T-coils Expand the Functionality of your Hearing Aids


Before selecting an assisted listening device, it is important to know if you have a t-coil (or "telecoil") in your hearing aids.  A t-coil is a very small copper coil that is an option in most hearing aids and built into all cochlear implants.  It was originally designed to help hear on the telephone, but now can be used to interface with different assisted listening devices. 

Ask your audiologist or hearing instrument specialist if you have a t-coil.  Be sure it has been programmed and you know how to turn it on.  It must have a manual control to work with an hearing loop system.  Automatic t-coils will not work in a room with a hearing loop.


The t-coil may be turned on by a switch or the program button.  Usually there is the option of choosing to turn on just the t-coil (microphone is off) or to turn on the t-coil and keep the microphone on (often labeled T+M on t-coil switch).

A t-coil functions like a tiny speaker in your ear.  It has many advantages:

  • When entering a facility with a hearing loop, simply turn on your t-coil and the sound will be transmitted wirelessly into your hearing aids.
  • When the t-coil is on and the microphone is off, background noise is greatly diminished and the sound coming from the loop is amplified.
  • The sound picked up by the t-coil is processed by the hearing aid and adapted according to your particular hearing loss.
  • You can control the volume by adjusting the volume of your hearing aid.
  • There is no need to check out a listening device, your hearing aids become your listening device.
  • You can also use your t-coil equipped hearing aids to connect to other audio sources with the use of a neckloop.  The neckloop can be plugged into a personal amplifier, an MP3 player, computer, or telephone.
  • T-coils improve hearing on hearing-aid-compatible phones.

Say good-bye to headphones and earbuds!


No more trying to cram an earbud in on top of your hearing aid.  No more feedback from headphones placed on top of your hearing aids.  No more removing your hearing aids (and risking losing them!) in order to put on a headphone.  No more using unhygienic headphones in theaters that have been in someone else's ears!   Find out if you have a t-coil and learn how to use it!

To learn more about t-coils, see "The Telecoil - Connecting Directly to Sound"  and "T-coils 101."

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