A telecoil is a small copper wire built into a hearing aid that can reduce background noise in looped environments. However, telecoils are becoming outdated and starting to be replaced by a different type of technology.
In this article, we'll discuss:
What is a telecoil?
A telecoil, also called a t-coil, is a tiny copper wire coiled around a metal rod inside a hearing aid. It captures electromagnetic energy, which the hearing aid converts into an audio signal. A telecoil does not use the hearing aid microphone, but rather delivers the audio signal directly from a source to the hearing aid, so a large amount of background noise is eliminated.
Where are telecoils used?
Telecoils can be used to hear better on a corded or cordless telephone (not cell phone) and also to hear in looped environments, such as some churches or auditoriums.
Telecoils can be mounted horizontally or vertically. Vertical is better for looped environments and horizontal is better for the telephone. Consumers are not able to pick whether their telecoil is mounted horizontally or vertically, so a user may find that their telecoil works well for the telephone but not the looped sanctuary at church where they really wanted to hear better.
For this reason, many cochlear implant and hearing aid manufacturers (including MDHearing!) no longer have telecoils as a standard feature in their hearing aids.
What is Auracast?
Another reason so many manufacturers have moved away from telecoils is because there is a better technology available, called Auracast. Auracast is a function of Bluetooth technology that allows audio devices (including cochlear implants and hearing aids) to function as an advanced assistive listening system, but without the high cost or physical limitations of a telecoil.
With Auracast, you simply use an Auracast assistant (like your smartphone or a remote control) to scan for Auracast advertisements, select the broadcast you would like to listen to, and join. It really is that easy! You do not have to worry about being inside of a physical location, like a loop, or if your hearing aids are oriented properly, like with a telecoil.
MDHearing and Auracast
MDHearing is proud to work with Bluetooth to bring Auracast to our customers. While Auracast devices are not readily available in the marketplace yet, MDHearing is ready when those devices become available by already having Bluetooth 5.2 in our smart hearing aids.