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Q: Info on the Loop System for the hearing impaired (in America) ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Info on the Loop System for the hearing impaired (in America)
Category: Health > Seniors
Asked by: freakfarm-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 07 May 2004 10:25 PDT
Expires: 06 Jun 2004 10:25 PDT
Question ID: 342794
My grandmother is hard of hearing.  I've heard a little about the Loop
system (which is mostly available in the UK and oversees).

My goal is that you find me someone in the USA (who can handle
installation in the New Jersey area) who will consult, install and
help implement this system in my Grandma's house.

I'm also interested in whether or not they make mobile systems that
she can bring with her when she is out of the house.

So will find a reputable manufacturer who specializes
in the Loop and who set me Grandma up in New Jersey.
Subject: Re: Info on the Loop System for the hearing impaired (in America)
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 07 May 2004 13:11 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
"The loop" is a short name for the induction loop, which, in its
simplest form, involves looping a wire around a room, then hooking it
into microphones, televisions, or many other kinds of audio devices,
allowing signals to be transmitted electromagnetically to certain
types of hearing aids. This technology requires that a person have
hearing aids with telecoil, or T-coil, receivers. Many modern "loop"
systems are totally portable, and can be transported by the user
wherever they are needed.

I have gathered information on several distributors of loop systems in
the United States. Note that the material posted below is not specific
to New Jersey, nor does it need to be; most of today's home loop
equipment is typically either self-installed, or is portable and
battery-powered. If you do desire professional installation advice,
I've included contact info for a consultant service that specializes
in loop layouts.


"Audio induction systems operate on the electronics principle of
electro magnetics. When an electrical current is amplified and passed
through a loop of wire, a magnetic field is generated around the wire
that varies in direct proportion to the strength and frequency of the
signal. If another wire (or coil of wire) is placed in proximity to
this field, an identical current will be passed - induced - to it
which can then be amplified.

A typical induction system consists of a microphone or other signal
source, a power amplifier to boost the signal, and a loop, or
induction 'antenna'. It can also be the earpiece of a telephone
receiver. The loop can be as small as a personal neckloop - the size
of a long necklace - worn by an individual, or can be as large as a
wire which encircles a room, auditorium or other listening area...

The receiving portion of the system is most often a personal hearing
aid with a built in telephone coil. Not all hearing aids are equipped
with a T-coil, but today, almost all hearing aids can be built with a
T-coil, including custom in the ear aids and most smaller canal

Hearing Aid Centers of America, Inc.

"ECHO MegaLoop Induction System
 Fits room size to 20' x 20'.....picture
Versatile Echo teleloop amplifier with two microphone inputs. One
microphone included. Accepts line input as well. Adjustable volume and
tone control. 100' loop wire is placed around the perimeter of a room
in the home or conference and meeting rooms. With the use of a
microphone and line inputs from audio source, such as TV, radio, PA
system, the sound is directly transferred to the user's hearing aid
when in "T" position. No neckloop or other receiver is necessary. Easy
use with T-coil on hearing aids Output jack for earplugs or personal

"Portable InfoLoop
Perfect for service counters, reception desks, interviewer's desks,
medical offices, and home use. Placed on a counter or table top, this
unit allows a person with telecoils on their hearing aids to hear
conversation or sounds in the vicinity. The hearing aid user puts his
aid in the "T" position and stands or sits in front of the InfoLoop. A
built-in microphone picks up the conversation and transmits it to the
telecoil. It is completely portable, battery powered, and can be moved
around easily as needed.

A Completely self-contained, one-on-one induction loop assistive
listening system. It is compatible with all telecoil equipped hearing
aids, cochlear implants and induction receivers. Listeners receive the
signal at a distance of up to 4 feet from the unit. This table-top
loop system has a built-in omni-directional microphone, automatic gain
control with noise gating electronics, a loop wire antenna and 24 hour
rechargeable battery. An LED display on the back monitors the signal
status and battery condition. Included is an external omni-directional
clip-on microphone with a 10 foot cord and an AC adapter/battery
charger. The system comes in a durable plastic carrying case."

