When a hearing aid wearer attempts to listen to a speaker in a crowded area, the levels of background noise can quickly become daunting. This is especially true in noisy venues such as movie theaters, concert halls, auditoriums and churches. Hearing loop systems offer a simple solution to this issue, making it very easy for people with hearing aids to enjoy sermons, movies, concerts, and other oral presentations without distraction.
Hearing loop systems work together with the telecoil feature found in many hearing aids. Telecoils were originally designed to pick up on the magnetic fields created by coils within telephones. By isolating these fields, telecoils allowed people wearing hearing aids to have clear phone conversations without being annoyed by background noise. These same telecoils can be used by today’s hearing loop systems, which create magnetic fields on a much larger scale.
The first part of a hearing loop system is an audio input, often from a PA system or a dedicated microphone feed. The input travels into a hearing loop amplifier, which then drives a current through one or several cables that are looped around the venue. 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.
While newer technology such as FM transmission neck loops are becoming more established among many establishments, hearing loop systems can still offer a number of advantages to the hard of hearing. These systems are very convenient for patrons whose hearing aids have a telecoil feature, allowing them to visit any properly equipped venue without worrying about their ability to hear. They also provide a simpler, more discreet listening experience, since they don’t require the user to wear any additional equipment.
While hearing loop systems require some initial investment in terms of equipment and set-up, they are a proven way for venue owners and managers to offer a high-quality listening experience to as many visitors as possible.