Hearing aids are remarkably effective at improving a person’s hearing, but when worn in a crowded environment they can easily overwhelm the wearer with unwanted noise. This is especially true in boisterous settings such as concert halls, movie theaters, auditoriums and churches. Hearing loop systems provide a straightforward solution to this problem, making it very easy for individuals with hearing aids to experience movies, sermons, concerts, and other presentations without distraction.
Hearing loop systems take advantages of the telecoil feature that is included in most hearing aids. Originally, the telecoil feature was used primarily to pick up on magnetic signals created by telephones. This allowed the wearer to easily listen to telephone conversations without distraction from background noise. These same telecoils can be used by today’s hearing loop systems, which create magnetic fields on a much larger scale.
A hearing loop system begins with an audio input, either from a dedicated microphone feed (such as in an auditorium or place of worship) or a PA system. The input travels into a hearing loop amplifier, which then drives a current through one or several cables that are looped around the venue. If the loop is set up correctly there will be no dead zones or dropouts, allowing everyone in the loop with a telecoil to clearly hear the transmitted sound.
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. Listeners also appreciate their more subtle nature, which allows them to enjoy a concert, presentation, or worship service without the self-consciousness that can accompany wearing a neck loop.
Despite their initial set-up cost, hearing aid loops are an efficient and effective way to make sure all visitors to a venue are able to enjoy their experience.