Imagine going to your place of worship or a play or movie and pressing a button, automatically connecting you to the venue’s sound system, and automatically turning your hearing aids or cochlear implant into a wireless in-the-ear loudspeaker delivering sound customized to your own hearing loss.
A hearing loop is a piece of equipment and associated wire installed in public places or in homes that transmits sound from a specific source. For example, if installed in a theatre, hearing loops will send out what’s being said by the actors in the form of a magnetic field. This field can then be picked up by any hearing aid with a T-Coil. This technology puts sounds directly into the hearing aid and eliminates common hearing difficulties experienced by those with hearing loss in these difficult hearing environments.
The next time you’re visiting Ahrens, ask for a demonstration of the system and we’ll show you how we can get you in the loop! If you think this might be a benefit to your local community center, church, synagogue, temple, movie theatre, etc., please let us know. We’ll be happy to speak with you about the benefits of hearing loops!
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Our mission regarding hearing loops
We are people and members of the community just like our patients and are always on the lookout for audiology services and products that can improve the help we can offer to those with hearing loss (it is why we are in business after all). Hearing loops are something that we believe truly make a difference. It has been proven in other parts of the US. This is why we have made this one of our “missions”.
In our opinion, the more loops there are, the happier those with hearing loss (and those without it) will be! So, please do not hesitate to contact us with questions and start speaking up about this! Our community leaders are more likely to act if they know people are having difficulty hearing and the only way they will know is if you tell them.
How Does it Work
An induction loop system transmits an audio signal from almost any source through a wire, transforming that sound into a magnetic field. This magnetic field is then picked up by the t-coil installed in many hearing aids.
The sound is then adjusted for that person’s individual hearing loss and delivered to their ear(s). It has been described as “wi-Fi” for hearing aids, which is very fitting because it is delivering the sound right from its source, directly to the hearing aids and eliminating any background noise.
There are no devices to wear which require the user to remove their hearing instruments. Wherever there is a loop system installed, all you must do is enable your t-coil (usually with a button or switch) to receive the hearing loop signal directly into the hearing aids without any background noise.
Is my hearing aid compatible?
It is estimated that approximately 60 percent of hearing aids currently have telecoils. That number increases significantly for people with more severe hearing loss, who are those that benefit from this type of system the most.
Some people are aware that they have a telecoil and might even use it currently for hearing on the telephone. Others may have a telecoil but it may not be activated. The best way to find out is to ask your hearing healthcare provider who should be able to answer that question for you. We can always help you to determine if you have a telecoil as well.
Please contact us if you have any further questions or concerns.
Installing a hearing loop can range from very easy to very complex. It should be stressed that a proper, professionally designed and installed system is needed to get the proper frequency response across the whole listening area.
Just like fitting a hearing aid, doing the job properly IS the difference between simply a loop system, and a loop system that meets the standard and provides users with real benefits.
Home Hearing Loop
Installing a hearing loop in a relatively small area such as a living room or small office can be quite simple as usually all that is needed is a single loop around the room at ground level, or up to 8 feet in the ceiling (being cautious of drop ceilings). Any handy person can complete the installation with common tools and all loop kits come complete with instructions.
Commercial Hearing Loop
The complexity and cost of an installation in a commercial environment depends on factors such as room size, architectural elements of the building, amount of metal in the building, as well as many other considerations that must be made. Wire installation must be properly planned, equipment carefully selected, and the system properly adjusted to provide a clear and crisp signal.
The best way to determine cost and complexity of installation is to do a physical walk-through of the area, take measurements, and even do a loop demo to ensure the system will react properly in that specific room when it is permanently installed.