There are so many different kinds of hearing aid, that picking one can get confusing. One you’ve probably heard of already is the telecoil hearing aid. But what does a telecoil hearing aid do, how does it work, why should you buy one, and where should you buy one from? Let’s find out.
What Is a Telecoil Hearing Aid?
All hearing aids work in the same way. They pick up sound with a microphone, amplify it either digitally or through analog means, and then play the sound back into your ear through a speaker. There’s lots more to modern hearing aids, which can selectively amplify sounds for example. But that’s basically how they all work.
Telecoil hearing aids work in the same way. They pick up and amplify sound, just like any other hearing aid. But there’s one major difference, one which could make your life a lot easier, and your hearing experience a lot better. They have a tiny telecoil inside them.
A telecoil is like a tiny antenna inside your hearing aid. Because regular antennae are big, long and bulky—or at least too bulky to fit in your ear—they’re manufactured in a special way that keeps them small but allows them to work effectively.
The telecoil is a coil of wire (as the name suggests) wrapped around a tiny rod. This doesn’t work for long-range signals, like an FM or AM radio. That’s why you can get away with having such a small antenna. Rather, it’s so that you can hear things nearby better.
But it can’t pick up any kind of sound like a microphone. Instead, it works by picking up an electromagnetic signal.
Do All Hearing Aids Have a Telecoil?
Some hearing aids come with a telecoil, and some don’t. It’s an added feature that manufacturers have to cost into their design, and figure out where it fits with the rest of the pieces of the hearing aid. Manufacturers therefore make some models with and some models without one.
You don’t need one in order for your hearing aid to work. All hearing aids work using a microphone and small speaker in your ear. Even telecoil hearing aids work this way, too. The difference is that the telecoil does make it easier to hear in certain situations.
Understandably, then, telecoil hearing aids can be more expensive than regular hearing aids.
How Does a Telecoil Work?
Have you ever seen the hearing loop logo? It’s a blue sign with an ear on it, with what looks like a rod running through it from the bottom left to the top right. There’s also a capital-T in the lower right hand corner.
This is the symbol that indicates you can use your hearing loop. It means that there’s an electromagnetic field nearby. Don’t worry if you don’t understand how they work—it’s a little like a radio signal that only a telecoil hearing aid can pick up on.
When you’re somewhere that has a hearing loop, your hearing aid can ‘listen in’ to it. It will then play back the signal it receives. But most importantly, it plays back this signal without any background noise.
Hearing loops are common in places like:
- Theaters, churches, and other places where big events are held
- In banks or offices where there’s a counter and a screen you might struggle to hear through
To get the telecoil to work, all you have to do is press a button or switch on your hearing aid. This activates the coil. The reason why they’re made like this is that having it on constantly would drain your hearing aid’s battery.
My Hearing Aid Has a Telecoil, But It Doesn’t Work!
This is a common problem that people experience, with a simple fix. Telecoils have to be activated by an audiologist. So, if you buy a hearing aid online, it will arrive without having been activated.
Don’t worry, because this is a very simply process. Simply head to one of KingSandia’s branches and we can get your telecoil activated right away. At the same time, we can help you by:
- Upping the gain of the microphone in your hearing aid, if you need us to
- Offering advice on cleaning and taking care of a telecoil hearing aid
- Suggesting whether another hearing aid might be more suitable for you
All in a day’s work for an audiologist.
Why Buy a Telecoil Hearing Aid?
The main advantage of telecoil hearing aids is that you can pick up on their signal and not hear any background noise. This is a huge advantage when it comes to listening to live music, or watching a big event of some kind.
This is also why many shops, banks and offices have hearing loops installed. If you’re stood in a queue, you may struggle to hear somebody behind a counter because of all the loud background noise. There’s the people behind you, the traffic outside, and all sorts of random noises for the person’s voice to contend with.
If this is a problem that feels familiar to you, then a telecoil hearing aid is the answer.
Where Can You Buy a Telecoil Hearing Aid?
It’s possible to buy hearing aids online. But we recommend visiting a registered and qualified hearing aid consultant at one of Sandia Hearing Aid Center!
An audiologist is a medical professional who specializes in both diagnosing and treating hearing issues. Audiologists study extensively to understand how hearing works. And in their day to day job, they work with hearing aids of all kinds. So, if there’s anybody you want to speak to for advice, it’s an audiologist.
All you have to do is contact us, or drop in to one of our branches. Our friendly staff will give you all the advice you need, and recommend a particular model or brand of hearing aid that would suit you.