Buying a Hearing Aid? You Should Be Told About Bluetooth and Telecoils—It’s the Law

Your audiologist or hearing aid dispenser is required to tell you about telecoils and Bluetooth before you buy your hearing aid. This is thanks to the passage of Washington State Senate Bill 5210 in 2019.

What’s a telecoil?

An option on your hearing aid that allows you to connect to public assistive listening systems and also to other devices, like your phone or your television. Your telecoil lets you connect directly to a hearing loop system. Hearing loops are found in places like theaters, houses of worship, meeting rooms, counters, museums, and transportation systems.What about Bluetooth?

Bluetooth lets you wirelessly pair your hearing aid to a device, like your mobile phone, laptop, iPad, or television.

At this time, Bluetooth has a limited range and doesn’t work well in large venues.

Can I have both?

In some hearing aid models, yes, you can. Both would be ideal in today’s society. Be sure to ask your audiologist or hearing aid dispenser.

Are telecoils and loops old technology?

They’ve been around a while, but no, they’re still widely used. In fact, the telecoil-hearing loop combination is the favorite among most people with hearing loss. It’s universal, discreet, and easy to use, and it provides the sharpest, clearest sound.

Don’t believe us? Read these glowing testimonials from people with hearing loss in Washington State.

Read our handout for more information about telecoils, Bluetooth, and why this law is important.

Advocacy works: The Passage of 5210

Gov. Inslee signs Engrossed Senate Bill No. 5210, April 29, 2019. Relating to notification to purchasers of hearing instruments about uses and benefits of telecoil and bluetooth technology. Primary Sponsor: Guy Palumbo

HLAA-Washington and Let’s Loop Seattle are proud to have helped pass this law. Thank you to everyone who supported it.

The law, which was designed to reduce consumer confusion around hearing aid options and to make sure consumers get the most from their hearing aids, takes effect in March 2021.