ClearSounds | CLA7V2 | FAQ – The ClearSounds CLA7 Neckloop

FAQ – The ClearSounds CLA7 Neckloop
CLA7v2 Neckloop
FAQ
1.
What is a neckloop?
A neckloop is a personal listening accessory worn around the neck and connected to a sound source.
The neckloop converts the input sound signal to electromagnetic waves that radiate from the wire loop
placed around the individual’s neck. These waves are detected and converted into sound signals by an
induction coil (termed the "telephone coil more commonly called the t-coil") in the hearing aids. The
electromagnetic waves are then reconverted back into sound by the hearing aid and delivered through
the hearing aid circuitry to the audio speaker in the hearing aid. The person using a neckloop hears the
sound directly through their hearing aid(s).
2.
Is there more than one type of neckloop?
Yes, there are two basic types of neckloops; an audio neckloop and a hands free neckloop like the
CLA7V2.
Audio neckloops are for listening only. The CLA7V2 neckloop is designed for two way conversations,
both listening and speaking. The CLA7V2 also has a microphone for outgoing conversation and is
designed for use with cellular phones, corded & cordless phones. In addition, with the 3.5mm adapter
included with the CLA7V2, it can also be used as a high performance audio neckloop.
3. How do I tell the difference between the two?
Audio only neckloops have 3.5mm jack and are passive devices which means they are not powered by
batteries. They take power from the sound source with which they are used such as a SoundWizard or
Pocketalker personal listening system or a FM Receiver or certain telephones with 3.5mm headset jacks
which are available on many of the phones in the California program. Audio only headsets cannot be
used with cellular phones or cordless phones. Most audio only neckloops use 3.5mm monaural
connectors since neckloops cannot separate sounds between left and right.
The ClearSounds CLA7V2 Hands Free neckloop has a smaller 2.5mm jack, a battery power source, and
a microphone for outgoing speech. The 2.5mm jack is a de facto standard that most often identifies that
the device has hands free capabilities (two-way conversations). The battery power source is important
because cell phones and cordless phones do not provide enough power at their 2.5mm connectors to
enable use of a neckloop. The CLA7V2 uses two easy to install AAA batteries.
4.
What are the benefits of the neckloop?
Sound Quality. The primary benefit of a neckloop is the sound quality. The sound signals delivered
from a neckloop go directly into the hearing aid and the hearing aid converts those signals into the
audible sounds that a person hears best. There is no or minimal background noise so the person hears
only the sound they are trying to hear and that sound is shaped to match their specific hearing ability by
the hearing aid.
Binaural Listening. If the user is wearing two hearing aids and both have t-coils, then the user has the
ability to get sound into both ears. Studies have shown that binaural input increases speech recognition
and understanding by more than 50% in most people. This is especially important for people with severe
hearing loss.
5. How is the ClearSounds CLA7V2 neckloop different?
The CLA7V2 has several features that make it unique and usable in many different situations. It is a
multi-functional neckloop.
a. Multiple Uses: The 3.5mm adapter allows the CLA7V2 to be used as an audio only neckloop
for use with many of the telephones provided in the California Program, and with other
devices that have 3.5mm audio output connectors such as personal listening devices and FM
receivers and with music sources like CDs players and iPods (may also require a mono to
stereo adapter). The standard 2.5mm jack allows the CLA7V2 to be used as a hands free
device with cordless phones that have 2.5mm connectors, with cellular phones the have
standard 2.5mm connectors or adapters, and with the ClearSounds Freedom Phone.
b. Amplification: For of a variety of reasons, many t-coils in hearing aids are not as efficient as
they could be therefore it is very important that the neckloop compensate for that inefficiency
by being able to provide more signal (amplification). Some telephones with 3.5mm
connectors, cellular and cordless phones, and other sound sources may not generate a
powerful enough signal from the connector to drive the loop. The ability to amplify the sound
at the neckloop is very important.
c. Efficient: The CLA7V2 uses a multi-strand wire for its neckloop. A multi-strand neckloop wire
is more efficient in power consumption and improves the signal strength and signal quality
delivered thru the neckloop.
d. AAA Battery Power: Unlike other available neckloops, the CLA7V2 uses easy to find, low
cost and easy to install AAA batteries. Other neckloops use zinc-air hearing aid batteries
that are very difficult to install, are expensive, have low power capacity and lose power
regardless of whether the loop is in use or not.
e. Hands free operation: When used with a ClearSounds Freedom phone, a cellular phone, or
a cordless phone, the CLA7V2 functions like a hands free headset allowing the consumer to
listen to incoming voice and to talk without having to hold a handset. This is often better than
a speakerphone when the caller wants a private conversation.
6.
Who can use a neckloop?
Hearing aid users and Cochlear implant users. In order to use a neckloop the person must have a
hearing aid or cochlear implant equipped with a T-coil and the t-coil must be turned on. Usually on the
hearing aid or cochlear implant there is a “T” switch or a ‘M/T” switch to turn on the hearing aid. If the
person does not have a t-coil equipped hearing aid the neckloop is not a benefit.
