The Benefits of a Hearing Aid Telecoil (T-Coil)
Are you a seasoned hearing aid wearer looking to upgrade to new hearing aids? Or do you consider starting your journey to better hearing health soon? Be sure to ask your trusted audiologist about telecoil technology in hearing aids – also referred to as T-Coil.
By transmitting sound directly to your hearing devices, T-Coil can dramatically improve your listening experience in public places, such as cinemas, theatres and train stations.
Regular hearing aid microphones only work for a relatively short distance. Telecoil hearing aids used in combination with hearing loops, on the other hand, improve your hearing so drastically, that you might find yourself hearing better than those with “normal” hearing!
Here’s how T-Coil works and why it’s a must-have in the latest hearing aids!
What is a Telecoil (T-Coil)?
Regular hearing devices use microphones that are designed to pick up sounds nearby – usually the sounds closest to you, such as conversation partners. In some situations, like large public spaces, this can make it hard for hearing aid wearers to hear well.
This is where Telecoil technology comes into play:
|Telecoil is the term used to describe a small induction pick-up wire, usually made from copper, that is placed inside hearing aids and some cochlear implants, to allow hearing devices to directly communicate with telephones and loop systems through wireless signals.|
Telecoil has been used in hearing aid devices for nearly 50 years.
How does Telecoil work?
Different from normal hearing aids (which amplify selected sounds from your immediate environment), telecoil technology amplifies electromagnetic signals that can come from a variety of sources.
It reduces distracting background noises, resulting in better sound quality and listening experiences – even in challenging environments.
Telecoil sound sources: Hearing Loops
T-Coil “enhances” the sound signal from audio systems, including telephones and microphones, used in lecture or concert halls, places of worship and similar environments.
These sources can include assistive listening systems like hearing loops.
|Hearing loops, also called audio induction loops, are sound systems for use by hearing aid wearers. They provide magnetic, wireless signals that Telecoil hearing aids can pick up.|
Similar to hearing aids, hearing loops consist of a microphone that picks up spoken words and an amplifier that processes signals. A loop cable, placed in a meeting room or behind a service counter, then sends the sound as a magnetic signal to the Telecoil-enabled hearing aid.
Here’s what that might look like in a large event space:
Source: Hearing Link
Telecoil makes listening in busy, open environments much easier. It activates at the click of a button on the hearing aid itself or by choosing the appropriate setting in the corresponding smartphone app.
Some of the newer hearing aid models can automatically detect telecoil where it is available, turn off the hearing aids microphones and allow telecoil to kick in.
Where are hearing loops located?
Hearing loops can be found in public areas, such as
- Places of worship
- Theatres and cinemas
- Convention centers
- Lecture halls
- Train stations
- Aged care facilities
- Retail counters
- Public transport
For convenience, hearing loops may be portable or fixed. You could choose to have one installed in your house, to help you hear the TV or a ringing doorbell.
When out in public and unsure if you’re in a hearing loop covered area, look out for the International Deafness Symbol.
This is often used in public venues to indicate that a hearing loop has been installed.
Do all Hearing Aids Have Telecoils?
Not all hearing devices have Telecoil technology. Here’s why!
Small hearing devices such as super discreet in-the-canal hearing aids (ITC) are less likely to come with Telecoil, simply because the technology takes up too much room to fit into these tiny devices.
As a rule of thumb: Most devices with a size 10 battery will not include Telecoil.
However, most cochlear implants these days do have built-in Telecoils.
Suppose you already have a hearing aid and are unsure whether your hearing device has a Telecoil. In that case, we recommend booking an appointment with EarDeals, where our specialists can determine if your hearing aid is equipped with a Telecoil.
What are the Benefits of Telecoil Hearing Aids?
Telecoil hearing aids improve your speech understanding on the telephone or in public places equipped with loop systems. Most auditoriums and public transportation places, and even grocery stores, have these systems already installed.
And there’s more good news: Some telephones, smartphones and tablets can transmit electromagnetic signals directly to your Telecoil hearing aid or cochlear implant!
|You can find a list of venues that offer loop systems near you here.|
Do You Need Telecoil in Your Hearing Aids?
Here are some of the reasons why you might want to consider a hearing aid that is telecoil compatible.
1. You have a severe hearing loss
The worse your hearing, the more difficult you will find it to hear well on your phone or in large public spaces – even with your hearing aids. Telecoil bridges this gap and improves your speech understanding in these challenging situations.
2. You use your phone a lot or you frequent a “looped” area
If you find yourself on the phone a lot, perhaps because your job demands it, or frequent public places such as courtrooms or theater halls, you’ll greatly benefit from
using a hearing aid with a Telecoil system.
3. You find it difficult to understand speech clearly
If you were diagnosed with poor speech discrimination, a telecoil system can help you participate in conversations. Telecoil signals overcome the distance between you and the speaker, improving your speech understanding if you struggle to hear with just hearing aids.
If you’d like to learn more about Telecoil hearing aids, don’t hesitate to contact the friendly team at EarDeals on 1300 010 064 or send us an email!