You may be surprised to know that when you bring home a new NHS hearing aid, your device is likely to have a telecoil program attached. This is great news, as it'll enable you to access better sound in public places such as theatres, football stadiums and cinemas, where telecoil compatible systems are available. Although a telecoil can be a very helpful facility, the benefits may not be discussed in detail when you pick up your hearing aid for the first time; so we thought we'd give you the basic facts and ways of making the most of what you have.
What is a telecoil?
A telecoil, sometimes referred to as a 't-switch' or 't-coil', is a small section of wire wrapped around a core within a hearing aid. It's designed to provoke a tiny electric current to pass through the wire coil when exposed to a changing magnetic field. This allows your hearing aid to pick up a magnetic signal that represents sound. A hearing aid usually relies on a microphone amplifying the sound around you. However, the telecoil provides an alternative means of inputting that sound. It's simply a case of finding out how to make the most of this facility.
How to operate your telecoil program?
If your hearing aid has an active telecoil program, there will be a small switch that you can turn to the 'T' position. On newer models, this is probably a case of changing to particular listening program via a push button. The telecoil mode activates the telecoil, making it the main input source and effectively turns off the hearing aid microphone. You may also have the choice of using the telecoil facility in tandem with the microphones (the 'MT' setting). There are also hearing aids that offer automatic telecoil facilities, which switch on without prompting when the need arises.
Ways of using your telecoil program
Telecoils were originally developed to help users access the magnetic signal that the old style phones automatically generated. This made listening or conducting a conversation easier, thanks to a strong magnetic field, generated by the speakers. Technology has since moved on, with so many more products that are telecoil compatible. It's just a case of knowing what's out there so you can make the most of your hearing aid.
Hearing Aid Compatible Devices (HAC)
Many new phones these days generate a magnetic signal that can be picked up using a telecoil program - known as Hearing Aid Compatible - HAC. HearingDirect stock a number of hearing aids, amplified mobile and landline phones with this facility. There are also less obvious ways of using your telecoil settings:
Hands free T-Coil Adaptor known as a 'Hook'
We stock a number of different hooks designed to make the most of using your mobile phone, or any other compatible device. They enable you to easily make and receive calls by using your telecoil settings. The manufacturer Geemarc offers a variety of hooks, depending upon your requirements. They come either with one or two ear hooks, with matching earpieces and built in microphones. You can choose the right one for you, depending upon whether you have one or two hearing aids with a telecoil facility and the size of your jack plug on your mobile.
If you only wear the one hearing aid with a telecoil and have a 2.5mm plug jack, then the Geemarc CL5 may well be worth considering.
If you only wear one hearing aid with the telecoil mode turned on, and your mobile has a 3.5mm jack plug, try the Geemarc CL9.
If you wear two hearing aids with the telecoil mode and have a 3.5mm plug jack for your mobile, then the Geemarc CL8 is a great option.
Geemarc Clearsound iLoop Plus - a telecoil compatible neck loop
The neck loop is a clever accessory, designed to work in tandem with telecoil equipped hearing aids, enabling you to access sound from MP3 players, stereos, PCs and laptops. With a built in microphone, it also acts as a hands free device for a mobile phone. If this type of device sounds interesting, check out the Geemarc Clearsound iLoop Plus.
Amplicomms TV 2510 Wireless TV Listener
The Amplicomms TV 2510 Wireless TV Listener does what it says on the tin. It transfers sound directly from the TV to your hearing aids via the telecoil programme, with no annoying wires to trip over. You can control the volume via the TV listener or your hearing aids, at a level that is convenient to you, without being uncomfortably loud for others in the room.
Conversor Pro Elite Listening System
The Conversor Pro Elite Listening System is the one for you if you want a fantastic listening system to make the most out of your telecoil facilities, then you've got to expect the price to match the technology required. This kind of investment is worth every penny if you're struggling to hear over background noise.
About Hearing Direct
We are one of the world's leading hearing aid specialists. HearingDirect offers a wide range of affordable products, as well as information resources to help improve the quality of life for the hard of hearing. We sell:
- Hearing aids,
- Accessories such as earplugs,
- and amplified devices such as super loud alarm clocks and amplified phones.
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