Hearing Loop FAQ

What are the advantages and benefits of a loop system?       

  1. Direct auditory input and a signal-to-noise ratio of zero! Hearing Loops are the most effective way to hear in a large room. The sound is crystal clear, background noises are eliminated, and the brain can relax because it can easily comprehend the world.
  2. Loop systems require little maintenance, and the facility does not have to purchase or maintain/sanitize/repair headphones or replace batteries such as those used with infrared or FM systems.
  3. There is no limit to the number of users of the system.
  4. Users do not have to “advertise” their disability by using headphones or additional equipment, so there is no stigma attached to the usage of the loop system.
  5. Listeners use their equipment! T-Coil-equipped hearing aids and cochlear implants can “get in the loop.”
  6. The loop system helps the hearing aid do its job by delivering tailored sound custom to each user’s needs. Not everyone has the same loss of hearing.
  7. Improved clarity and understanding benefit businesses and individuals. If you can hear and understand, you can help.
  8. ADA compliance

Where are hearing loops used?
Short answer: Anywhere where two or more people gather. Examples include places like:

  • Theaters and performing arts centers
  • Places of worship
  • High school and college auditoriums
  • Courtrooms and government chambers
  • Board rooms and large meeting rooms
  • Banquet and sports facilities
  • Ticket counters and information booths
  • Doctors’ offices and pharmacy counters
  • Drive-thru and pick-up windows
  • Elevators, trains, and buses
  • Museum exhibits

What is the biggest challenge to hearing loop effectiveness?
User education is the biggest challenge. Many people do not know that their hearing aid or cochlear implant has T-coils. Even if an organization posts the universal hearing loop symbol, people may not fully understand that they can easily take advantage of the technology using their existing assistive hearing device.

Are there any venues that cannot be looped?
Ninety-nine percent of all facilities can be looped effectively. Steel and concrete with rebar can make an installation more complex. It is essential to have a professional hearing loop installer conduct an initial site assessment to determine the effectiveness of a hearing loop for a particular venue.

Is non-structural magnetic interference a problem with hearing loops?
Generally not. Old computer monitors, old fluorescent lighting, and some old dimmer switches generate interference, as do some cars. But all the successful current installations show that interference-free installation is nearly always possible.

Can hearing loops serve those without telecoil-equipped hearing aids or without hearing aids entirely?
Yes. Hearing loops typically come with portable T-coil receivers and headsets to serve people who don’t have T-coil-equipped hearing aids.

Can hearing loops be used in adjacent rooms?
Yes, systems can be designed to control spillover between adjacent rooms.

Can you see the hearing loop?
No, the hearing loop does not affect the venue’s architecture or appearance.

Do I need to do anything to maintain a hearing loop?
Just check it monthly to make sure that it is working correctly. Installations often come with a special listening device to allow a non-hearing aid wearer to access the induction loop.

How do people know that a hearing loop is available?
The venue will post this internationally accepted symbol

What is a “Good” Hearing Loop, and How do you know?
A “Commissioned Hearing loop” will provide an IEC Standard and Conformity Certification Certificate.

The Hearing Loop Installers have known/defined standards to follow and will “issue” an IEC Certificate guaranteeing that the Hearing Loop meets the standard required by the IEC to guarantee the hearing loop delivers all frequencies to the hearing impaired. Hearing Loops should be ADA and ANSI code compliant.

American Hearing Loop is IEC certified and trained. We provide an IEC conformity.

A bad loop will have some of the following defects: no IEC conforming certificate, no 100-5000Hz frequencies, wire installed incorrectly, cheap or inadequate amplifier, buzzing or hum in hearing aids, spoken words are unclear, crackling or shhh on words. If you experience any of these, give the experts a call. Our number is 864-404-6937.