Hearing / Induction Loop Systems for Installations

What is an Induction Loop? This is a question that we get asked quite often. We aim throughout our website and each individual category is to try our best to explain things in the most simplistic and understandable terms. A clear example of that is in this category, where we’ve added the word ‘hearing’ to make things much clearer!

The hearing loop is the aided hearing assistant to anyone and any number of people together in a building who may have suffered any degree of hearing loss. There is no limit to how many people can receive the amplified signal which is received through the hearing aid that the person or persons is wearing. Also often referred to as a ‘T’ Loop, it picks up the sound source, whether this is speech from a microphone, music at a concert etc, and transfers it directly to the hearing aid without any interference or background noise, making the receiving sound crystal clear. The volume of this sound can of course then be adjusted accordingly to a comfortable level for the customer with the hearing difficulties.

The induction loop primarily consists of 4 different elements,

  • The input or audio source, such as a microphone to hear speech, or a Television or Radio
  • The Loop Amplifier. Normally amplifier signal would be fed into speakers to create the sound. With a loop amplifier the signal is fed into the wire loop and picked up by the hearing aid
  • The wire loop, A loop or loops of copper wire that runs round the room, starting and finishing at the amplifier
  • The Receiver or hearing aid

The drawing below shows how these parts work together to produce the sound,

Hearing Loop 1

 

The Cable placed around the room produces the best results when installed at a specific height. The hearing, or listening plane, is approximately 1.2 metres when sat, to 1.6 – 1.8 metres standing. The cable run should be either 1 metre lower or 1 metre higher than this. Where possible the cable installation should avoid variances in height, as to avoid anomalies in the signal strength. The cable can be placed inside a plastic conduit or trunking, but not metal. This will also create potential issues with signal strength. The cable creates an electro -magnetic field which is picked up by the hearing aid. The hearing aid requires to be set to the ‘T’ position. You’ve probably seen this notification when queuing at a bank for example:-

Hearing Loop 2

The type of systems really depends on the size of the building that it’s being installed in. Think in terms of the local post office, this is referred to as a localised field loop, up to a concert theatre or church, referred to as a perimeter induction loop. The principle is the same. Cable thickness, as with mains power cable and speaker cable, varies depending on the length of the loop. A general guide is listed below,

60 metres – 1.0mm cable

100 metres -1.5mm cable

200 metres – 2.5mm cable

Over 200 metres – 4.0mm cable

Please visit our accessories category to see our cable range

In this section you will see individual components and complete kit form loop systems*. If you are unsure or need any guidance, please contact our sales team. We are always happy to help!

*We strongly advise as with any type of audio installation that the work is carried out by qualified personnel. Installing the wrong components or installing in the wrong place could greatly reduce the systems performance

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