Induction loops

What is a hearing loop?

A loop system is a special type of sound system for people who use hearing aids. The loop system provides a magnetic wireless signal that is picked up by a hearing aid when it is set to the T-setting (telecoil). Many hearing aids are equipped with a telecoil (t-coil). The system filters out unwanted background noise and can be used by any number of users at the same time (Hear-it, 2018). It allows the user to focus on sounds, such as a voice from the loop system microphone, rather than the internal hearing aid microphone, which normally amplifies all noise in the area. The system helps hearing aid users to communicate efficiently and confidentially, even in noisy environments (Action Hearing Loss, 2018).

Typically, loop systems are found in meeting rooms, auditoriums, theatres, cinemas, places of worship such as churches and mosques and public service areas. Loop systems can also be found in London taxies, look out for the blue symbol. They are also excellent products to enhance hearing in your home (Age UK, 2018).

Installing the loop

Induction loops require fitting, even if it's just running the cable around skirting boards and over door frames. Charitable organisations such as Action on Hearing Loss or Age UK can provide detailed advice on loop systems and installation in your home.

Potential problems

  • Electric cables, fluorescent lights and dimmer switches can interfere with induction loops creating a buzzing sound
  • If the wires forming the loop are left trailing on the floor this could create a trip hazard
  • The signal from the loop may be picked up by hearing aid users in neighbouring rooms which may cause difficulties if they are also trying to use a loop system or your having a confidential conversation.
Advice last checked: 02 February 2018 Next check due: 02 February 2021

All advice is either supported by references (cited in the text) or is based upon peer reviewed professional opinion. Our advice is impartial and not influenced by sponsors or product suppliers listed on the site.
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