The technology inherent in any modern hearing aid has made great strides since the days when hearing trumpets took center stage. Recent years have seen the progression of the ability to filter out the distractions of background noise and focus more on the crystal clear words people are saying. With this ability, plus a burgeoning recognition of the hearing impaired community and more accessible technology, hearing loops are popping up in meeting rooms, concert halls, and businesses around the globe. So, let’s delve into the technology propelling hearing loops to greater and greater heights.
What Are Hearing Loops?
A culmination of two different forms of technology, hearing loops take their basics from both the technology residing in the hearing aid that many people with hearing impairments don each day, with a physical cable that is run throughout a building or – as is more likely the case — a single room. Working in harmony with each other, these two factors transmit ambient sounds detected throughout the room to the hearing aid that individuals are wearing. The result is a crisp modification of sound that makes group conversation easier.
A Closer Look
It’s this two-part system that makes up the bulk of this technology. In fact, it’s not a terribly complicated mechanism and was actually uncovered during research into how telephone technology works. Essentially, the hearing loop wire circles the room to transmit sound through this vessel via powerful electromagnetic signals. These signals are so powerful in this area that special telecoils can pick up on them, taken from the technology that allows handset telephones to optimize their range while off their base.
Now that we’re speaking of hearing aids and remote telecoil technology, you’ll find it interesting to note that most modern hearing aids and cochlear implants are fitted with something called a t-switch. Allowing the user to hear sounds much more clearly and with fewer background noises, the t-switch, when activated in your hearing device, picks up on the electromagnetic sounds being channeled through the hearing loop. Hearing aids on their own can only provide so much help. In large places or in group situations, hearing loops are essential in maintaining a connection with your audience or the person in charge of speaking. You can even using such a hearing loops in conjunction with a microphone, perfect for large meetings.
Cropping up in town halls, conference rooms and even in public transportation all over the country, these hearing loops are helping people with hearing loss focus more upon what is being said to them rather than on trying to perceive what is going on over the hum of background noise. You may even see some states and nations making the use of hearing loops mandatory in some public areas.