International Hearing Access Committee
Telecoil and Hearing Loop Obsolescence
10-15 years and beyond
The International Hearing Access Committee (IHAC) aims to estimate the timeframe of the transition from
existing telecoil audio transmission via hearing loops (HL) and other assistive listening systems (ALS) to a
platform of digital audio streaming directly into hearing instruments.
Hearing instrument users require continued quality hearing access in public places which is currently
provided by telecoils (TC) and HL/ALS. IHAC recognizes the European Hearing Instrument
Manufacturers Association (EHIMA) has taken serious steps since 2014 to develop a standard hearing
aid profile (HAP) for Bluetooth connectivity.1 This will ultimately permit direct streaming of high-quality
stereo audio signals into hearing instruments. EHIMA admits this process is taking longer than expected.
Consumer organizations,2 while excited about what the future will bring, are concerned that premature
announcements will discourage research in TCs and lead to HL/ALS neglect and abandonment before
such a new technology is fully matured and carefully evaluated by end users.
While an accurate estimate of the timeframe of a worldwide transition from analog to a digital audio
streaming system cannot currently be made, it is reasonable to believe that TC, HL/ALS usage will
continue for the next 10-15 years and beyond.
To read or download the statement, please click here.