Loop Configurations Explained
Why One Size Does Not Fit All
Loops and telecoils have the potential to provide truly universal access for hard of hearing people here in the UK and throughout the world , but only if they all deliver the same high performance.
To realise this potential, international agreement on the performance of a loop system has been reached and is embodied in the International performance standard for Audio Frequency Induction Loop Systems , IEC60118-4:2006.
This standard defines the magnetic field strength, signal uniformity, frequency response and background magnetic noise for a system. It means that a hearing aid user using a system in a bank, at a train station , at church, in a theatre etc... here or any where else in the world can simply select the T -programme on their hearing aid to relax, participate and enjoy the moment.
An induction loop system that does not deliver standard compliant performance is a missed opportunity. It will not delight customers encouraging them to return and may render the facility in breech of its duty to provide an equal level of access to everyone as set out in the Equalities Act 2010.
Where there is a need for audio communication to inform entertain or communicate, there is most likely a need for assistive listening. By nature of the environment of each application, the demands on the induction loop system may be very different, requiring a different solution.
Large area coverage, spill control or compensation for signal loss due to metal structures can rarely be achieved with the humble perimeter loop. A knowledgeable, experienced loop designer will consider these performance requirements with installation and budget constraints to determine the most appropriate solution, always mindful that the system must comply with the international performance standard IEC 60118-4:2006. The typical options are :
- Perimeter Loop
- Cancellation Loop
- Figure 8 Loop
- Super 8 Loop