And the best thing about hearing loop systems? One does not need to advertise that they have a hearing loss by wearing one of the headsets provided in most public venues to hear the speaker through the FM or infrared system.