by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A lady wrote,
My husband’s audiologist says the room loop system only works when someone is speaking into a microphone. That was not my impression. Is that the case?
Your audiologist is basically right. Think of a room loop system as a special kind of public address (PA) system. In a regular public address system, if no one is speaking into a microphone that is hooked up to the PA system, you won’t hear anything. A loop system is exactly the same.
Having said that, you can also directly connect a loop system to a TV or other sound source so you don’t need an active microphone in order to hear the TV via a loop. In that respect, your audiologist is incorrect. But a loop system doesn’t magically pick up all sounds in a room and transmit them via a loop—it needs a way of getting the sound into the loop amplifier and that is either a microphone, or by being directly attached to some other sound-producing device.