Do you know about Telecoils & Hearing Loops in Public Spaces?

Posted by pegbell @pegbell, May 20, 2019

Hoping to get some honest feedback from folks on whether or not they have been told about how to use the telecoil (T-Coil) in their hearing aid or CI. Ideally, the information is shared freely and helps people take advantage of the wireless solution to hearing clearly in noisy public spaces. Like a ramp for a wheelchair, a hearing loop system delivers audio directly to personal hearing devices without the need for any other equipment at places like hospitals, theaters, courtrooms, classrooms, meeting spaces, museums, etc.
So, the questions is this: when you first got your hearing device, were you told about the telecoil and using hearing loops? Simple yes or no is fine. If you'd like to share more please feel free. THANK YOU!

How_a_HearingLoop_Works

Liked by capausz

@jsterkensaud

Where do you live? Several websites keep track of loops nationwide as well as in WI and MN. Happy to share this information.

Jump to this post

I'm in the Central PA area.

REPLY

Yes. It is important that audiologists tell patients about T coils. It is also important that venues that have loops promote it with signs etc. We have one installed in our church due to the fact that I attended an HLAA meeting in Madison WI. Thank you J Sterkens for your help!

REPLY

So sorry you had a bad experience with a neckoop. I suspect you had a defective neckloop or an inferior product. Not sure where you got it, but if from a hearing healthcare provider you should have returned it. Years ago our HLAA group purchased a dozen neckloops from an online source. I think they cost around $15@. They didn't have enough power for those of us with severe/profound hearing loss. Lesson learned. I suggest you try a Williams Sound neckloop. Cost is around $50. Well worth it. Your provider should be able to order you one. Good Luck!

Liked by pegbell

REPLY

No

Liked by pegbell

REPLY

Maybe we should explain why the term 'old technology' is sometimes used when talking about telecoils and induction (hearing) loops. It is technology that has been in use since the mid-1900s. Telecoils were first developed to be used with hardwired landline telephones; this the name 'tele'coil. Those old dial phones had the necessary magnet in the handset to relate to the telecoil component placed in the hearing aid. You all know what happened to those old phones. The phone industry went to cordless landlines, then to cell phones. The hearing aid manufacturers started removing telecoils from hearing aids because the new phones were not compatible with them. This was also pushed by the miniaturization of hearing aids. While the t-coil is small, it still takes up space in the hearing aid. HLAA pushed hard for hearing aid compatibility as new phones developed, which led to many being compatible, but not all. We had to be very careful what we purchased if we wanted it to work with our t-coil equipped hearing aids. We still do. An all out movement to promote telecoils and loops in public venues didn't get going until around 2007, when a handful of audiologists agreed to work with HLAA to push the technology. So yes, this is 'old technology', but it has many practical 'new' uses. Loops are better than ever. It is up to us to advocate and educate to get them out there.

REPLY
@julieo4

Maybe we should explain why the term 'old technology' is sometimes used when talking about telecoils and induction (hearing) loops. It is technology that has been in use since the mid-1900s. Telecoils were first developed to be used with hardwired landline telephones; this the name 'tele'coil. Those old dial phones had the necessary magnet in the handset to relate to the telecoil component placed in the hearing aid. You all know what happened to those old phones. The phone industry went to cordless landlines, then to cell phones. The hearing aid manufacturers started removing telecoils from hearing aids because the new phones were not compatible with them. This was also pushed by the miniaturization of hearing aids. While the t-coil is small, it still takes up space in the hearing aid. HLAA pushed hard for hearing aid compatibility as new phones developed, which led to many being compatible, but not all. We had to be very careful what we purchased if we wanted it to work with our t-coil equipped hearing aids. We still do. An all out movement to promote telecoils and loops in public venues didn't get going until around 2007, when a handful of audiologists agreed to work with HLAA to push the technology. So yes, this is 'old technology', but it has many practical 'new' uses. Loops are better than ever. It is up to us to advocate and educate to get them out there.

Jump to this post

Great explanation, @julieo4! Thank you.

