What is a Hearing Loop System?

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:

How a Hearing Loop works

 

Below is a diagram of a hearing loop at a checkout counter or bank:

Magnetic field created by counter or aerial loop

 

A video by our friends at Contacta explaining hearing loops:

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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.

 

 

And the Next Hearing Loop Location is…the Round Rock City Council Chambers

Round Rock citizens be sure and get your telecoils activated because the Round Rock City Council Chambers, located at 221 E. Main Street in downtown Round Rock, will the newest location in Texas to install an induction hearing loop system!    In early January, the City of Round Rock Facilities team will begin pulling carpet tiles to allow for the hearing loop wiring to be ran.  The wire will then be connected to the Round Rock City Council’s audio system.    Round Rock City Council meeting attendees will be able to hear Round Rock council members’ voices as clearly as if their local representative was talking right into their ear!

Assist2Hear wants to give a sincere thank you on behalf of persons with hearing loss to the City of Round Rock, the Round Rock City Council, and the local Round Rock Sertoma Club, as each party worked together to make the hearing loop install a reality for Round Rock citizens!

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