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Best Practices Checklist

The Benefits of a Hearing Aid Telecoil (T-Coil) for Wireless Connectivity in a Public Venue

By: Dr Cliff Olson
March 25, 2019
Video Transcript

Recently, Bluetooth has taken all of the wireless attention when it comes to hearing aids.  However, telecoils are considered the original form of wireless hearing aid communication and could be the single best feature for hearing better in a public venue such as a church, movie theater, performance theater, or convention center.All you have to do is look for a blue sign with a picture of an ear with a line through it, with a little "T" in the corner.  This means that all you have to do is activate your Telecoil and you will be able to hear better in that environment.A telecoil also allows you to hear better on a telecoil enabled phone.  If you have trouble on the telephone, a telecoil could be your best friend.  Just look for a phone with a "T" rating.  

These ratings range from 1 to 4 and number 4 is the best. A telecoil, also know as a T-Coil is an extremely small coil of wire that can be installed inside of a hearing aid.  This T-Coil can pick up Electro-Magnetic signals from an Induction Loop that is installed inside of one of these facilities.   Imagine that you go to a town hall meeting in your home town.  If that facility has an Induction Loop connected to their sound system, the T-coil could pick up the sound of whoever is speaking into the microphone at the meeting and send it directly into your ears making their speech significantly clearer than with just using your hearing aid microphones alone.  While telecoils are small,  they do take up valuable real estate inside of a hearing aid.  

This is why many manufacturers have elected to remove the telecoil from their devices or have made their devices larger.However, Phonak, has been able to keep the size of their devices small.  Their new Audeo Marvel 13T and Audeo Marvel 312T hearing aids are super small and still have a telecoil inside of them.  But Phonak didn't stop there.  They were also able to keep Bluetooth Classic and Binaural VoiceStream Technology (BVST).  With Phonak's Bluetooth hearing aids, you can connect directly to any smartphone including Android and iPhone.  This means you can play audio directly from your smart device right into your hearing aids.  This includes Phone calls, Podcasts, Music, YouTube videos, or any other audio that plays from your Smart Device.

Somehow, Phonak has also been able to keep Binaural VoiceStream Technology (BVST) inside of their devices.  This allows each hearing aid to communicate with the other to help you hear better in a background noise situation.  The fact that Phonak made a hearing aid without sacrificing other wireless features is truly impressive.  Even though Telecoils don't garner as much excitement as other wireless hearing aid technologies such as Bluetooth, they could still be the single most important feature when it comes to hearing better in a background noise situation.

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