REPLY

@pegbell
I’ve been wearing hearing aids for 40 odd years and found out about Tcoil around 20 years ago and, at that time, was told it was mainly for the phone.
Through self education and attending HLAA meetings I have learned about, and experienced, looped venues and the wonderful world of t coils.
I have come across audiologists and hearing aid techs who said to me that they are not in the business of “selling loops” and are not interested in them.
They barely knew how the t coil functioned…it was always about the phone. I had to always ask for a t coil. It wasn’t until I came across my present Audi who is knowledgeable and eager to learn more. She knows about loops.

What astounds me today is that people of my generation..60s, 70s and older, who wear hearing aids, either don’t know what a t coil is or don’t know if their aids have one. Very few know what a loop system is and very few use assisted listening devices. Talk to a younger person and they do know. Is this age bias on the part of the dispensers or do most Audi’s and dispensers dismiss the Tcoil program and are not inclined to self educate beyond the basic hearing aid.

Boy, would I love to have feedback from the professionals. Really, I can’t shut up about this issue.

Regards from Florida Mary

REPLY

I know about TV ears, worn while watching TV. I am thinking, from looking at your diagram, that this T-coil would be a good thing for churches and other locations, like auditoriums for City government and court rooms, perhaps for a doctor office. Could something of this sort be put into a home? to answer your question, No, I haven't heard about the T-coil.

REPLY
@llouiset

I know about TV ears, worn while watching TV. I am thinking, from looking at your diagram, that this T-coil would be a good thing for churches and other locations, like auditoriums for City government and court rooms, perhaps for a doctor office. Could something of this sort be put into a home? to answer your question, No, I haven't heard about the T-coil.

Jump to this post

Yes. In fact, it's quite simple to put a hearing loop in a home that connects with the television. People can also put one in their car and use it when traveling. Ticket offices, banks and libraries can have counter loops installed. The technology is actually quite basic.Go to Williams Sound website or one of the catalogs that advertise assistive technology. (HARC is one of them. For home use the product is reasonably priced and easy to install. Installation in a large venue like a church or theater, etc. is more complex. You can do this yourself at home. Back in the early 80s we built a hearing loop out of telephone wire and an amplifier and attached a hardwired microphone for our SHHH/HLAA chapter. Used it for years, until the venue we meet in installed a professional quality loop . 🙂

Liked by pegbell

REPLY
@imallears

@pegbell
I’ve been wearing hearing aids for 40 odd years and found out about Tcoil around 20 years ago and, at that time, was told it was mainly for the phone.
Through self education and attending HLAA meetings I have learned about, and experienced, looped venues and the wonderful world of t coils.
I have come across audiologists and hearing aid techs who said to me that they are not in the business of “selling loops” and are not interested in them.
They barely knew how the t coil functioned…it was always about the phone. I had to always ask for a t coil. It wasn’t until I came across my present Audi who is knowledgeable and eager to learn more. She knows about loops.

What astounds me today is that people of my generation..60s, 70s and older, who wear hearing aids, either don’t know what a t coil is or don’t know if their aids have one. Very few know what a loop system is and very few use assisted listening devices. Talk to a younger person and they do know. Is this age bias on the part of the dispensers or do most Audi’s and dispensers dismiss the Tcoil program and are not inclined to self educate beyond the basic hearing aid.

Boy, would I love to have feedback from the professionals. Really, I can’t shut up about this issue.

Regards from Florida Mary

Jump to this post

In my opinion: 1. Younger generation has different expectations for technology – all things wireless make sense to them. 2. Older generation has had some bad experiences with hearing loops prior to 2007, when international standards were upgraded substantially and European manufacturers of loop amplifiers started training installers here. 3. Audiologists have a lot on their plate just trying to convince people to address their hearing loss – possibly under 30%. 4. Primary care doctors don't typically screen for hearing health. 5. ADA rules are not well known or enforced – for a variety of reasons.
Full disclosure on why I have asked this question and why I am so grateful for all of these responses: I have a child with severe auditory processing issues and a father with moderate hearing loss; I am a volunteer with a local HLAA chapter and I volunteer for a small tech manufacturer that is 1-2 years away from introducing large loop amplifiers — IF there is enough demand for them. In ALL of our small pilot programs with 1:1 loops we continually run into folks who have no idea that their hearing aids have built-in telecoils.

