What is a telecoil and what can it do? Perhaps your current hearing aid has one or maybe you’ve been looking for a new hearing aid and are wondering about this feature. This small coil of wire may seem simple, but the advantages it can provide to people who use it are quite substantial. Read on to get a better idea of what this simple gadget can offer you.
A hearing aid with a telecoil can detect magnetic signals. A telecoil will only transmit magnetically generated sounds, not all sounds the way the conventional microphone and amplifier do. The telecoil was initially introduced to enhance listening ability on the phone. Since older telephones used magnets in their speakers, telecoil devices could provide a clear transmission of a phone conversation. Modern phones do not naturally produce these signals, but many are equipped with supplemental electronics that make them telecoil compatible.
The telecoil function isn’t just used in telephones. Theaters, stadiums, auditoriums and train stations often use them within their Assistive Listening Systems. You may find that a venue will offer you a headset to assist in transmitting these signals. In most cases the magnetic sounds you receive will be a higher clarity than what you could experience acoustically.
The size, type and age of your hearing aid can impact the way you access and use your telecoil. Telecoils are more often found in larger hearing aids, such as those that rest behind the ear. In older devices, a tiny switch is used to manually change from telecoil to microphone mode. Newer models are often equipped with program modes, allowing the user to switch on their telecoil by pressing a button on the instrument or on a remote control.
On rare occasions you might encounter some interference when using the telecoil setting on your hearing aid. Interference is most commonly experienced as a buzzing sound and is usually associated with electronics such as CRT monitors and fluorescent lights.
The rare interference is the only downside to telecoils. They are really fantastic additions that offer many added advantages. This technology is an affordable way to increase the capabilities of your hearing aid.