Many people with a hearing impairment use Assisted Listening Devices (ALDs) to help them hear more clearly.
Some ALDs use low-frequency systems, which are sometimes known as ‘inductive loops’ or ‘induction loops’. They are commonly used in public areas, event spaces such as concert halls, and in some homes and offices.
There has been no change in the regulatory status for these inductive devices. So if you already own and use a hearing device, you can continue using it without making any changes.
However, the rules for manufacturing and selling this type of equipment changed with the new European Radio Equipment Directive (2014/53/EU) (RED). This means that after June 2017, anyone manufacturing, importing or supplying this type of equipment is responsible for ensuring it complies with the requirements of the new directive.
The rules now require that equipment meets a specification set out in a European-wide standard known as a “harmonised standard”, or alternatively are approved by an independent specialist known as a “notified body”.
The European harmonised standard for these inductive systems has not been approved yet, but this is being addressed at European level. In the meantime, manufacturers will need to consult with a notified body before they can sell their products.