Hearing loop systems – Hear better in public places!

Categories: Audiology

Imagine going to the theater and hearing the actors as clearly as if you had front row seats. Wouldn’t it be nice to adequately hear the clergy person at your house of worship? Do you have difficulty hearing the speaker in a public auditorium? Hearing loop technology allows a hearing aid user to get a clear, direct signal from the microphones or other sound sources in public areas without interference from background noise and the echo that is often found in large open spaces.

What is a hearing Loop?

In “loop” technology a signal is sent from a sound source such as a microphone, television, or public address system, to a connected wire that encircles a room or other smaller areas. The sound is sent electromagnetically from the microphone through the loop, and is picked up by any hearing aid that is equipped with a telecoil.

How do you use a hearing loop?

The signal from the loop is picked up by the telecoil in your hearing aid or cochlear implant. No extra equipment is needed. Typically, a switch or button on the hearing aid is pushed to access the special telecoil program. The telecoil allows the hearing aid to link wirelessly with a facility’s loop system. The listener can then hear the signal loud and clear in both ears. The telecoil must usually be activated in the hearing aid software by your audiologist. The audiologists at Auditory Services of York ENT Surgical Consultants at both our Hinsdale and Bolingbrook locations can activate this feature in most hearing aids that have a telecoil.

Can a loop be used with all hearing aids?

Over 70% of current hearing aids have a telecoil. However, in many of these aids the telecoil has not been made active, or the wearer is not aware of the presence of the telecoil or how it is accessed. A brief session with the audiologists at Auditory Services of York ENT Surgical Consultants can let you know if your hearing aid has a telecoil, and if that telecoil is active. We can also show you how to use your telecoil in looped areas.

Benefits of the hearing loop:

• Sound at a distance is delivered to the hearing aids directly and clearly.
• Speech through the loop is delivered through your own hearing aids which are specific to the requirements of your hearing loss.
• The loop reduces background noise, echo, and room reverberation since the sound is coming directly from the microphone to the hearing aids via the loop.
• It is a low-cost assistive device as it works with your existing hearing aids. No additional equipment is needed.

How do I find out if an area is looped?

There are many theaters, auditoriums, government buildings and houses of worship that are looped for the hearing impaired. In many European countries it is extremely common as well.

Most looped venues have the hearing loop sign in a visible location.

Assitive Listening Device - looped venue sign

To find locations that are looped in your area, you can visit the website aldlocater.com.

Hearing loops are a great way to easily and clearly hear public speakers through your own hearing aids without interfering background noise and reverberation. If you would like more information about hearing aids equipped with a telecoil, please contact the audiologists at Auditory Services of York ENT Surgical Consultants, serving the Hinsdale, LaGrange and Bolingbrook areas.