Have you or someone you know ever chosen to refrain from certain activities because it was just too hard to hear what was going on? Ever miss seeing a great film in the theater because you couldn’t hear it? How about your church service…can you hear it well? The gate announcements at the airport or the safety announcement on an airplane?
Everyday occurrences can be just out of reach for people who wear hearing aids but new technologies are making it easier and easier to be a social participant again!
FM receivers and T-Coils for hearing aids are making it easier and better for hearing aid wearers to enjoy sound-specific activities such as movie theaters, church services, concerts, museum tours, and more, and this technology even applies to everyday situations where hearing is imperative such as airport terminals and train stations, courtroom proceedings, or anywhere that specific information is provided verbally.
Most everyone is familiar with FM receivers; we’ve been listening to our favorite rock-and-roll stations on the FM dial for years! FM, or frequency modulation, is the encoding of information in a carrier wave by varying the instantaneous frequency of the wave. (Compare with amplitude modulation, in which the amplitude of the carrier wave varies, while the frequency remains constant.)
What this means for hearing aid users is a more direct ability to hear as the signal is transmitted directly to the hearing aid via a small transmitter that is attached to the hearing aid. Where a person with normal hearing would hear the FM sound along with everything else, the hearing aid user would get the FM signal delivered directly to their ear via their hearing aid…like a tiny speaker in their ear giving a private concert (if music is the sound being carried by the FM signal)!
A t–coil (or telecoil) is a small coil of wire inside a hearing aid that is designed to pick up a magnetic signal. When using the t-coil setting on your hearing aid it turns off the microphone so that it will only pick up the electromagnetic signal and convert it to sound. The t-coil is similar to the FM signal in that it delivers the sound directly to the hearing aid. Watch this short video when a little girl realizes that her family has “looped” their TV room for her.
Imagine going to the movie theater and instead of hearing the amplification of all the sounds in the theater (people talking and laughing, wrappers crinkling, seats squeaking) all you heard was the movie dialog and music directly in your ear, un-muffled and uninterrupted. To hear examples of how this technology works as compared to a regular hearing aids, click here.
This new technology could open up a whole world of activities that you used to avoid. Your social calendar is about to fill up!
If you found this information useful please forward to a friend or share it using the links below. If you would like to find out more about these technologies and how they can enhance your hearing experience, contact ihearingaids… it’s fast and easy (and we don’t bite)…we speak YOUR language!