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What are Hearing Loops?

Keeping everyone in the loop!

Hearing loops are augmented hearing systems that transmits audio directly to a hearing aid when the person wearing the hearing aid is within the “loop” – a designated area where a loop has been installed.

Hearing loops are also called induction loops, audio frequency induction loops, and even just loops.

hearing loops in use in public venues

Hearing loops can provide great hearing benefit for some people – especially in public spaces.

How do hearing loops work?

The hearing loop, which can be temporarily or permanently installed, transmits sound using a magnetic wireless signal.

The audio signal transmitted can be from any electronic sound source including microphones, audio players, or other audio devices. The sound is passed through an amplifier, which processes the sound and sends it through the “loop cable”. The loop cable is a copper wire which is installed around the area where you’d like the sound to be picked up by hearing aids.

The transmitted sound can then be received by hearing aids with a Telecoil function activated.

The benefits of hearing loops

The primary benefit of hearing loops is that sound is transmitted directly to a hearing aid processer, bypassing the microphone and eliminating most other sounds in the environment around the wearer.

Other benefits include:

  • No need to use a receiver/headset
  • Sound is transmitted directly to the hearing aid
  • It can be used by anyone with a compatible hearing aid or receiver if required
  • It is inconspicuous
  • It is cost-effective
  • Multiple users can use the system

The end result is clearer sound and a better experience for the hearing aid wearer.

Where can a hearing loop be installed?

A hearing loop and be installed almost anywhere. It can be installed as a permanent fixture or as a temporary installation for special or one-off events.

Many government buildings and services have induction hearing loops installed including in places like train and transit stations, libraries, museums, and service counters.

Other organisations like educational institutions, churches, function centres, cinemas, and theatres may also have hearing loops installed.

Some people even install loops in their homes to assist with hearing such things as the TV.

You can identify where a hearing loop is installed by keeping an eye out for industry-compliant hearing loop signs.

induction loop telecom sign

If you see this sign a hearing loop has been installed and sound can be received using hearing aids with a Telecoil or another form of a receiver.

Do I need a hearing aid with a Telecoil for a hearing loop to work?

You don’t necessarily need a hearing aid with a Telecoil, or T-Switch, to get the benefit of hearing loops.

Some organisations and institutions that have installed hearing loops also provide hearing loop receivers – essentially headsets – that you can use in their venue. You might find this solution offered in places like galleries and museums.

Are induction loops the only solution to better hearing in situations like the above?

While induction loops are certainly prevalent and have been used by many governments and organisations, they are not the only solution for providing a better listening experience in public spaces.

FM radio systems (FM): FM radio systems use a standard FM radio signal to send audio between the transmitter and the receiving device which can be a simple FM radio (with or without headphones) tuned to a specified frequency. People with hearing aids can get accessories that will pick up this FM signal and transmit it directly to their hearing aids.

Infrared light systems (IR): These systems rely on a transmitter of infrared light (very similar to your TV remote) and a receiver that can detect the infrared signal. The one downside with these types of systems is that you require a direct line of sight between the transmitter and receiver. If someone, or something, gets in the way you will lose the audio signal.

For more hearing loop information

For more information, or to talk about an induction loop solution tailored to your situation, talk to LoopMe by Better Hearing Australia today. Call (07) 3844 5065 or use the form below.

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Better Hearing Australia

by Better Hearing Australia (Brisbane)

433 Logan Road, Stones Corner, QLD 4120
Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm

Phone: (07) 3844 5065