Audio-frequency induction loop systems allow hearing impaired people to hear more clearly. Most hearing aids have a â€˜Tâ€™ or â€˜MTâ€™ switch which allows them to pick up the electromagnetic field generated by an induction loop system. The hearing aid converts this signal into a sound suited to its userâ€™s specific hearing requirements. Any person with a hearing aid positioned within or near the loop (see example schematics below) can hear the loop signal by switching their hearing aid to the correct position, allowing them to participate more effectively in general conversation, ordering goods or services, listening to public performances, etc.
Why use an Audio Induction Frequency Loop?
People who suffer from hearing loss require more than just increasing the volume of sound into their ears. The loss of hearing is generally associated with the brainâ€™s neurological processing of information. For people with normal hearing, a signal to noise ratio of 6dB is required for a reasonable level of speech intelligibility. This represents quite a noisy background, and includes sounds such as reverberation, air conditioning, ventilation systems or background noise such as those associated with a crowd of people.
Audio Frequency Induction Loops have the following advantages:
Using the built-in T coil in the hearing aid means hearing aid user always has their â€œreceiverâ€ with themÂ Utilizing the internal tonal correction of the hearing aid maximizes the benefit of the hearing aidÂ No additional receiver / headset is needed which eliminates dispensing, retrieving and maintaining receivers / headsets at venues
- Hygiene problems/concerns are eliminated
- Operates in conditions of bright light (both interior or direct sunlight)
- Are the most cost efficient assistive listening technology
- Where are Audio Induction Frequency Loops used?
There are two basic environments in which induction loops are used: transient and extended time. In both environments, the telecoil capability in the hearing aid is used to listen inductively, which eliminates background noise and greatly increases speech intelligibility for the hearing aid user.In transient use locations it is impractical to issue and retrieve a receiver / headset and these are often among the worst areas for problems related to speech intelligibility and background noise. The use of an individualâ€™s hearing aid is a major step to bringing people with hearing loss back into full contact with their environment. Utilizing a telecoil, the hearing aid user always has their â€œreceiverâ€ with them. Only audio frequency induction loop systems provide this capability
Typical areas of Transient Use include:
- Drive-thru and pick-up windows such as those founds at restaurants, pharmacies and banks
- Point of sale locations such as ticket counters and check outs
- Reception desks and information kiosks
- Public areas in airports, railway stations, subways, shopping malls etc.
- Elevators, lifts Cars, buses, coaches, trams, trains, airplanes, cruise ships
- Museum exhibits
Typical areas of Extended Time Use include:
- Theatre and Performing Arts facilities
- High School and College Auditoriums
- Church Sanctuaries and Worship Centers
- Board rooms and meeting rooms
- Banquet Facilities
- Court rooms and Government chambers
- Sports facilities â€“ Gymnasiums, Natatorium, Stadiums
In extended time use locations there often exists sufficient degradation of signal to seriously effect speech intelligibility. By using an audio frequency induction loop system, no additional equipment, i.e. receivers / headsets, is required if a hearing aid is telecoil equipped. By simply switching to the â€œTâ€ setting on the hearing aid, the audio signal is received. This eliminates the need for a facility to pass out, retrieve and maintain equipment, as well as eliminating hygienic concerns.