Also very grateful for all of the advocates we have met through HLAA – they inspire us every day. 🙂

REPLY

My understanding is:
A neck loop is used to connect to remote mics, tv streamers and phones through Bluetooth for personal use. Some newer hearing aids have Bluetooth in the hearing aid so you don’t need a neck loop.
The T coil is a separate technology. It’s in your hearing aid and will link up with a looped room/area directly when you have your hearing aids in their T-coil program. An unlimited number of people can use it at once. You don’t need a neck loop to use t-coil.
There’s also FM radio wave technology and you would link the FM receiver to your personal neck loop w an audio cable.
I think it’s just extremely difficult for anyone over 60 to understand the technology that is required to manage the ALDs – assistive listening devices. It can become very confusing and I’ve needed my husband to help me set it up and manage it often. I have just about every ALD there is to help me hear in a variety of situations. It can be frustrating and confusing. HLAA has trained volunteers in a program they call N-CHATT to assist people with technological questions.

REPLY

A neckloop really has nothing to do with BlueTooth technology. It's a simple personal induction loop that allows a telecoil equipped hearing aid to connect with an audio device. That device can be a computer, an iPad, a portable radio, an FM receiver, an infrared receiver, or a cell phone that has an input jack, etc. It relates to the telecoil in the hearing aid by sending the magnetic signal from the audio device directly to the telecoil in the hearing aid. It's very simple technology. For example, I can be sitting in a noise bar or restaurant watching a sports event on TV with a group of people. Normally, I cannot hear anything in that environment. However, if I can get that same event on my small portable radio, I can listen to the radio broadcast while watching the TV and know what's happening. I can sit in a sports arena full of noise and do the same thing with my radio. We are die hard Green Bay Packer fans with seasons tickets, so this is something I do quite often. 🙂 Try a neckloop with your laptop computer while watching a YouTube video. It's magic!

REPLY
@julieo4

A neckloop really has nothing to do with BlueTooth technology. It's a simple personal induction loop that allows a telecoil equipped hearing aid to connect with an audio device. That device can be a computer, an iPad, a portable radio, an FM receiver, an infrared receiver, or a cell phone that has an input jack, etc. It relates to the telecoil in the hearing aid by sending the magnetic signal from the audio device directly to the telecoil in the hearing aid. It's very simple technology. For example, I can be sitting in a noise bar or restaurant watching a sports event on TV with a group of people. Normally, I cannot hear anything in that environment. However, if I can get that same event on my small portable radio, I can listen to the radio broadcast while watching the TV and know what's happening. I can sit in a sports arena full of noise and do the same thing with my radio. We are die hard Green Bay Packer fans with seasons tickets, so this is something I do quite often. 🙂 Try a neckloop with your laptop computer while watching a YouTube video. It's magic!

Jump to this post

Thank you for clearing that up for me! My husband has been trying to explain that to me. I get confused because my TVLink, Remote Mic and iPhone send a signal with Bluetooth to my ComPilot which then links and seamlessly converts it to my hearing aids via my neck loop. Since the ComPilot is linked I don’t need to actually put my hearing aids in my “T-coil” program. That caused part of my confusion. I have been using my ComPilot with an audio jack connection to my phone when listening to news, Podcasts, YouTube etc. on my phone. It makes all the difference in the world!
Can I use your awesome explanation to share w my HLAA members?

REPLY

Nice graphic! Is it copyrighted? If so, do we have permission to use it?

REPLY
@julieo4

So sorry you had a bad experience with a neckoop. I suspect you had a defective neckloop or an inferior product. Not sure where you got it, but if from a hearing healthcare provider you should have returned it. Years ago our HLAA group purchased a dozen neckloops from an online source. I think they cost around $15@. They didn't have enough power for those of us with severe/profound hearing loss. Lesson learned. I suggest you try a Williams Sound neckloop. Cost is around $50. Well worth it. Your provider should be able to order you one. Good Luck!

Jump to this post

Thank you for the suggestion! The one I had got I had returned to my hearing aid provider. It was a trial run that I had with it. I was thankful for it as it did help, but as I said it was a pain to use. I like simple things and that was just too complicated for me and I didn't have the money to purchase it at the time. I think the next time I get hearing aids I may look into it.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.