When a hearing aid user tries to tune in to a speaker in a crowded place, the levels of background noise can easily become overwhelming. Large, open areas such as audotoriums, places of worship, movie theaters and concert halls can be especially difficult. The good news is, hearing loops systems provide a solution to this problem, allowing hearing aid users to easily distinguish the sounds they wish to focus on.
Hearing loop systems take advantages of the telecoil feature that is included in most hearing aids. The original purpose of these telecoils was to work with the magnetic fields created by telephone hardware. This allowed the wearer to easily listen to telephone conversations without distraction from background noise. Hearing loop systems use this same concept but on a larger scale, creating magnetic signals that anyone in the area with a telecoil can pick up on.
The first part of a hearing loop system is an audio input, often from a PA system or a dedicated microphone feed. This audio input is routed to a hearing loop amplifier, which then feeds a current along a cable or series of cables that have been installed around the room. Properly installed loops do not have dead zones, which means that anyone with a telecoil who is inside the loop can pick up on the transmitted audio.
Despite the fact that several newer technologies like FM transmission neck loops are being installed in public and private venues, traditional audio loop systems continue to offer several unique benefits. Their convenience alone makes them a popular choice among venues and patrons alike. They also provide a simpler, more discreet listening experience, since they don’t require the user to wear any additional equipment.
Though no hearing technology is perfect, hearing loop systems offer a huge service to many people, giving many listeners a much more enjoyable experience.