Even if your Spring Break is a staycation this year it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all your area has to offer. 

Museums, galleries, concert halls and theaters are using hearing loop technology to make events more accessible to those with hearing loss.

How Hearing Loop Technology Works

Hearing loops broadcast sound so individuals wearing hearing aids have the signals broadcast directly to their hearing aids.

In order to utilize this technology, you need a hearing aid with a telecoil. While most modern hearing aids come with a telecoil as a standard feature, check with your hearing care professional if you are unsure of your device’s settings.

The hearing loop system consists of a wire placed around the perimeter of the room to convert sounds into electronic signals and then transmits them.

The telecoil in your hearing aid acts as an antenna. It picks up signals transmitted by the wire and streams them directly to your ears. As a bonus, the background noise is filtered out as well.

To take advantage of a hearing loop, just activate the telecoil in your hearing aid. Once the telecoil is activated, you can stroll through a museum or gallery to take in the sound directly.

The Difference Between Hearing Loop Technology and Neck Loop ALDs

There are two technologies that use the term “loop.” Hearing loop technology utilizes the telecoil in the hearing aid to receive signals. This should not be confused with “neck loops,” which are assisted listening devices (ALD) that use FM signals. With the ALD neck loop form the user wears a device on a loop around their neck that receives a FM signal that is then transmitted to the hearing aid. This is an older technology that is being replaced with the new hearing loop technology. You may still find neck loop devices offered at some concert halls and other venues. If neck loop ALDs are used, make sure you arrive 20 to 30 minutes early to receive your neck loop, or call ahead to find the venue’s reservations policy for ALDS. If hearing loop technology is used, you don’t need to be early; you just need to activate your telecoil.

Where You Find Hearing Loop Technology

Museums are perfect for hearing loop technology, in addition to churches, stores and even train terminals and airports!

To find out if a venue you’re visiting has hearing loop technology available, try perusing the website or give them a call ahead of time to make plans.

Whether you hit the road for spring break or take a staycation, be sure to make use of hearing loop technology to get the most out of your visit to public spaces!