Hearing Loops are quickly becoming the assistive listening solution of choice for bringing clear sound to people with hearing loss. From schools, hospitals, pharmacies and houses of worship to theaters, assisted living facilities and municipal buildings, hearing loops are a consumer preferred solution and the only system that is seamlessly inclusive and directly compatible with hearing aids and implants equipped with telecoils.
Loops make your facility “hearing friendly” and provide the “ramp” to 20/20 hearing in a seamless and discrete way. This remarkable system has already brought many of the 48+ million Americans with hearing loss back to the theatre, houses of worship and community activities. On a smaller scale, it also improves understanding during 1:1 conversations at ticket windows, service desks and during medical visits. Remember, hearing aids amplify all sounds and outside of a 5′ radius, those amplified sounds can become distorted and disrupt the audio stream that is of primary importance.
Hearing loop systems are used worldwide and there is an international symbol used to identify looped facilites. Most installers follow the international standard, IEC 60118‐4, as developed under the auspices of the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission). This IEC Standard, created by leading/reputable European manufacturers, has been adopted by professionally trained and expert hearing loop installers so that the hearing loops will provide an excellent listening experience to hearing aid and cochlear implant wearers.
The IEC Standard:
- limits the amount of background noise that is acceptable before a hearing loop can be installed
- sets the level at which correctly adjusted hearing instruments with T‐coils can provide appropriate amplification to the user
- establishes the uniformity the loop signal level needs to attain in the looped area to allow a person to sit anywhere and have an equally good experience
- establishes the frequency response that will provide a clear, undistorted sound
Compliance with the IEC Standard means a hearing aid user can walk into theaters on Broadway, the Westminster Abbey in London, the Gerald Ford Airport in Michigan, the Peace Center in South Carolina, the Kennedy Space Center in Florida or the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Wisconsin (to name just a few) and hear crystal clear sound, directly, and at a comfortable level with a telecoil-equipped hearing aid, cochlear implant or loop receiver. No exhaustive straining to hear and understand!