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What Are Telecoil Or T-Coil Hearing Devices?

A telecoil (T-Coil) is a small copper coil that is an option on most hearing aids and is built into cochlear implant processors. They were originally used to boost the magnetic signals from the telephone handset. All landline phone and some cell phones are designed by law to be used with a telecoil. It can make a noticeable difference in your life when you combine it with hearing assistive technology, birdging the physical connection between devices, helping to eliminate background noise.

Some headsets won't work too well with these types of hearing aids, however we do have a corded Sennheiser headset that will work with them, known as the Sennheiser SC 660 TC corded headset.

Sennheiser SC 660 telecoil corded headset

Please note: you will need an extra cord in order to plug it into the phone or computer, which can change depending on the device itself. To get compatibility information, give us a call at 1-800-HEADSETS (432-3738)

What do these Hearing Devices do?

Even with today’s technology, the best hearing aids and cochlear implants* can’t separate the sounds you want to hear from background noise, or pick up all the sounds coming from a distant source like a stage or movie screen. With a telecoil you can expand the functionality of your hearing aid or cochlear implant. A telecoil in a hearing aid or cochlear implant functions as a wireless antenna that links into a sound system and delivers customized sound to the listener.

Cochlear implants are medical hearing devices that are surgically implanted. They provide sound signals to the brain to replace the functions that ears usually perform. They usually have a microphone and some electronics outside the skin that usually rest behind the ear. They are different from hearing aids, which simply make sound louder. They usually don’t go directly into your ear, but rest behind it.

When Would you use a Telecoil?

Increasing the volume on your hearing aid or cochlear implant won’t necessarily increase the clarity of what you hear. Hearing assistive technology combined with a telecoil can improve your understanding of dialogue at work, and in other public places. Some people use telecoils at home with the TV while keeping the TV volume low for the comfort of others. For this they would need hearing assistive tv technology that we do not carry. Please refer to your Audiologist (hearing doctor specialist).

We do carry a special Sennheiser corded headset for T Coil hearing aids called the SC660 TC. This headset using Hearing Assitive Technology to work with the T-Coil technology in hearing aids and cochlear implants. Finally! A headset that works with hearing devices! Since it’s corded, you can choose cords for office phones, home phones, smart phones, or even USB!

What is Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT)?

While there are a few types of hearing assistive technology the important one of us is the hearing loop. A hearing loop transmits sound electromagnetically. The electromagnetic signal is then picked up by the telecoil in the hearing aid or cochlear implant. Any sound within the magnetic field is amplified and clarified. To use a hearing loop, one easily flips the t-switch on the hearing aid or cochlear implant. No additional receiver or equipment is needed. Using a telecoil and hearing loop together is seamless, cost-effective, unobtrusive, and you don’t have to seek out and obtain special equipment.

What other uses are there for Telecoils?

Telecoils can improve hearing on hearing aid-compatible phones and can be used with neckloops to replace headphones. A neckloop is similar to a hearing loop, except that it is worn around the neck and can be plugged into other audio devices (such as an MP3 player, computer, or FM or infrared receivers) to transmit the audio signal directly to the hearing aid telecoil, bypassing the need for headphones. We do not sell these, so again, refer to your Audiologist if you have or would like to purchase these accessories. There are also T Coil compatible devices for televisions, Bluetooth devices, and walkie-talkies, but, again, we do not carry these.

Hi, I'm Kyle!

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Kyle Newgent wearing a Leitner office headset

Kyle Newgent
Headset Blogger