Any time a hearing aid user tries to tune in to a speaker in a crowded area, the amount of background noise can quickly become overwhelming. This is especially true in boisterous venues such as concert halls, movie theaters, churches, and auditoriums. The good news is that hearing loop systems make it possible for people wearing hearing aids to easily focus on the sounds they want to hear – presentations, sermons, music and movie dialogue – without any unwanted distractions.
Hearing loop systems work together with the telecoil feature found in many hearing aids. Originally, the telecoil feature was used primarily to pick up on magnetic signals created by 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 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. 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 also provide a simpler, more discreet listening experience, since they don’t require the user to wear any additional equipment.
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.