- Introduction to Loop Systems
- Find a Looped Facility Near You
- Home/Personal Loop Systems
- Commercial Loop Systems
Whether you are new to loop systems or they are “old hat” to you, if you are looking for information on, or want to purchase/install, either a small home loop system or a large commercial loop system, this page that will give you, or lead you to, the information you seek. Further, it lets you find commercial looped venues (churches, meeting rooms, theaters, etc. near you.
You are also at the right place if you came here via the PureDirectSound.com URL.
Up to now, even though loop systems give wonderful sound and are cost effective, they seem to be one of the best-kept secrets around. Few hard of hearing people have even heard of them.
Fortunately, that is changing and interest in loop systems is exploding. It’s about time! Loop systems are used all over in the United Kingdom and in many parts of Europe, and are now coming into their own here in the USA.
Loop Systems—A Brief Overview: If you don’t know much about loop systems, here is a good article giving a brief overview of loop systems: Loop Systems—The Best-Kept Secret in Town!
Why Loop Systems Are Necessary: Here are five facts about hearing loss and hearing aids that make using loop systems so important for hard of hearing people when in meetings and larger venues. Five Facts About Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids That Make Using Loop Systems Important.
Advantages of Loop Systems: Using loop systems has seven distinct advantages, both for the person with hearing loss and for the owners of the looped facility. Advantages of Loop Systems.
A Brief History of T-coils and Loop Systems: Read this brief history of t-coils in hearing aids and loop systems. Loop systems are not new technology. They are a tried and proven technology that has been around for years. For example, I built my first loop system more than 45 years ago! Fortunately, loop systems are now finally catching on. Don’t let anyone tell you that loop systems are obsolete. Yes, they have been around for awhile, but so has the wheel—and it is certainly not obsolete!
Hear the Dramatic Difference a Loop System Makes in Your Understanding: Click here to hear how well room loops work. You’ll hear the dramatic difference between using “bare ears” or hearing aids, and using your hearing aids in t-coil mode in a looped church.
Connecting the T-Coils in your Hearing Aids to Various Audio Devices: Learn about the t-coils (telecoils) in your hearing aids and how they work together with loop systems to help you hear beautiful, clear sound: Using T-Coils (Telecoils) to Couple Your Hearing Aids to Various Audio Devices.
Why Correct T-coil Orientation is so Important: Learn about t-coil orientation and the enormous difference correct orientation makes to successfully using loop systems: Why Correct T-Coil (Telecoil) Orientation Is So Important.
Use the Right Amplifier for Loop Systems: Learn about the differences between loop amplifiers (current amplifiers) and audio (public address) system amplifiers (voltage amplifiers): Two Basic Kinds of Loop Amplifiers and Why the Current Amplifier is the Best for Loop Systems.
Loop Systems in the News
Loop systems are currently in the news. Click here to read a number of news reports about wonderful new loop systems being installed all over the USA.
Find a Looped Facility Near You in the USA Where Loop Systems Have Been Installed
The three below links list numerous facilities in the USA where professional loop systems have been installed. Check them all as they may include different venues.
- LoopFinder (HLAA)
- Let’s Loop America (Loop America)
- Assistive Listening Device Locator (http://www.aldlocator.com) (Find Locations with Assistive Listening Devices—mostly FM systems and Loop systems)
A number of Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) State Committees and State Deaf and Hard of Hearing commissions are compiling lists of looped venues in their states. These tend to be more up to date and complete than the above lists. So if you live in any of the below states, check the appropriate listing for your state.
Since new loop systems are being installed almost daily, these lists can never be complete, but at least they give you an idea of where some of the nearest loop facilities are to you, and how widespread loop systems are becoming.
1. Home Room Loop Systems: Home loop systems are easy to set up in your home. Typically you would hook up your TV (or any other audio source) to this loop system and hear beautiful clear sound from anywhere inside the loop via the t-coils on your hearing aids without blasting the ears of everyone else in the house.
Shown here is the wonderful Contacta HLD3 compact Loop Amplifier well-suited for looping a room(s) in your home.
Loop systems may be room loops with a wire running around the looped area, or small area loops such as this Loop Pad for placing on/under your favorite chair in order to hear while sitting on that chair.
2. Neckloops: Think of a neckloop as a tiny room loop. It works exactly the same. There are three basic kinds of neckloops—passive, amplified and bluetooth. Passive neckloops do not use any external power (batteries). Amplified neckloops contain a small battery-run amplifier for use with weaker sound sources such as cell phones. Bluetooth neckloops are also battery-powered but connect wirelessly to other bluetooth audio devices in addition to cell phones.
The Williams Sound passive neckloop (shown here) has a mono plug and plugs into any mono device’s earphone jack. You hear beautiful, clear sound via the t-coils in your hearing aids.
