Hearing loops, the latest form of technology for those with hearing impairments, is based on many years of tireless research. Propelled a long way since the days of the hearing trumpet, these amazing advances in technology allow for the filtration of background noises and frequencies, such as in a crowded meeting or in a public place. By disposing of the confusing “fluff” that many hearing wearers experience in public places, hearing loops help people to zero in on what is being said to them with great clarity. Thanks to awareness of hearing loss and the availability of affordable technology, hearing loops are gaining traction as a mainstay in conference rooms, concert halls and businesses. Here we examine the inner workings of a hearing loop and how they provide benefits.
What Are Hearing Loops?
Hearing loops work on the principle of two basic premises. First, the technology within hearing aids is what the loop actually works with. A cable is the physical component that’s incorporated within a room or series of rooms to make the sound amplification possible. The cable sends ambient sound to the technology within the hearing aid so the user can hear more crisply. Pretty basic technology, but it works amazingly.
A Closer Look
The hearing loop operates on a two part system that’s actually quite simple. This mechanism, originally discovered during research into telephone technology, involves a hearing loop wire that circles the room to adequately transmit sound through it, taking the form of electromagnetic signals. These signals are picked up by a telecoil within the hearing aid, modeled after the components that help handset telephones optimize their range and signal while away from the base.
It’s this coupling that originates from the t-switches that are part of most hearing aids and cochlear implants, allowing the individual to access electromagnetic sounds sent through the hearing loop when activated. The user can then pinpoint sounds in a more clear way, without all the distraction that comes with background noises and the use of a single hearing aid. These loops also work with microphones for an even clearer display of conversations.
Hearing loops, gaining more attention thanks to increased awareness within the hearing impaired community, are cropping up more and more in town halls, conference rooms and in public places like airports. Characterized by leaps and bounds in technology with the goal of benefiting those with hearing loss, they can now concentrate on the details of what is being said without having to contend with background noise. Many laws are in the works for states to make hearing loops in public places mandatory.