There is a range of assistive listening technologies available. Selecting the right system depends on a number of factors such as the available space, where users will be sitting or standing, and how sound needs to be amplified.

Expert advice is essential to achieving a high-quality result.

Hearing Loops

Also known as inductive loops, hearing loops deliver sound from a source, such as a microphone, directly to a user’s hearing aid, cutting out distracting background noise.

One to One Hearing Loops

One to one hearing loops allow customers with hearing loss to enjoy clear conversation with members of staff. This can be anywhere face-to-face communication takes place, including:

Banking Counters
Banking Counters
Ticket Offices
Ticket Offices
Till Points
Till Points
Reception Desks
Reception Desks

Large Area Loops

Large area hearing loops transmit music and speech to hearing aid users in large venues such as:

Meeting Rooms
Meeting Rooms
Places of Worship
Places of Worship
Lecture Halls
Lecture Halls
Theatres
Theatres

Integrated Hearing Loops

This type of hearing loop is built into unmanned machines that deliver important or safety messages, such as:

Self Service Check Outs
Self Service Check Outs
ATM Machines
ATM Machines
Public Transport
Public Transport
Lifts / Elevators
Lifts / Elevators

Infrared (IR)

Infrared systems use light waves to carry sound. Transmitters flood the space with invisible IR light and users pick up an audio signal using an IR receiver.

These systems are ideal for venues where confidentiality is important as the sound waves can’t travel through doors, walls or glass. IR systems are also perfect for venues where users move between rooms that have different sound sources.

Court Rooms
Court Rooms
Cinemas
Cinemas
Meeting Rooms
Meeting Rooms
Classrooms
Classrooms

Radio Frequency (RF)

Radio frequency systems use wireless radio waves to transmit sound. Users listen to the sound via a receiver unit with headphones or, if they wear a hearing aid, via an inductive neck loop.

Unlike IR systems, signals can be transmitted through walls, glass partitions, ceilings or other obstacles. They can be used in:

Arenas / Stadiums
Arenas / Stadiums
Conference Room
Conference Room
Museums (Tour Guiding)
Museums (Tour Guiding)
Construction Sites
Construction Sites

Window Intercom Systems

Clear barriers installed for infection control or security can cut sound levels by up to 15db.

Window intercoms transfer speech from one side of the partition to the other, removing the need for raised voices. These are especially important in settings like hospitals or banks, where confidentiality and dignity need to be maintained.

Banking
Banking
Healthcare
Healthcare
Retail
Retail
Ticket Offices
Ticket Offices

To consider…

There are other assistive listening technologies being developed, such as Bluetooth, but these are some way from being considered in the same light as the options above.

The International hearing Loop Manufacturers Association (IHLMA) has a complete guide to assistive listening technologies, available to download from its website.

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