How well do "Auto T-coil" hearing aids work in looped facilities


#1

I live in an “over 55” community and we have been working hard to get all meeting rooms looped.
I just received information from a “loop technician” that “Auto T-coils” only work for telephone, not for loops. Since most recent aids only come with “auto T-coils” I am hoping this is not true.
Can someone give me some more information on this issue??
Thanks


#2

Well…yes…the telecoils in hearing aids need the setting set, a program and a magnet to trigger them into telecoil mode.
Oldy-old phones had an actual speaker with a magnet. Now you need to add a magnet to a phone.
But for your purposes…auto is not necessarily necessary. Walk into the room and turn on your telecoil mode and when someone speaks into the hearing-loop-amplified mic (and everything’s on) then you’ll hear their voice.


#3

If I have an AUTO t-coil isn’t it suppose to decide when to “turn on” for me?
Do I need to have a special T-coil setting??


#4

The auto option is only going to work by being triggered by a magnet. And the magnet needs to stay there for the duration. When needed, you could of course hold or attach a magnet to the HA to trigger it and keep it on for when you need it. But I think that would be cumbersome. :slight_smile:
Yes. The HA’s should have or would need another program that you would switch into and then they would know to be picking up loop audio. Otherwise, they simply can’t know just by walking into a loop.
I suppose maybe you could have your general all-around program set with the telecoil always on but that might consume battery. I don’t know that part.
But I’m no expert. Maybe I’m completely wrong. Not by experience though.


#5

Thanks so much! I will work with my Audiologist to have my aids reset and even more important - - I will work to EDUCATE our residents that they need to ASK for that setting!!


#6

It’s likely that everybody’s HA’s will have a telecoil program. Likely :slight_smile: People just need to walk into a looped room reaching for their HA’s or their app to turn on telecoil listening. If the telecoil option hasn’t been used then after trying it out then they might want some adjustments made to that program.


#7

You would be absolutely amazed at how many of the hearing aids here were sold withOUT a T-coil or without the T-coil “turned on.” Much less a program setting explained to the user!!!

My husband’s family has an inherited hearing problem and he started wearing aids in the mid 1970’s. One of his cousin’s put us onto SHHH and he got one of the very first digitally programmable aids!! And I now wear aids also.

So, I have been following the technology for a LONG time. I was absolutely amazed when I moved here that in a community where probably 1/2 the people wear hearing aids and another 20 - 30% need them, the access to being an INFORMED CONSUMER is SO POOR. Most just go to Costco or the closest Hearing Aid store and take whatever they get “sold” with no questions asked!!

We do have a Hearing Solutions group here (Cannot do an HLAA chapter because meetings here are limited to residents) that meets monthly and I am working hard with them to educate them, but it is uphill work!! We offer receivers for the hearing loop at our meetings and the folks who try them are amazed. But most do not even bother to try. - - We do have a good audio system and the room is quiet so most can hear that way.

But when the community replaced the floor in the exercise room at the fitness center, one of our more profoundly hard of hearing ladies asked for a loop - - and the Fitness instructors told the Facilities manager that it was not needed because everyone could hear (over a boom box!) She still has difficulty getting the instructors to USE the Mic so she can hear!!!

It’s the old “hidden disability” problem in spades!!


#8

Phonak has both options, for a phone tcoil and for an environment loop (can’t remember their term for it) but he may be partially correct that they may be two different things.


#9

Like I’ve said earlier…they almost always need to be turned on. They’re not just on.
As for numbers of HA’s that didn’t come with telecoils…dunno.

My KS7’s have it. When I am able to use employer insurance benefits again in another 2 years I will be sure to get it again. By that time all the other connectivity issues should get settled down where I can use any compatible bluetooth transmitter along with the capability of the telecoils.

As for educating the users…absolutely! I think it’s marvelous technology from mid-last-century that is still perfectly usable and discrete without additional equipment hanging about your person.


#10

Thanks. I will be talking to my audiologist and trying to educate folks here. It is absolutely amazing how many folks wearing HA have no clue what a T-coil is and whether or not they have one. Apparently a lot have been sold aids with NO T-coil!!


#11

I can’t say as I’m surprised. All this disability accommodation stuff is sorta kinda recent and so public locations with a loop are few and far between. So therefore why provide them. My perception would be that looped public areas are increasing. I gather it’s more prevalent in Europe.
But for me…being a bit technical…it was one of the features that I wanted as a minimum when I learned that I could make my own loop. To the point that it tipped me over into giving in and getting aids to begin with.

Accommodation to this point has been those clunky, not at all discrete, wearing devices that scream “Look at me I’m hard of hearing!!”. The telecoil is so discrete. And then that in reality people barely notice you have aids to begin with that now all of a sudden you can hear the speaker better than what your neighbor is hearing with the room acoustics and echos and whatnot.


#12

I agree with you 100%.
But I am talking about a population that is over 95% over 55 and I think the AVERAGE age is something like 75 or older. So their only experience with people wearing hearing aids is probably 1960’s technology. They do not KNOW to ASK about a T-coil. They only know they do not hear as well as they would like and depend on the Audiologist or Hearing Aid Fitter to give them “whatever they need.”


#13

Some hearing aids have both phone and public t-coil, some just phone, some niether.


#14

Thanks for chiming in @Neville.
Could you please elaborate on your definitions of phone t-coil and public t-coil?


#15

Should work both ways. I find auto t-cool annoying as sometimes it switches back and forth when I don’t want it to. In most hearing aids (all I have had) there is a program switch and you can have the audiologist program it as one of the programs. It is correct there is not a magnet close enough with the loop to auto switch it… that being said I happen to live where the loop is prevalent and it’s the only way I can hear a play. Our local theaters are equipped and it’s incredible


#16

Ideally, they need to be orriented differently to interact with the different orrientation of the loop of a phone versus the loop in a room. Though I think there may be some devices that just put the tcoil on a diagnal and hope.

But it’s certainly true that manufacturers are taking them out. People want small small small, and so many people are cellphone-only these days. “Auto phone” does not guarantee a t-coil even though it is activated magnetically; it is sometimes just a gain change to reduce the change of feedback when the phone is close to the hearing aid.


#17

Thanks
I’m still not clear on your use of the two terms.
I think the auto-phone feature would need a a telecoil to trigger the phone-sound-in-both-ears feature by way of a magnet or an oldy phone.
I think using a room loop needs the telecoil to pick up the radiated induction signal to put the amplified inducted sound into the aids.
I think the auto-phone feature switches automatically to a telecoil type program.
I think the room loop capability needs to have the user switch to a telecoil type program themselves.

I think if there is any kind of telecoil present that it can do both features.

So I didn’t understand you saying aids could have both or phone or none.

The none I get - no telecoil present.

But I think it’s more like if a telecoil is present then it can do both functions.

But you’re the expert :slight_smile:


#18

My Phonak Brio 1s and my Aunties Phonak Sky Q70 M-13 all have the telecoil program.

There’s 3 telecoil programs on our HAs, TV, phone and public.


#19

My OPN doesn’t have a telecoil but it does have the autophone mode. It’s triggered by a magnet and it simply adjusts the gain to minimize feedback like Neville said


#20

Interesting. Thanks for your input. What is that magnet interacting with then?