Induction Loops, Telecoils and BeHear ACCESS

September 15, 2019

The News

BeHear ACCESS, the newest Personalized Hearing Amplifier headset in the Wear & Hear product line, incorporates telecoil receivers.

Function

hearing loop diagram

Induction Loop Systems transmit wireless audio input via a magnetic field to telecoil receivers. These receivers are found in many hearing aids, some dedicated headphones, and, now, in BeHear ACCESS headsets. In an induction loop system there is no interference, no reverberation, no background noise, just the original signal transmitted directly from the input, whether that is the microphone on a podium, the audio system in a theater, the microphone the cashier is speaking into at the bank, or the music from the concert hall stage. This closed system provides people, especially those with hearing loss, an excellent way to hear voice and audio signals clearly, even in noisy places or when the sound source is far away.

Terminology

Induction Loop Systems were first introduced publicly in 1937 in a U.K. patent application for a system featuring what was then called a telephone coil. The term telephone coil has been shortened to telecoil or just T-Coil. Induction loops are also known as hearing loops, or simply “loops”.

Prevalence

Hearing Loop symbol
The telecoil receivers in BeHear ACCESS can be used when this symbol is present.

Induction loop technology is common in Europe and the U.K. and is universally accepted as the international standard for hearing access. Installed base is growing rapidly in the United States as organizations such as HLAA (Hearing Loss Association of America) and others press venues to become compliant with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).
Typically, induction loop systems can be found in:

  • Places of Worship
  • Concert Halls
  • Theaters
  • Universities
  • Government Offices
  • Banks
  • Ticket Kiosks
  • Post Offices
  • Airports
  • Museums

Hearing Loop Demonstrations

The following two animated hearing loop animations and explanations are provided with thanks to www.hearingloop.org — an excellent resource for more information on this technology.

T-Coil Support in BeHear ACCESS

t-coils setting screen
BeHear ACCESS operation modes for T-coil enabled locations.

BeHear ACCESS T-coils can be activated wherever a loop system is installed. The wearer simply chooses either the T-Coil Exclusive or T-Coil Transparent mode (from the W&H BeHear app Home page, or by scrolling through the Hearing presets using the middle button on the right-hand control box). Exclusive mode allows only the direct signal from the T-Coil transmission to reach the wearer’s ears, while Transparent mode allows nearby important sounds (such as a companion’s voice) to be heard as well.

Each BeHear ACCESS headset incorporates two T-Coils that are perpendicular to each other, thus greatly decreasing sensitivity to the wearer’s orientation in the magnetic field of an Induction Loop System.