Hearing Aid Centers of America, Inc.

"Link-it is a wireless assistive listening device used with a hearing
aid equipped with a telephone coil (T-coil) to improve speech
intelligibility in noisy situations. The Link-it uses an induction
field to provide a "direct connection" to the hearing aid. Link-it was
designed to be used when directional hearing aids do not provide
sufficient directivity. Link-it is especially effective in restaurants
and noisy, reverberant areas where it is difficult even for
normal-hearing persons to understand speech well.


 - Wireless; head-worn 
 - Lightweight; sleek, ultramodern design 
 - Exceptional battery life: approximately one month on a #10 battery
(4 hours/day)
 - Built-in connector for wired uses such as CROS or hand-held Link-it" 

Hearing Aid Centers of America, Inc.

Contact info for Hearing Aid Centers of America:

"HAC Hearing Aid Centers of America Inc.
 HARC Mercantile Ltd.
 Hearing Aid Center of Kalamazoo
 1111 West Centre Avenue, Portage MI 49024
 (800) 445-9968 Voice/TTY    (800) 413-5248Fax
 (269) 324-0301 Voice/TTY    (269) 324-2387Fax 


Hearing Aid Centers of America, Inc.


"The Porta-LOOP IL-P20 counter induction loop system has been designed
specifically to aid communication with hard of hearing people at
counter applications where a physical barrier separates service
personnel and individual customers. These include but are not
necessarily limited to box offices, bank counters, drive in windows,
information counters, reception desks, etc. The system is compatible
with hearing aids and cochlear implant processors equipped with a
telecoil or so-called "T" switch. The Porta-LOOP is self-contained
with built-in microphone and sets up in seconds (rear view image). No
maintenance or training is required. Because of it's light weight of 
only 3.5 lb and a rechargeable battery system, the Porta-LOOP is also
great for personal use in conference rooms."

Centrum Sound Systems

"The MiniCon teleloop system has been designed to provide optimal TV
and radio listening conditions for hearing aid users whose hearing
aids are equipped with  Tele-coils (often referred to as a T-coil or
T-switch). A teleloop system consists of an amplifier and a discrete
wire (the loop) that runs along the perimeter of the room. When the
teleloop amplifier is hooked up to an audio source such as a TV or
radio, the sound is received directly by the user's hearing aid
without the need for an additional receiver. The MiniCon teleloop
system is delivered with 105 ft. of thin-wall loop wire, one
microphone, and a patch cord for direct hookup. With direct hookup,
the microphone may be used for environmental sound pickup.

MiniCon Features:
 - Fully automatic, no user controls.
 - Separate inputs for microphone and direct hookup.
 - Dual short term and long term AGC (Automatic Gain Control).
 - Covers areas up to 600 sq. ft. at 100 mA/m
 - 6 dB stronger than previous MiniCon versions.
 - Automatic loop length matching.
 - Simple to install.
 - Compact size: (W x H x D): 3.4 x 1.3 x 4.3 in."

Centrum Sound Systems

Contact info for Centrum Sound Systems:

 572 La Conner Drive
 Sunnyvale  CA  94087
 Phone: 408-736-6500  
 Fax: 408-736-6552


Centrum Sound Systems


"Induction loop systems consist of a thin wire that is placed around
the listening area, a special amplifier and microphone(s). Speech
signals are amplified and circulated through the loop wire. The
resulting magnetic energy field is detected and amplified by the
"telecoil" or telephone switch circuitry common to many hearing aids,
cochlear implants and induction loop receivers. The end result is a
high quality amplified reproduction of the original speech signal.
Intelligibility is greatly increased because the distance between the
speaker and the listener(s) is bridged and background environmental
noise is reduced."

