What is a Hearing Loop?

A hearing loop is an assistive listening system that takes a sound source and transfers it directly to a hearing aid without background noise, interference or acoustic distortion. A hearing loop is also known as an induction loop, T-Loop, or AFIL (audio-frequency induction loop) .

Loops are ideal for hearing aid users. Most hearing aids are equipped with a T-coil which can pick up the signals sent from the loop. Certain smartphones also come with a T-coil feature and the user can listen to the audio via their personal headphones.

Loop around large audience broadcasts to hearing aid user

People who need hearing assistance but do not have a personal device equipped with T-coil can borrow a receiver that can pick up on the loop signal. These receivers are likely required to meet ADA or IBC standards, which declare that there must be devices available for anyone who wishes to listen. Receivers are often provided at the main point of contact for a business, such as a box office or front desk.

As long as the listeners are within the perimeter of the loop, they simply needs turn on their receiver or their hearing aid’s t-coil feature and would be able to hear the audio discreetly. The sound from a loop is only audible from within the loop, and is not once outside of the loop. Sound can ‘leak’ outside of the loop; however, with a well-planned installation, the sound will be contained within the loop so that it does not cause interference with nearby loops.

Types of Loops

Selecting a loop solution that will adequately meet the needs of a listener will be determined by the type of hearing solution required. 

Area coverage loops are most frequently installed in a room underneath the floor, and provide sound for either a section of the room or for the entire room.  A theater, for example, may have three sections on their main floor. They can choose to loop one of the sections specifically and have customers requiring hearing assistance services to sit in this section, or the theater may choose to loop the entire seating area for full inclusivity. For a large area, multiple loops may be required to cover the full space adequately. The theater may have a separate loop around each of the sections, even though they all will broadcast the same audio.

Smaller, counter loops can also be installed for a specific desk, window or counter-based services. For instance, a bank’s teller counter may have two looped teller windows. A customer at a looped teller window will be able to have a private one-on-one conversation will the teller that will not be heard by someone at another looped counter.

Man stands at counter with woman worker. Man uses counter loop.
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Williams Sound is proud to offer Ampetronic loop products in the United States and Canada.

For more information on how loops work, or for help selecting the type of loop required, please contact us on ph:1-800.328.6190 or email [email protected]

For More Training

Loopworks Design Training is a comprehensive and easy to follow course offered by Ampetronic, allowing participants to learn at their own pace via short modules that can be tackled in any order.

Using practical examples to explain each concept, participants can follow along in the Loopworks Design Tool, making their own hearing loop designs from a basic perimeter loop to a complex low spill system.

The material can be revisited at any time, giving a complete reference to designing high quality, standard compliant hearing loop systems for all future projects.

On successful completion of the full course participants will receive a certificate of learning, with accreditation from Avixa.

See Loopworks Design Training for more details.