Hearing loops are one of the fastest growing technologies when it comes to hearing impairment. Now, with the simple installation of one of these hearing loops, people with hearing loss can make new use of their hearing device to have much better sound quality delivered directly to them. Although this is a burgeoning technology, many people are still unsure of the basic capabilities of this device. Here we will clarify what a hearing loop is, how they work, and where they are seen in the world right now.
What Is A Hearing Loop?
A hearing loop is a two part mechanism that can help a person hear sounds in a specific area. One of the parts of this hearing loop is the individual’s hearing aid, which must be worn in order to pick up the sounds that are being put out by the hearing loop. The actual “loop” refers to a physical cable that is run throughout a room. This cable can pick up sound via a microphone and then transmit the sounds to a hearing aid that, giving the individual access to more specific sounds.
How Does This Work?
The first part of the hearing loop, the cable, was actually developed as a way to help increase the range of a telephone handset almost thirty years ago. The hearing wire typically picks up sound that is in a room through a microphone that is connected to the system. This microphone feeds the sound into the wire in the form of an electromagnetic signal. From there, the sound is fed into the room on a certain frequency that must be picked up via a telecoil, which can interpret the signal into sound.
Fortunately, most hearing aids and cochlear implants of the modern age are already made with the telecoil, and can be activated by manually turning on the t-switch. After this is completed, the hearing aid will take the information and translate it to sound that the user can hear. This also helps eliminate background noise and unwanted frequencies.
Where Are They Being Used Now?
Currently, hearing loops are being implemented in cities around the world, with many nations considering them necessary for the health and well-being of their hearing impaired population. For the most part, hearing loops can be found in meeting rooms, conference areas, convention centers, and areas where there is a large audience. Since these hearing loops are cheap and rather inexpensive to install, they are being considered in more areas than ever before. There is a large push right now to have them installed in mass transit vehicles such as busses and taxis for the benefit of hearing impaired individuals. It appears as though hearing loop technology will only continue to grow in the future.