THE HEARING LOOP
What is this new Hearing Loop?
One of the phases of the sanctuary remodel was the installation of an induction hearing loop. Many people may not have heard of induction loops, and do not have any idea of the great help this system can be in compensating for an audio disability.
A hearing loop is an assistive device which "talks" directly to a person's hearing aid. No headset or receiver is required. A loop of wire is placed around a room beneath the flooring and is connected to audio equipment. When a presenter speaks into a microphone, their voice travels through the loop. If a hearing user switches their hearing aid to the telecoil (T) position (most hearing aids have this), the telecoil receives the loop signal, and the hearing aid converts it into sound. The magnetic field within the looped area is strong enough to allow the person to move freely within the looped area and still receive clear sound at a comfortable listening level.
Overview of Hearing Loop Technology
A hearing loop is specialized wiring placed around seating in a room in a very precise manner to produce a magnetic induction loop (magnetic field) that can be picked up by a T-coil inside a listener’s hearing aid. The T-coil must be activated by the hearing aid dispenser, typically a clinical audiologist. A specialized loop amplifier is connected to the sound system to induce AC current into the magnetic loop. All sound that is amplified by microphones and amplified musical instruments will now be in the hearing aid loop transmitted directly to the hearing aid wearer. Intelligibility improves significantly compared to FM based hearing assistance systems. The high intelligibility is due to the fact that sound is reproduced within the hearing aid without special boxes or other apparatus. Listeners who do not wear hearing aids may utilize a "loop receiver" with ear buds, discrete ear speakers, or headphones, to enjoy the benefits of the hearing loop. There is no limit to the number of loop receivers that may be used. All loops are installed under
flooring or within a specialized track around the edges of a room. Various types of wire are utilized including wire similar to sound systems, wire found in conduit, wire designed to be buried in scored concrete, and highly specialized
flat ribbon wire for use under carpet.