Looping FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Looping

  • How many Americans live with hearing loss?

    According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders “approximately 17 percent or 36 million American adults report some degree of hearing loss.” About 1 in 4—some 8.4 million—have hearing aids, a number that would surely increase if hearing aids could double as wireless, customized loudspeakers.
  • Why are hearing loops needed? Don’t hearing aids enable hearing?

    Today’s digital hearing aids effectively enhance hearing in conversational settings. Yet for many people with hearing loss the sound becomes unclear when auditorium or TV loudspeakers are at a distance, when the context is noisy, or when room acoustics reverberate sound. A hearing loop magnetically transfers the microphone or TV sound signal to hearing aids and cochlear implants with a tiny, inexpensive “telecoil” receiver. This transforms the instruments into in-the-ear loudspeakers that deliver sound customized for one’s own hearing loss.
  • How many hearing aids have the telecoil (t-coil) receptor for receiving hearing loop input?

    From its survey of hearing professionals, the Hearing Review (April, 2008) reported that “Respondents said that 62% of their fittings included a telecoil, [an] increase . . . from 37% in 2001. Hearing Review Products showed that most hearing aids—including all 35 in-the-ear models—now come with telecoils. The greater people’s need for hearing assistance, the more likely they are to have hearing aids with telecoils—as did 84 percent of Hearing Loss Association of America members in one survey. New model cochlear implants also are available with telecoils.
  • Can hearing loops serve those without telecoils or without hearing aids?

    Yes, all forms of assistive listening, including hearing loops, come with portable receivers and headsets.
  • What does a hearing loop cost?

    Cost for a self-installed home TV room loop is $225. For professional installation in an average-sized auditorium or place of worship loop cost varies depending on room size and physical layout of the building. Hearing loops offer long-term savings from purchasing and maintaining batteries in fewer portable listening units. For the user, the telecoil cost is nominal and typically does not add to the hearing aid price.
  • Hearing loops harness magnetic energy. So is magnetic interference problematic?

    Generally not. Old (nonflat) computer monitors, old fluorescent lighting, and some old dimmer switches generate interference, but with proper installation this problem can become nonexistent.
  • Don’t newer connective technologies work better?

    New wireless technologies, including Bluetooth, do some helpful things, such as enable binaural phone listening. Bluetooth isn’t an assistive listening answer; it requires significant battery power and has limited range. An alternative future assistive listening solution—one that, like hearing loops, is hearing aid compatible will need similarly to be inexpensive,  be capable of covering a wide area, drain little battery power (telecoils require no power), be universally accessible, and be sufficiently miniaturized that the receiver can fit in nearly all hearing aids.
  • Can hearing loops be used in adjacent rooms?

    Yes, with a professional design that controls sound spillover.
  • Are there advantages to using hearing loops for home TV listening and in public settings?

    A hearing aid compatible loop system delivers sound that’s customized by one’s hearing aids for one’s own ears. It requires no extra equipment.In public settings, their main advantage is that, when sound is distorted, people need only activate their telecoils to hear the clear sounds coming through. Additionally, the sound is contained in one’s ear, without bothering others nearby. There is no need to juggle between headsets and hearing aids. There are no hygienic concerns about putting on one’s ear what has been around others’ ears.
  • Can hearing loops work in transient venues such as airports, at ticket windows, or at drive-up order stations?

    New York City Transit Authority is installing hearing loops at 488 subway information booths. In such venues, where checking out equipment is not realistic, the only possible assistive listening device is a counter loop which uses one’s own hearing aid or cochlear implant.
  • Who do I contact about hearing loops and where can they be purchased?

    Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center is certified in all aspects of installation and engineering of loop systems. We have a wide knowledge of loop systems and how they can be leveraged to work in many situations.  If you have any further questions contact the Looping Services Division at 863-686-3189 or at looping@cfshc.org.