A hearing loop is a sound system for hearing aids. Another name of the hearing loop is an audio induction loop.
A Hearing Aid Loop consists of a microphone, an amplifier and a coil of wire. It is placed around the room. Sound waves are changed into the electric current, amplified and then sent through the coil which emits a magnetic environment in the room.
The magnetic environment is picked up by the “T” switch of the hearing aid, amplified and converted back into the sound. Hearing Aid Loop is also known as the Audio Frequency Induction Loop System (AFILS).
Telecoil or T loop is a specialized circuit which is to be kept within hearing aids having small coiling wire.
It is designed in such a manner that it can pick up magnetic signals versus acoustic signals picked up by the hearing aid microphone.
When a telecoil start working or we can say that telecoil is activated the hearing aid’s normal microphone is turned off.
This telecoil just picks up magnetic inputs. The hearing aid then converts these magnetic signal to sound. Further which are amplified by the hearing aid like any other sound is. A most important benefit is no other sounds in the surrounding are amplified, thus the hearing aid user can just focus on the amplification of magnetic inputs.
The components of the hearing aid loop system
The loop system of hearing aid consists of the following components:
- Microphone: The function of the microphone is to collect the sound from the surrounding environment. The collected sound is then converted to the signals.
- Amplifier: Amplifier is the one that receives the signal from the microphone and then amplifies the strength of the signal.
- Loop cable: Loop system receives the processed signal from the amplifier. The loop cable cannot work without telecoil.
Another name for the hearing aid is telecoil or T-coil. Because of the earlier version which picks up a magnetic field from coils within a telephone. They were part of the method which enables the two-way communication over a single wire. The hearing aid user can hear phone conversation clearly because of T-coil. Because of t-coil in not picking up background noise.
Induction Loop Theory of Hearing loop
The simplest form of hearing loop is single wire all over the room. The single wire is connected to the power amplifier as a loudspeaker. The guide of design and installation of an induction loop for hearing loop is written in British Standard BS 7594. Coupling of the magnetic field is mathematically derived by Faraday’s Law of Induction.
It is launched by the BSI. BS 7594 is used all over in Britain. It is a guideline for the design and installation of induction loops for hearing loop which is non-mandatory. BS 7594 consists of an understanding guide to the theory. It contains some valuable guidance regarding other equipment within the loop area and also the calibration of field strength measuring device.
How does hearing loop work?
- First of all, the sound is collected from the source such as voice, cinema, the audio system through the microphone of the hearing aid.
- The sound signal is linked to an audio induction loop driver. This driver produces a current which delivers the signal to a loop made up of copper tape or wire.
- The copper wire hearing loop typically surrounds the area where the listening audience is located and produces a magnetic field.
- The magnetic field generated is sensed by a Telecoil (or T-coil) inside a hearing aid.
- A hearing aid tailors the sound to the specific needs of the person. It transmits sound directly into the ear canal, without background noise and with the full spectrum of sound frequencies needed to make it intelligible.
Benefits of hearing loop
- Reduce background noise.
- There is no need of using a receiver/headset.
- The sound which is produced directly goes into hearing aid.
- Compatible with any hearing aid.
- It is inconspicuous.
- They are Cost-effective.
- A large number of users can use the system.
Advantages of hearing aid loop
- You only need to wear your hearings aids in a telecoil program to listen in a good manner.
- You do not need other battery-powered devices until you want to listen through a loudspeaker or headphones.
- Your hearing aids or your receiver will work in any area that has been looped. There is nothing to worry about different frequencies.
- You can walk around inside the loop and still hear the speaker clearly.
Disadvantages of hearing aid loop
- induction loop technology will work only if the building you are in has been looped.
- You might hear more than one talker at the same time if the building contains more than one loop system.
- Your hearing aids or your receiver may get interference from other electronic devices. For example, fluorescent lights, computer monitors, or television screens might cause a humming noise.