In its 2009/2010 reviews of hearing aid models, the Hearing
Review Products reported that 126 (69%) of 183 hearing
aid models--including all 38 in-the-ear models and 29 of 30
conventional behind-the-ear models--came with telecoils (PDF). (Telecoils double hearing aid functionality by enabling the instrument to serve as a customized, wireless loudspeaker. They also enhance phone listening with all landline
phones and more and more cell phones.
the greater people's need for hearing assistance, the more
likely they are to have hearing aids with telecoils--as did
84 percent of Hearing Loss Association of America members
in one survey. New model cochlear implants also offer telecoils. See a hands-up survey of attendees at the organization's 2012 convention.
Where loop systems are installed, the percentage of people
with telecoils will naturally rise as they become more useful.
(How many people had televisions before TV stations began
Even so, a loop system will immediately serve more people,
for two reasons: 1) anyone without telecoils can still check
out portable receivers, as with other assistive listening
systems, and 2) few people in churches, movie theaters, and
auditoriums presently bother to check out the portable receivers.
Where a loop system is installed, nearly all telecoil-equipped
people will use it. With a higher and growing usage rate,
loop systems promise to benefit more people (as well as to
serve their needs more effectively and inconspicuously).
Hard of hearing people who have prioritized cosmetics over
hearing have usually elected invisible "completely in
the canal" aids or inconspicuous in-the-canal aids, which
generally have had insufficient room for the telecoils. Telecoils
are, however, reportedly becoming more miniaturized and can
now be included "in all but the tiniest hearing aids,"
reports audiological researcher-writer Mark Ross.
"Telecoils turn any aid from working
like a Ford into a Cadillac. Telecoils make the difference
whether you hear or not on the telephone....Any place with
a loop system installed--you are golden to hear! And I kid
you not!!!!!!" ~Curtis Dickinson
With the flick of a tiny switch the telecoil-equipped hearing
aid switches from a microphone (M) to a telecoil (T) mode.
Many hearing aids also offer a setting for simultaneous mike
and telecoil (MT). In settings where one wishes both inputs,
the MT setting is useful.
In some cases it is possible to add T-coils to existing hearing
aids, but at greater cost than the minimal cost of T-coils
with original purchase. One's audiologist can advise on cost.
Telecoils as shown here (courtesy Tibbetts Industries, Inc.),
are tiny additions to hearing aids.