Oval Window Audio

"The Portable InfoLoop is a completely self-contained, one-on-one
induction loop assistive listening system. It's compatible with all
telecoil equipped hearing aids, cochlear implants and induction

With the Portable InfoLoop, listeners receive the signal at a distance
of up to 4 feet from the unit (click on above photos to see enlarged
images). Weighing only 3 1/4 pounds and measuring 11" x 10" x 4", this
transportable/table-top loop system houses a:

 - Built-in omni-directional microphone 
 - Automatic gain control 
 - Noise gating electronics 
 - Loop wire antenna 
 - 24-hour rechargeable battery" 

Oval Window Audio

Contact info for Oval Window Audio:

"Oval Window Audio 
 33 Wildflower Court 
 Nederland, CO 80466, U.S.A. 

Phone/TDD/Fax: (303) 447-3607 

You may e-mail the following personnel: 

Norman Lederman, Director of Research & Development: 

Paula Hendricks, Educational Director: 


Oval Window Audio


"With the Swedish-made Univox home loop system you can hear:

 - pure, customized TV sound broadcast by your own hearing aids
(having telecoils).  No receiver or headset necessary!
 - people talking (with optional microphone) 
 - telephone conversation in both ears! (with optional connector)

Home loop system features:

 - Loop Pad--the ultimate simple, pre-engineered loop system.  Thin,
unnoticeable pad easily slips under your favorite chair or its
cushion. Comes with a 30 foot cord that runs to the Univox amplifier.
 - Small, thin (less than 1" high) Univox amplifier
 - U.S. adapter plug & connector cord
 - Volume control & volume level indicator
 - Tone controls (for increased clarity)
 - Simple 'do it yourself' installation (just plug in) 
 - Moveable (to other places and to car)
Use in car (with optional power source & microphone)

Pure Direct Sound

Contact info for Pure Direct Sound:

 (206) 842-5124" 

Pure Direct Sound


As you can see, many of these devices are portable and need no installation.

If you plan to install a permanent loop in a home, and are in need of
a professional consultant, this firm offers telephone consultations
and a computer program designed to assist with loop layouts:

"The design and installation of Audio Frequency Induction Loops is a
very specialized field, and is often outside the working knowledge of
many specifiers and installers...

To assist with the design of the loop layouts, a very advanced
computer program, designed and written in-house, have been developed.
This program permits the full analysis and computation of the entire
spatial magnetic field generated by the complex loop layout. Full
provision is made for phased arrays, current ratios, etc.

Depending on the requirements, the support can range from advice given
during a telephone call to extensive design work using architectural
drawings, site surveys and demonstrations, commissioning and
quotations. Apart from the limited duration telephone support, we are
normally willing to look at drawings and offer advice without charge,
but extensive design work and the production of drawings will be a
chargeable activity."



More information on induction loops in general:

Hearing Loop

Induction loop and infrared systems - a guide for deaf and hard of hearing people

Hearing Loss Web

Ampetronic, Inc.


Google search strategy:

Google Web Search: "induction" + "loop" + "hearing"

Google Web Search: "assistive listening" + "loop" (United States links only)


This was quite interesting for me to research, since I have a hearing
loss myself. I had heard of induction loops, and was aware that they
were widely used in Europe, and it is good to know that the technology
is now available here in the United States.

I hope this helps you to understand how loop systems work, and what
kinds of options exist. If anything is unclear, or if a link doesn't
work for you, please request clarification; I'll be glad to offer
further assistance before you rate my answer.

Best regards,

Request for Answer Clarification by freakfarm-ga on 09 May 2004 15:47 PDT
We are going to look into the people listed this coming week and then
I will rate the answer.  Thanks for the assistance.

Clarification of Answer by pinkfreud-ga on 09 May 2004 16:01 PDT
If you decide to purchase one of the induction loop systems, do keep
in mind that their use requires a hearing aid that is equipped with a
T-coil. Your grandmother's audiologist should be able to tell you
whether or not her current hearing aid is so equipped.

freakfarm-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

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