Hearing Blog
Man in the sunset and how telecoils can strenghthen your sound

How Telecoils Can Strengthen Your Sound

Published 09-08-2019
Last Updated 09-08-2019

Telecoils are a remarkable piece of technology that help you reduce the negative effects of distance, noise, and reverberation in your hearing aids. They also double hearing aid functionality by enabling the instrument to serve as a wireless loudspeaker.
Telecoils, or "T-coils," are made of a metal core around which an ultra-fine copper wire is coiled. What does this mean for you as a hearing wearer? Well, besides giving your hearing device more functionality, it can help you as you battle excessive background noises – while walking through a bustling city, at the mall, or at a concert.

This technology allows users to access several sources of electromagnetic field energy. For instance, when t-coils are used with phones, feedback is eliminated, and loudness may be decreased.

How do I activate my telecoil?

There is typically a "T-switch" located on your device that can be flipped on to activate the telecoil feature. The T-switch may also look like a button on some models.

The best image to liken it to would be to imagine an antenna - just a tiny one. The telecoil looks like a small loop inside your hearing aid and it connects to an external system in a venue. 
The sound from the system is transmitted directly into your ears while background noise is sifted out. These loop systems are becoming more common and can be found in a variety of places:

  • Museums
  • Churches and other houses of worship
  • Airports
  • Concert halls
  • Universities
  • Taxi cabs in some cities
Just activate the T-switch on your device and start hearing more. Another way to get the most out of your telecoil is to find out about the  places in your community that utilize this technology. Because of the Americans with Disabilities Act, these devices must be integrated and available at movie theaters, music venues, museums, and government offices.
In addition, public awareness campaigns have been generating more public discourse. The “Let’s Loop America” initiative is an ongoing public awareness campaign designed to bring the benefits of t-coil use to more hearing aid users by offering clear, high-quality sound to hearing aid users across communities.

How does a telecoil work?

When you activate the “T-setting” on your hearing aid, the telecoil receives sound directly from the loop system, bypassing the microphone, which is designed to pick up all the sounds around you. Most of the time, you want to hear all those sounds, but when you are trying to focus on a performance or a speaker, it makes sense to temporarily turn off your hearing aid’s microphone.

How do I know if my device has a telecoil?

Most hearing aids today already have this feature. Your hearing aid may already have a telecoil- since the technology has been around since the early 1940’s. A 2014 report on the Consumer’s Guide to Hearing Aids showed that 323 of 415 hearing aid models (71.5%) came with telecoils. For in completely-in-the-ear models that percentage was higher, 81%.

If you think you may need a hearing aid, then consult a hearing care professional at a clinic near you who can help you find the right technology for you or your partner's hearing loss. 

What next?

Hearing would be much easier if conversations occurred in quiet face-to-face environments, with excellent lighting and no other background noises or distractions - but that probably won’t happen. So, it’s a good idea to be proactive and be able to sense situations in which you will need to change the setting on your hearing device. Changing technology, microchips, and hybrid hearing devices help you do this better.

We are here to help you hear better. Learn more hearing tips to help you or a loved one. Start the conversation today!