What is a Hearing Loop?
Hearing loss is quite common in Singapore. It affects as many as 360,000 persons, and with the aging population, it is expected to increase. Now, more than ever, there are more hearing aid users, as 1 in 11 Singaporeans have hearing loss.
Attending huge events and conferences is daunting as a hearing aid user because listening to and understanding the speakers can be difficult. The great news is that Singapore's Building and Construction Authority (BCA) implemented the Code on Accessibility for Buildings (2013).
It means that part of the requirements for this code required new buildings and buildings undergoing A&A works (Additions & Alternations) to install with Hearing Enhancement Systems.
The Hearing Enhancement System by the Listening Lab provides solutions for buildings and structures, one of which is the installation of the Hearing Loop.
How does a Loop System work?
A hearing loop (often called an audio induction loop) is a unique sound system used by people with hearing aids. They produce a signal that connects directly to a Telecoil-enabled hearing aid, enabling people with hearing loss to listen to clear, intelligible sound regardless of the background noise or the distance to the sound they want to hear.
Hearing Loops function by creating an alternating magnetic field at audio frequencies, which provides an input signal for a Telecoil-enabled hearing aid, cochlear implant, or handheld receiver.
A common place to encounter an area coverage loop facility is a conference room. As many as one in every six people experience hearing loss. The most common hearing loop system is a perimeter loop, where the cable is laid around the room's perimeter to cover the entire area.
Loop System process in a conference room:
- The speaker uses a dedicated handheld microphone to capture their voice. The signal is transferred to the amplifier when the sound source is captured.
- The amplifiers' current delivered to the loop system creates a magnetic field that transmits an audio frequency. International standards stipulate field strength and consistency throughout the listening area.
- The magnetic field induces a current in the Telecoil, which is then translated into audio by the hearing aid, transferring sounds directly to the ear canal using the hearing aid's speaker.
What if my building is a modern building containing many metals?
Building owners can't always use a perimeter loop around a room that contains metal because the hearing loop's magnetic field absorbs sounds. Such issues can be resolved using modern design tools and loop layouts that address magnetic field degradation and signal spill.
For assistance and advice on hearing loop technology, system design, and educational training, The Hearing Enhancement System by the Listening Lab and its team of trained and certified professionals are always ready to help you understand BCA's requirements and implement them in a timely and proficient manner. Get a quote today or give us a call for more details.