How much does a Hearing Loop Cost?
Costs range from a few hundred dollars for self-installed home TV room loops up to several thousand dollars for professional installation in an average-sized auditorium or worship space. Most churches can install a hearing loop for little or no more than the cost of one pair of high end hearing aids, though a large facility with embedded metal will be more expensive. Auditorium hearing loops cost somewhat more than do other assistive listening systems, which require a receiver and headset. But the cost per user is typically less (because many more people will use assistive listening that is hearing aid compatible). Moreover, hearing loops offer long-term savings from purchasing and maintaining batteries in fewer portable listening units. For the user, the telecoil cost is nominal and typically does not add to the hearing aid price.
How long does a Hearing Loop Installation take?
Each project is unique, however, in most situations Hearing Loops can be installed in 1-2 days.
How big of a mess will it make?
Installation of a hearing loop is typically minimally intrusive. The venue will be left in the same or better condition in which it was found. We will communicate any variance or needs prior to installation.
Why are Hearing Loops needed? Don’t hearing aids enable hearing?
Today’s digital hearing aids enhance hearing in conversational settings. Yet for many people with hearing loss the sound becomes unclear when auditorium or TV loudspeakers are at a distance, when the context is noisy, or when room acoustics reverberate sound. A hearing loop magnetically transfers the microphone or TV sound signal to hearing aids and cochlear implants that have a tiny, inexpensive “telecoil” receiver. This transforms the instruments into in-the-ear speakers that deliver sound customized for one’s own hearing loss.
Hearing loops harness magnetic energy. So is magnetic interference problematic?
Generally not. Old (nonflat) computer monitors, old fluorescent lighting, and some old dimmer switches generate interference, as do some cars and all airplanes. But the experience in tens of thousands of venues is that interference-free installation is nearly always possible.
Don’t newer connective technologies work better?
New wireless technologies, including Bluetooth, do some helpful things, such as enable binaural phone listening. But Bluetooth isn’t an assistive listening answer (it requires significant battery power and has limited range). An alternative future assistive listening solution—one that, like hearing loops, is hearing aid compatible—will need similarly to a) be inexpensive (essentially no cost to the consumer), b) be capable of covering a wide area, c) drain little battery power (telecoils require no power), d) be universally accessible, and e) be sufficiently miniaturized that the receiver can fit in nearly all hearing aids.
Can Hearing Loops be used in adjacent rooms?
Yes, with a professional design that controls sound spillover.
Do Hearing Loops work in transient venues such as airports, at ticket windows, or at drive-up order stations?
Yes. New York City Transit Authority has installed hearing loops at 488 subway information booths. In such venues, where checkout equipment is not realistic, the only possible assistive listening device is one’s own hearing aid or cochlear implant.