7. Do all hearing aids and cochlear implants have T-Coils?
No they do not. The consumer must specifically ask that a T-Coil be put into the device. Some of the
very small hearing aids do not have enough room in the hearing aid shell to install a T-Coil. Most other
hearing aids can accept a T-Coil. The BTE, Behind-The-Ear, types of hearing aids most commonly have
T-Coils. Newer cochlear implants have BTE type processors that have T-Coils. Sometimes it is possible
for a hearing aid without a T-Coil to be retrofitted with a T-Coil. The consumer would need to check with
their audiologist or hearing aid dispenser regarding the status of their device and t-coils.
8. My hearing aid has an “auto-switch” t-coil; will it work with a neckloop?
Most likely it will not unless you can manually turn on the t-coil. Auto-switch t-coils require a strong
magnetic field to turn on the t-coil. Older corded phones had powerful magnets in the speakers and they
worked fine with the auto-switch t-coils. Newer corded phones, cell phones and cordless phones use
speakers that have a small magnet and these do not turn on most of the auto-switch t-coils. Most hearing
aid manufacturers ship a magnet with the hearing aid to help the user turn on their t-coil. The neckloops
use electromagnetic fields which are not magnetically strong enough to turn on the auto-switch t-coils.
You need to discuss your options with your hearing aid provider.
9. Sometimes the sound thru my neckloop is distorted, why? Can I make it clearer?
Yes you can easily correct that situation. All sound can become distorted if it is amplified too much. The
CLA7V2 has a 30dB amplification capability and many devices do send amplified sound thru the
connectors used with the CLA7V2. If the sound is distorted, it means that you have too much
amplification and you need to adjust either the volume control on the CLA7V2 or on the telephone or
sound device you are using. If you have hearing aids with a volume control you may have to adjust the
hearing aid as well. Fixing the distortion is easy. Just adjust the volume controls to a lower level.
If the sound source is sending distorted or garbled sound, there is nothing the neckloop or any other
device can do to fix that. If you are using a cordless phone or a cellular phone you may be at the edge of
the range of the phone and the signal gets fuzzy. Telephones are not high fidelity devices and
conversations are not always clear. Try hanging up and making a new call; the new call will most likely
go thru a different set of connections and may clear up.
10. How do I know when the batteries in the CLA7V2 are low?
The green LED light in the top of the CLA7V2 will turn amber or red telling you it is time to change
batteries.
11. Can I use rechargeable batteries?
Yes, you can. Rechargeable AAA batteries are fine for use with the CLA7V2. There is no recharging
capability built into the CLA7V2 so you will have to use an external charger. The beauty of the CLA7V2 is
that if you are using rechargeable batteries and your batteries run low while away from your home or
office, you can go to virtually any corner store and purchase AAA batteries that will work fine.
12. How long will the AAA batteries last?
That depends on how much the neckloop is used, how much amplification is used and the type of
batteries used. These are variables that affect how much power is used or is available. In average use
with average batteries, we find that the CLA7V2 will run for approximately 200 hours.
13. I am in my car using the CLA7V2 with my cell phone and I get a buzzing sound, what is it?
Unfortunately, the t-coil in your hearing aid or cochlear implant and the neckloop itself will pick up
electromagnetic interference (EMI) generated by your car. The amount of EMI generated varies from car
to car based on amount of electronics in the car and if the car manufacturer tried to shield the EMI
generators. Airplanes can also generate a lot of EMI. If the t-coil in the hearing aid is not shielded and
the EMI is very strong, the amplification in the CLA7V2 may not be able to override the interference. In
most cases communication is possible with the buzzing a tolerable nuisance. EMI can also be generated
by computers and other electrical devices. If you are using your neck loop in proximity of electrical
devices you may experience a buzzing. To correct move away from the device. If you are using a digital
cell phone or a digital cordless phone they may also generate EMI that is picked up by the t-coil. Keep
these devices away from your hearing aids.
14. Is there something special about the 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter supplied with the CLA7V2?
Yes there is. Because the CLA7V2’s 2.5mm jack is designed to have connection points for audio input
and microphone output, the jack looks like a typical stereo jack but it is not. The two black bands on the
2.5mm jack separate connection points for ground, microphone, and audio output. Standard stereo jacks
have the two black bands separate connection points for ground, left audio output, and right audio output.
If a standard 2.5mm to 3.5mm stereo adapter was used, on of the connectors would short out the
microphone in the CLA7V2 and with extended use, would damage the microphone. It is important that if
the CLA7V2 is to be used with an audio device requiring a 3.5mm jack, that only the adapter supplied
with the CLA7V2 be used. It is a special adapter that connects the audio output connections and
bypasses the microphone connection.
15. Will the CLA7V2 work with the cell phones that have stereo music capabilities?
Yes, but you have to use an adapter that makes the 2.5mm connector a standard connector. These
adapters are usually available from the cell phone manufacturer. Unlike the standard 2.5mm connector
described above, the stereo jacks have three black bands that provide for connections to ground,
microphone, left speaker, and right speaker. Trying to use a standard 2.5mm jack with these connectors
results in either the microphone not working, the loop not getting audio output or both. Make sure that
you check with the cellular company to make sure that the cell phone that you pick has a standard 2.5mm
mono connector or you get an adapter to make the connector mono. A mono connector works with jacks
that have two black bands on the jack.
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