A telecoil or induction loop is considered an “Assistive Listening Device” (or ALD) and works by transmitting an audio signal directly into hearing aids via a magnetic field. The system consists of a microphone in the public venue, church banks or post office etc. which picks up the signal, an amplifier to process the signal and to send it through a “looped” copper cable that is set up around the perimeter of a room. The looped cable around the venue works as an antenna and sends the magnetic signal to the hearing aid and is picked up by the user’s telecoil within the hearing aid.
For hearing aid users, a loop system is like a secure wireless network where only the hearing aid users know the password. A loop system has many advantages for the hearing aid users. It requires no other special equipment to use the system.
In all, it cuts out unwanted background noise, a common problem that some hearing aid users when by a large crowd or areas of background noise.
Sadly however, telecoils are not installed in all public buildings although this is slowly beginning to change meaning a more accessible environment for the 1 in 7 Irish with a hearing loss.