A hearing aid telecoil (t-coil) is a small copper antenna inside some hearing aids. T-coils operate by receiving and selectively converting electromagnetic energy into sound which can be heard by the hearing aid user. These sound signals (microphone or direct audio input) are projected into the environment by a loop system. This process, known as near-field induction, is widely used in many big cities across the United States and in Europe. Phoenix, Arizona has many music venues, drama theaters and movie theaters equipped with loop systems. Loop systems consist of a loop wire that goes around the listening area or on a lanyard worn by the hearing aid user. Using hearing aid t-coils in conjunction with loop systems allows hearing aid users to hear voices and music much more clearly.
Some important things to remember when considering t-coils and loop systems: First you need to know if you have a t-coil inside your hearing aid and how to use it. It is a good idea to also contact the venue ahead of time and inquire if they have a loop hearing system installed. Ask the venue if you will need a lanyard worn receiver. Do not hesitate to contact your audiologist if you have questions about hearing aid t-coil compatibility, or if you would like to obtain a hearing aid with a t-coil.
Levi Young, B.A. – Audiology Extern