If you want to use it with a stereo device, you need Radio Shack’s stereo to mono adapter #274-0374 ($2.99). Neckloops let you hear in both ears if you wear two hearing aids. Click here to learn more about this passive neckloop or to purchase one for yourself.
b. Amplified Neckloops: Some audio devices such as cell phones do not provide enough power to adequately work with a passive neckloop. For such devices, you need an amplified neckloop so you have enough volume to easily hear the sound signal.
If you need a versatile amplified neckloop, the CLA7 v2 by ClearSounds is a good neckloop choice. It comes with a number of adapters so it will work with various audio devices and cell phones. Click here to learn more about the CLA7v2 amplified neckloop or to purchase one for yourself.
c. Bluetooth Neckloops: If your hearing aids do not have bluetooth built into their remote control device, you can still couple your hearing aids to bluetooth audio devices by using a bluetooth neckloop. The ClearSounds Quattro Connect360 bluetooth neckloop connects almost any bluetooth device (cell phone, iPod, MP3 player, computer, PDA) with your hearing aids via their t-coils. Click here to learn more about the Quattro Connect360 bluetooth neckloop or to purchase one for yourself.
3. Ear Hooks: (sometimes erroneously called silhouettes) You can use the Music Links style of ear hooks in any device where you would otherwise listen via earbuds or headphones. They are an alternative for passive and amplified neckloops. Since they are so close to your hearing aids, ear hooks will work with cell phones and other low-powered devices.
Plug the Music Links into any stereo audio device’s earphone jack and listen to beautiful clear sound (in true stereo) via the t-coils on your hearing aids. (If you want to use it with a mono device such as the PockeTalker, use Radio Shack’s 3.5 mm (1/8″) mono to stereo adapter #274-882 ($3.99). Click here to learn more about the Music Links or to purchase them.
4. Loop receivers: If you do not have hearing aids, or your hearing aids do not have t-coils, you can still listen to loop systems via a loop receiver. Just plug your earbuds or headphones into the earphone jack on any loop receiver. Check out the ET/LR loop receiver (shown here), or other loop receivers such as the RX20 loop receiver, the AudioLINK MI2 loop receiver or the Univox Listener Loop Receiver.
Information on Installing Home Loop Systems
If you don’t know where to start, the best way to get up to speed is to click on this article “Getting Started—Install and Troubleshoot Your Own Home Loop System with Confidence”.
|Download Dr. Neil’s profusely illustrated presentation (in PDF format) “Install and Troubleshoot Your Own Home Loop System with Confidence” This step-by-step guide shows you how to install and hook up your Univox DLS-50 or AutoLoop system to your home TV sound system.|
You can install a single wire loop, or, if you need more power, a double-wire loop. Here are instructions on how to make and install a double-wire loop.
Here’s a brief article that shows you how to connect your Univox CLS-1 Loop Amplifier to an older TV.
If you want to, here’s instructions showing you how you can connect your landline telephone into a loop system.
Setting the gain (power) correctly on a loop amplifier is important so the unit won’t get too hot. Here’s instructions on how to correctly adjust the Univox CLS-1 (and DLS-50 & 2A) gain to match your loop.
Commercial (Professional) Loop Systems (for Churches, Auditoriums, Theaters, etc.)
Commercial (Professional) loop systems are used in churches, auditoriums, theaters, meeting rooms, etc. These larger loop amplifiers should be installed by qualified loop installers so that the final result meets international standards for looped facilities.
Professional Loop Amplifiers
There are a number of Contacta Professional Loop Systems ranging from the HLD2 to the HLD9 (HLD7 shown at right). They can be configured for simple room loops or for more complex phased arrays for large commercial installations. For more information on the Contacta commercial series of loop amplifiers email Neil at Neil@hearinglosshelp.com or phone/mail him (contact info at the bottom of this page).
Counter Loop Systems Counter loop systems are ideal for use at bank counters, pharmacy counters, checkout counters, ticket windows and customer information counters in stores and libraries. Plugs into A/C power so it is always on ready to use whenever needed. Comes complete with amplifier, under-the-counter loop and microphone. Click here to learn more about this Counter Loop System, or to purchase one.
2. Portable loop systems: Portable loop systems are ideal for use at counters (banks, hotels, ticket windows, etc.). You have to be within about 3 feet of the portable loop in order to hear using this device. The portable InfoLoop system is great for use at registration counters, ticket windows and any place where you need a temporary loop system for dealing with the public, especially if there is not a ready source of power as it can run off its rechargeable internal battery. To learn more about the Portable InfoLoop System, or to purchase one, click here.
Information on Installing Professional Loop Systems
Here are four helpful articles related to installing loops.
Loop system signs: Signs you can print out for indicating a Loop System is installed.
For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org