Today’s hearing aids and devices offer a wide variety of styles, models, and options. One hearing aid option you may not know about, however, is the telecoil system. For some people with hearing loss, a telecoil can enhance their listening experience, in a variety of settings, and in a variety of locations. Keep reading to find out how telecoil systems work and if one might be right for you.
What is a telecoil?
A telecoil, also called a t-coil, is a small copper wire built into a hearing aid. This wire works as a receiver that picks up signals from a loop system (more on that in a bit). When the telecoil in the hearing aid is activated, it turns incoming signals into sound. The great thing about a telecoil is that it turns only the signals coming in from the loop system into sound; leaving out the background noise or other unnecessary conversations.
Think of a telecoil as a sort of antenna for your hearing aid — searching for the right signal and delivering it straight to your device.
What is a loop system?
When you go to school, the movie theater, the airport, a concert, or a place of worship, you may notice they are equipped with loop systems or hearing assistive technologies. In a public place, this technology can be invaluable. Look for this signage (or just ask!):
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that public areas with audio amplification must provide assistive listening systems to those with hearing loss, including hearing loop systems.
A hearing loop system means the room or venue is surrounded by its own copper wire, which sends a signal to any active telecoils. All you need to do to take advantage of a loop system is turn on the telecoil in your hearing device — no special equipment needed. Some devices feature auto-detection for telecoil loops. You can also use telecoil technology on T-rated telephones.
Do I need a telecoil? How do I get one?
If you’re not sure if you need a telecoil, you should consult with your hearing care provider about the advantages and disadvantages. Generally, however, you might benefit from a telecoil if:
- You have severe or profound hearing loss, as you may need more assistance hearing on the phone and in public places
- You work in a looped setting, like academics, entertainment, church, the courtroom, or spend a lot of time on the phone
- You want a discreet and accessible solution to hearing more clearly in public
A telecoil can dramatically improve the way you experience sound. Oticon provides different styles of hearing devices that include telecoil such as our miniRITE R, miniRITE T, BTE styles and select custom in-the-ear hearing aids.
To find out more about telecoils and Oticon hearing aids, talk to a hearing care provider in your area today.