Why Induction Loops?
When hearing aids – even digital, high-tech ones – aren’t enough in every situation, an assistive listening device such as an Audio Frequency Induction Loop, or Hearing Loop, may be the only way to bring sound to the listener, while eliminating background noise and distance – thus significantly increasing sound clarity.
Of the three wireless assistive listening devices available today – induction loop, radio (FM) or infrared (IR) systems – only induction loops can bring sound directly to the listeners’ hearing aid or cochlear implant; with no need for an extra receiving device.
The induction loop sends a sound signal to the hearing aid or cochlear implants’ built-in telecoil receiver, thus eliminating both distance and background noise. The listener just switches on their telecoil program, has sound come directly to their existing device, and gets it customized to their own hearing devices’ setting.
What happens when induction loops are used?
REAL TIME access, and freedom from having to ask for help. Within the area of a hearing loop, the listener is free:
• to sit anywhere they choose;
• to use their own receiver headset inside of their existing hearing aid or cochlear implant;
• to feel confident their hearing aid or cochlear implants’ batteries will not be drained while receiving the loop signal;
• to come and go, without having to retrieve or return a headset
REAL TIME access and freedom of choice to hearing aid and cochlear implant wearers! That’s what happens when induction loops are used. And that’s our most important goal – to support access, inclusion, respect, and engagement for people who have hearing loss.
Induction Loops instead of FM or IR hearing-assist systems – why everyone wins
Venue owners have less maintenance of receiver headsets (recommended at 1 unit/ 50 seats, instead of 2/50 seats with FM or IR listening systems); making induction loops a very cost-effective solution to help everyone hear. For transient or pass-through venues like ticket booths, loop systems are the only assistive listening system solution.
With up-front system implementation costs, but minimal long-term maintenance fees, loop systems also provide – on a per seat basis – less cost, due to less work for the venue operator to supply, retrieve, charge, store, clean, repair, and replace receiver-headsets.
Induction loop systems are also less work for the user to find and return receiver headsets. They are also less invasive to the users’ privacy and dignity. With FM and IR systems, the user is conspicuously wearing a headset; unlike the induction loop system user.
Sound clarity is also vastly improved with induction loop systems, as the signal is received in the listeners’ own hearing aid or cochlear implant device, which is custom set to their individual hearing loss – replacing the loss of high, low, or a combination of both, frequencies. With FM and IR hearing-assist systems, the user only receives increased volume, not clarity. Increased volume actually distorts sound for hard of hearing listeners, and lessens their ability to hear well.
Universal Standards: Following the International Standard IEC 60118-4
Large-venue induction loop installations must fulfill the international IEC 60118-4 standard, in order to meet strict performance quality for universal strength of the sound signal. Designed using specialized engineering knowledge, and by conducting thorough measurements on background and ambient noises (using a Field Strength Meter and Sine Wave signals), large loop system installations include a Certificate of Conformity provided by a professional installer.
Strict adherence to the IEC standard for large-venue loop system installations guarantees the venue operators’ satisfaction with the system, and quality of use for the end-users.
Checked regularly by venue operators, using a system-tester loop receiver-headset, an induction loop system will work well for many years. However, after venue construction, or audio system changes, it is recommended that the loop system be re-certified to ensure optimal operation.
Induction loop systems work everywhere listeners need to hear, including:
• churches, theaters, auditoriums, stadiums, community centers, libraries, and museums
• subway booths, ticket and reception counters, conference and meeting rooms, and classrooms
• doctors’ offices and wait rooms, workplace meeting rooms, and living rooms
• vehicles, such as buses, trains, and cars
Yes, vehicles! In fact, all new New York City cabs since 2013, and all cabs in the UK, have been fitted with induction loops to help hard of hearing passengers – and drivers – to hear better.
Hearing loops can also be installed in elevators!
Hearing loops are meant to be used – for access everywhere!