Hearing Loops

Atlanta Hearing Associates' Blog.

Hearing loops are being hailed as one of the most novel innovations in the hearing impaired community in several years. This technology combines two different forms of pre-existing tech to help people hear better in an entire room or building. This shows just how far we have come in recent years, that hearing devices are now able to be combined with other technology to improve the lives of millions. In this brief look at hearing loops, we will discuss what they are, where they are being used, and how they function in the world around you.

What Is A Hearing Loop?

A hearing loop is two parts of technology that work together to help individuals in a given area, building or room, hear better and more clearly. One part of the hearing loop is the hearing aids that are worn by many individuals who suffer from hearing loss. The second part of this hearing loop is the physical cable, or loop, which is placed throughout the room to act as a receiver and transmitter of information.

Where Are They Used At?

While there are many that are being used throughout the world, they are typically limited to very large areas such as concert halls, meeting rooms, and convention centers. These hearing loops are important for people to understand performances and presentations, but they need to be built into more areas for higher effectiveness. For example, many groups are pushing for these hearing loops to be put into all mass transit vehicles like trains and buses, and also for all public buildings to be legally required to have a hearing loop available. While it may be a while before that happens, the fact that it is not a costly technology has many people excited about the possibilities.

So How Does It Work?

One of the first questions that people ask is: how can a cable and a hearing aid interact to make a new hearing experience? The cable is fitted with a receiver that picks up sound in a specific area of the room, by a podium for example. The sound is then transmitted to the cable in the form of electromagnetic signals. These signals can be picked up and reinterpreted into sound again once they are picked up by a telecoil.

Most of the hearing aids and cochlear implants that have been made in the last ten years have been made with a telecoil receiver in them. This means that all a person has to do is switch on their telecoil in order to pick up these sounds in their hearing aid deice. The sounds that come through are much clearer and louder than they would be in the room. This allows people in the back of the room to hear what someone is clearly saying at the podium. It is widely believed that this will become one of the biggest changes in hearing devices over the last generation.

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