Hearing Loop Myths, Learn the Truth


There are many hearing loop myths.

Learn the truth

1. Most modern structures can’t be looped because of rebar and steel.

False, hearing loop success is all about design and installation, knowledge and experience.

This hearing loop myth is the core of all the others. When there is metal draining away the energy, an array design is used to compensate. Most people read ads on other websites and only learn about perimeter loops. This is a wire that only runs around the outer edge of the space. Since they only know about this loop pattern, they only know its problems. They don’t know the solutions. Unfortunately, this is a very common myth and misunderstanding. The most common source of this myth is people who are not educated about hearing loops. The first source of bad information is people who do not know enough about loops.

Lack of knowledege, the second source of bad hearing loop information is people/consultants  who do not understand loops and would rather sell something else because they do not have to know so much. We know one city that paid a consult to advise on hearing loops and he reported that buildings with steel frame and rebar cannot be looped. He just did not know about advanced loop design. He should have first reported he did not have any background himself in hearing loops. The city lost out on two big projects for looping. Now, they want to loop several other facilities in the near future. The number one necessity to successful hearing loops is that the installer have the the knowledge of what to do, and the experience to know which factors have to be considered in the design. The only thing that teachers good installation methods is the experience of working on other installations. Every job teaches something. Every job has some surprise. Sometimes it is a wall with extra fire blocks. Sometimes it is metal in a soffit. Sometimes it is even plaster over metal mesh instead of wood. Experience teaches what to look for in the survey.

Third source of bad hearing loop information, the internet. Sadly, because there are no “truth police” there is a lot of bad information out there, again, from sources that just do not know or want to sell something else. One city found a report that said a hearing loop cost $240,000 and put it in a really nice looking comparison chart. They just didn’t include that this was a 10,000 seat facility and included the new carpet in the price. The $$$ was sort of true in one application, but not true in the general world. The person who found this chart swore by it. It just wasn’t “TRUE”.


2. Hearing loops are subject to electromagnetic interference.

It can be fixed.

If a facility has E.M.I. problems, it is probably also affecting phones, computers and other technology in the building and no one has tracked down the source of the problem. A fully qualified loop installer can track down the source of E.M.I. and advise on how to correct it. It’s usually sub-standard wiring, shared neutrals, wires run to different grounds or neutrals, bad fluorescent light ballasts, bad dimmers or some other specific source. These are easily corrected and should be separate from hearing loop issues.

3. Hearing loops affect pace makers.

False, the magnetic field of a certified hearing loop is way too low to ever affect a pacemaker.

If you know of other problems about hearing loops, email us so we can clarify it. (click to email)