Hearing aids are remarkably effective at enhancing a person’s ability to hear, but when used in a crowded environment they can easily bombard the wearer with unwanted noise. Sizeable, open areas such as audotoriums, places of worship, movie theaters and concert halls can be especially troublesome. Fortunately, hearing loops systems offer a solution to this disadvantage, permitting hearing aid users to easily distinguish the sounds they wish to enjoy.
Hearing loops are a relatively simple bit of technology that works in conjunction with the telecoils that are installed in many modern hearing aids. Telecoils were originally designed to pick up on the magnetic fields created by coils within telephones. People who had a telecoil could enjoy a clear phone conversation without having to worry about background noise. Hearing loop systems take this concept a few steps further by creating a larger magnetic field for telecoils to pick up on.
A hearing loop system has several components, starting with some type of audio input (usually from a dedicated microphone feed or a public address system). This audio signal is fed into a hearing loop amplifier, which drives a current through a cable (or series of cables) looped around the room. If the technicians who install the hearing loop system do their jobs correctly, anyone wearing a telecoil-equipped hearing aid will be able to hear the transmitted sounds clearly wherever they are in the room, without any “drop-out” or “dead spots”.
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 are also a much more subtle solution than neck loops and other paraphernalia, allowing patrons to enjoy a movie, concert, or worship service without embarrassment.
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.