Unlike alternative (FM or infrared) assistive listening systems which usually sit unused, induction loop systems:
- Require (for those with T-coils) no pick up and remembering to return portable receiving units and headsets.
- Require purchasing/maintaining/replacing fewer portable receiving units (for those without T-coils).
- Operate on a universal frequency (FM systems operate on differing frequencies, requiring receivers for each venue).
- Are inconspicuous: No need to display “I am hard of hearing!” Loop systems offer an easy and invisible solution to an invisible problem, thus are much more likely to be used.
- Work in transient situations: They can serve the hard of hearing at ticket counters, teller windows, drive-through stations, airport gate areas, and train and subway stations–venues where other assistive listening systems are impractical.
- Are hearing-aid compatible. There’s no need to juggle between hearing aids and headsets (for example, when shifting from sermon to singing during worship).
- Preclude bothering others nearby with sounds leaking from headset. Sound broadcast through hearing aids is contained within one’s ear.
- Afford flexible use: Can allow either direct listening or loop broadcast modes, or both.
- Deliver personalized in-the-ear sound . . . customized by one’s own hearing aids to address one’s own hearing loss.
Are, for all these reasons, more likely to be used–and to be increasingly used, once installed (as people purchase future aids with T-coils). Loop systems can, thanks to portable receivers, serve everyone including all who are served by existing systems. But, given telecoils, they are much more likely to be used—and therefore to cost less, per user. Moreover, it is those who most need hearing assistance who are most likely to have telecoils.