Confusing Hearing Loop Terminology Explained

Jun 21, 2016

Confusing Hearing Loop Terminology Explained

Have you ever wondered why hearing loops and their components seem to have some many different names? Allow me to proffer an explanation…

I’m frequently, and understandably, asked why hearing loops are referred to by so many different names (even on our own website), what the correct terminology is and why different companies use confusing descriptions.

The fact that the technology terminology has evolved over time hasn’t helped with this, as different people call it different things.

The engineers who design and install the systems have historically called them ‘Induction Loops’, particularly doctrinaire individuals call them ‘A.F.I.L.S.’ (Audio Frequency Induction Loop Systems) to differentiate them from the technology used to recognise cars at automatic gates and traffic lights.

The hearing aid, cochlear implant and loop-receiver users who make use of the installed system, but have little understanding of what the technical descriptions previously mentioned actually mean, have historically referred to them as ‘T-Loops’ or ‘Tele-Loops’ as an individual is required to activate the T (telephone) setting on their aid to use them.

Over the last 10 years of so, aid wearers have also coined the term ‘Hearing Loop’, which is descriptive, easy to remember, has been adopted by most people - and we like it too.

‘Hearing Loop’ is now used by technology advocates, charities and even the IHLMA (International Hearing Loop Manufacturers Association), so I firmly believe it is here to stay.

Confusing eh. But wait, it gets worse!

One of the main hearing loop system components is effectively an ‘amplifier’, but to use that term lumps them in with all the voltage drive amps designed to be used with speakers (and don’t work with Loops).

Ampetronic’s amplifiers are specifically designed to constantly drive current into an inductive loop of copper, so we have dubbed them ‘drivers’ as a differentiator.

So, whilst we could call them ‘Constant Current Audio Frequency Induction Loop System Amplifiers’ if we wanted to be really factual, which may appeal to some people, we believe that ‘Hearing Loop Drivers’ is far catchier and easier to remember for the majority of us.

So why not just change all the content on the Ampetronic to reflect this?

Well, there is a mix of terminology on the website for a very good reason. Not everyone uses the terms ‘Hearing Loop’ and ‘Driver’ yet, so it’s necessary for S.E.O. (search engine optimisation) i.e. it has to be there so we come up in the countless combinations of phrased that are entered into search engines.

I hope that helps, please leave a comment below is you’ve heard other terminology or would like to add to the conversation.

Alistair Knight
Ampetronic Marketing Manager

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