Hearing aids are nothing new. They’re an unfortunate necessity for hearing-impaired individuals all over the world. They have improved a great deal over the course of the last two decades, with many going from bulky, unsightly devices to tiny, easily-overlooked pieces that mold to your ears. Older models could only offer magnification of sound amplitude.
Current models offered through companies like Miracle-Ear can be calibrated by specialists to tailor directly to your hearing impairment and stimulate the necessary components of your cochlea to circumvent your hearing loss altogether. The difference between old and new hearing solutions is like night and day.
One of the more recent and more compelling hearing solutions is the hearing loop. Hearing loops are not hearing aids. Rather, they are hearing aid accessories.
They aren’t something you buy on your own for your private residence or for application to your existing hearing aid kid. Instead, they are something that can be installed by a public or private location to interface with your hearing aids.
Hearing loops are remote electronic devices that pick up sound from a room and transmit it especially for hearing aid use. A hearing loop consists of a microphone, an amplifier, a modulator and an antenna. The microphone is used to pick up sound signals from the room, as you’d expect. The amplifier boosts the sound to a usable status. The modulator is used to regulate signal noise and static.
Finally, the antenna is used to transmit the sound signal, but not sound itself. It does this by acting on the telecoils used as common components in hearing aids. In effect, it turns hearing aids into temporary ad-hoc radio systems while the hearing loop is in use. So it is always beneficial to invest in this when you plan buy hearing aids.
These have application in a variety of locations for the benefit of the hearing impaired, and a lot of business owners are reporting a substantial increase in business on the installation and marketing of their hearing loops.
Perhaps the most common application we’re seeing is in churches. Churches frequently struggle to strike a balance between a reverent atmosphere and sufficient speaker power to make the sermon and worship services audible to everyone, especially aging and hearing-impaired individuals. Hearing loops effectively allow a dramatic amplification of the whole service for just the people that require the assistance the most.
Hearing loops aren’t only about volume, and that’s why they’re useful in so many other places as well. Movie theaters are a great example. In movie theaters, the volume of the sound isn’t frequently the problem. More often, the problem stems from noise generated by the crowd and the acoustics of the theater chamber.
Hearing loops allow the hearing impaired to circumvent these troubles and receive clear, clean sound with no signal noise. This is particularly beneficial for films that don’t have closed captioning as an option, or that hinge primarily on nuanced dialogue. Nothing is more frustrating than missing a word simply because your hearing aid decided to pop, beep or hiss at the wrong time.
Hearing loops are gaining in popularity as more people come to understand the benefits they provide. This goes for both business owners and church parishioners who are installing them as well as for people who can benefit from them. They’re a great new advance in the hearing solution industry, and we’re sure to see more of them in the near future.