What is the induction coil in the hearing aid?
A cochlear implant (CI) or even a normal hearing aid is a huge help for a person with a hearing problem. In a difficult situation, these technical achievements allow a better understanding of the language. This makes it easier for the person concerned to continue to participate actively in life. There are CIs and fully digital hearing aids, which are equipped with many different modern functions. With these functions it is possible to filter out disturbing noises in everyday hearing situations. The result is a more pleasant listening experience.
However, difficulties in understanding public space may arise again and again, e.g. when an event venue is bombarded with a loudspeaker. Here, too, a good solution is now available if the hearing aid contains a so-called induction coil or T coil, because the sound transmission is then burdened with less secondary noise and less hall. Detailed information on induction coils can be found here.
The importance of an inductive hearing system
Music or speech signals can be transmitted by an inductive listening device. The transmission takes place wirelessly directly to the hearing aid or the corresponding cochlea implant, by creating an electromagnetic field through a so-called ring loop in the inductive hearing system. The electromagnetic field is then received by the T-coil in the CI or hearing aid and translated for the listener into the corresponding tones.
Most modern sound systems contain such an inductive system. You will find it for example in the following devices:
In a mixing console, the voice or music signal is processed and transmitted to an amplifier by induction loop. In the inductive hearing system, the signal is now transmitted not to a loudspeaker, but to a connected loop cable that is located around the room. The cable then supplies the room with sound signals.
All persons within this loop range can then receive the sound signals via the T-coil in the respective hearing aid or CI. Rooms equipped with induction loops are marked with corresponding symbols. The German Heavy Hearing Association offers a good overview on its homepage of rooms with inductive hearing aids close to you.
The use of the T-coil
A lot of hearing aids. Cochlea implants already have a built-in T-coil. It can be activated either with the program selection key or with a tilt switch. Now you hear voice or music signals exactly as they were taken from the microphone and recorded. If you can't understand the signal, you should ask one of our acoustics to check it out.
So you take part in social life again
The voice transmission using the T-coil works wirelessly. This transmission technology is the only cross-manufacturer technology and is used for both cochlear implants and hearing aids. It allows people with hearing loss to participate in social life in the public space. The tiny coil needs little space in the hearing aid, so that even the small in-ear hearing aids can be equipped with it.
Wherever inductive hearing aids are installed, you can overcome communication barriers via your integrated T-coil. Do you like to go to the movies or the theatre or do you like to go to concerts? Thanks to your hearing aid equipped with the T-coil, you can fully perceive such events acoustically. You will also find it at the airport, on the train or in the supermarket. There are no more problems in the theatre, because there, too, such hearing aids are installed.
Acoustically problematic situations include, for example, long distances to the output signal, loud noises or poor room acoustics. If an inductive hearing aid is installed, you no longer have these problems. Therefore, it makes sense if you ask before attending an event whether there is an inductive hearing aid and whether it is switched on.
Questions and answers about the inductive hearing aid
Are there any interference factors that make it impossible to receive signals from the inductive hearing aid on the hearing aid?
How well hearing works in a room with inductive hearing system depends directly on how you use and set this technique.
Is it true that there are more inductive installations in both the Scandinavian countries and the UK than in Germany?
Yes, that is true, because the world's best-known manufacturers of amplifiers are at home in the UK and Sweden, for example. There is a huge market for such devices. In Germany, on the other hand, we do not have a single producer. In addition, Scandinavia and the UK are already more advanced in dealing with physical limitations. Here, Germany is still lagging somewhat behind in its development. However, there is now a revised standard for barrier-free construction, which sets out the requirements for how public buildings should be equipped barrier-free.
How can I react if there is no inductive hearing aid at a venue?
In addition to the inductive hearing system, a total of two other options are available for sound transmission. There is still transmission by infrared or radio. Typically, headphones are used in this case. If you have mild hearing loss, you can remove the hearing aid and put the headphones on instead. However, if you suffer from moderate to high-grade hearing loss, then induction neck ring loops are suitable. Ideally, you use your own, but sometimes the organizers also offer such neck ring loops.
How strong is the public awareness of inductive hearing aids and hearing loss?
People who are not hard of hearing themselves often have little to do with the situation of the hard of hearing. A very common assumption is that good loudspeaker systems would reduce a large part of the hearing problems. This is not the case, of course. Interested outsiders can get a pretty good impression of the problems that hard-of-hearing people often face by means of audio samples. These audio samples then simulate hearing impressions in various difficult situations.