A telecoil, t-coil or T-program are all terms used to describe the small copper coil which serves as the hearing loop wireless receiver. Telecoils are installed in most hearing aids (the telecoil function is an option when choosing hearing aids) and built into all cochlear implants.
The telecoil picks up the electromagnetic signal from a sound source. The signal is then processed by the hearing aid or cochlear implant, then passed on to the auditory nerve as sound.
The sound heard by the individual is already corrected by the hearing aid to match the wearer’s needs. The telecoil is only activated when the telecoil program is selected by the user.
Many hearing aid users are not aware their hearing aid has a telecoil option because it has not been turned on by the audiologist or hearing aid dispenser. People purchasing hearing aids for the first time do not know to ask for the telecoil feature. The telecoil feature was initially implemented to assist with telephone usage with a traditional landline telephone. However, many found it awkward to utilize that feature and sought other telephone solutions and with cell phone usage, the telecoil feature lost popularity. With new advancements in telecoil and hearing loop applications, the telecoil is now a must-have for hearing aids.