Do you have member of your church who struggle to hear services and readings. Hearing loss effects approximately 1 in 7 people through the UK and this figure is likely to rise. Church hearing loop,Infra-red and FM radio systems can benefit people with mild to moderate hearing loss in situations where it is not possible to be close to the sound source.
There are three main types of assistive hearing systems.Church hearing loop (induction loop) systems are the most popular, due to their low cost and ease of use, but other alternatives such as Infrared and FM Radio system can be better suited in certain circumstances.
Hearing loop (Induction loop) systems
An induction loop system (also known as a church hearing loop system) is an assistive hearing system that enables hearing aid users to listen to services without the excessive background noise that is produced from the hearing aids inbuilt microphone when they increase the volume. The sound source, for example a microphone is plugged into a loop amplifier which feeds a loop cable fixed around the perimeter of the Nave. The audio signal is transmitted from the loop cable and picked up by the coil housed within the hearing aid. The hearing aid user simply switches their hearing aid to the ‘T’ position to hear clearly. Please note, only hearing aids with a T switch will pick up the signal from a induction loop system. Church hearing systems can be integrated into existing sound systems or installed as ‘stand alone’ systems with dedicated wired or wireless microphones.
Infra Red systems provide a clear means for people with varying degrees of hearing loss to hear clearly when attending theatre productions, talks or lessons. By transmitting sound directly to the users headset, background noise can be greatly reduced and sound clarity boosted, enabling people to hear the speaker or performance from anywhere within the room which has direct line of sight to the infra red transmitter. Infra Red systems are often used to assist hearing aid users when church hearing loop systems are not practical due to excessive background electrical interference. They also provide considerably better sound quality for the user. For grade 1 listed buildings they provide a suitable assistive hearing system with minimal installation.
There are two types of Infrared receiver units.
These receivers pickup the infarred singal and transmit the audio (via a built in neckloop)into the users hearing aid.
These are worn just like a normal set up headphones and then therefore benefit anyone with hearing loss.
FM / Radio Frequency Systems
FM Radio frequency systems are a specialist assistive hearing systems for venues which (for various reasons) are not suited to either loop or infrared systems. Much like Infrared systems, transmitter wirelessly link to receiver units which then connect to headphones or hearing aid neckloops. Radio systems are often used where multi channel transmission is required.