Hearing Assistance Systems
Hearing loss affects 1 in 6 people within the UK and affects 8 million people aged 60 or over, resulting in many people using hearing aids to increase the volume of nearby sounds. Hearing assistance systems can help users in a variety of venues such as houses of worship, schools, colleges, universities, meeting rooms, outdoor sports stadia, lecture theatres, transport hubs, and healthcare venues.
These setups help people with hearing difficulties to differentiate background noise from the sounds they want to hear such as a conversation or a live presentation; this is helped when the sound is physically isolated from the unwanted noise to allow improved intelligibility. This can often be achieved easily if the material is pre-recorded, but there are systems available to help people to hear live conversations, presentations and where good intelligibility can be more challenging.
These fantastic installations are beneficial within crowded noisy venues such as bars and restaurants. If somebody is struggling to hear us in these venues we might get closer to the person we want to talk to and probably speak directly into their ear. Hearing assistance systems work in exactly the same way. A microphone is positioned close to the person speaking with the intention of only reproducing their voice. The microphone is processed, amplified, and delivered directly into the listener's ear.
Hearing assistance systems can take several forms and follow different methodologies such as;
- Induction Loops
- Infra-red arrangements
- FM systems
- Bluetooth setups
Whilst all of these solutions have their places, induction loop systems are by far the most popular, however, our team’s experience and knowledge allows us to provide, design, and install all of the above systems and we work with the establishment to find which arrangement would be best for their customers or visitors. The induction loop approach to hearing assistance is the easiest to manage, requires little maintenance, and is often easier for all as the listening device is a person's own hearing aid and most users understand how to ‘tune-in’ to the induction loop using the T setting.
As a team, we see many proposals and actual installations that are well-meaning in terms of providing some hearing assistance to building users, but very often they have not been fully thought through, and whilst induction loops do have many benefits, they do come with some challenges if not considered properly and critically, they must be designed correctly and properly maintained at regular intervals.
Our reliable team has the training, expertise, and knowledge to design, install and commission these systems properly whilst keeping all of these issues in mind to mitigate risks and promote positive engagement of people with disabilities.
We have a vast array of past projects and knowledge to support our clients in this important area. Our systems can be found in a diverse range of buildings and applications;
- Houses of worship
- Schools, colleges, and universities
- Meeting and conference rooms
- Outdoor sports stadia
- Council chambers
- Police interview rooms
- Theatres and live event spaces
- Lecture theatres
- Transport hubs and on trains and buses
- Lifts, help points and door intercoms
Service and Maintenance
If there is one lesson we learn every day, it is that a little maintenance can go a long way. We regularly attend to faults and failures which could have been averted if the system had been properly and regularly maintained. Small faults and niggles can quickly escalate to full-blown system failures which can then be costly and inconvenient to repair.
Induction loop systems can be easily forgotten about and are likely to present issues to those that need the system, and our experience suggests that issues do not always get reported. It is therefore essential that setups are checked by staff for basic functionality before events and that a more thorough inspection is undertaken on an annual basis.
Many issues with hearing assistance systems come from cut loop cables, microphones being moved and loop amplifiers failing, so we check and recalibrate a range of functions to ensure the system has proper functionality.
Having your systems serviced regularly is important, and we offer all new and existing clients access to our Maintenance and Annual Check-up services, and our team can provide you with periodic maintenance servicing for hearing assistance as prescribed in the IEC60118-4:2006 standard.
Contact Our Team
To discuss how we can help to service your existing systems, or start a conversation on how we can help you please contact us or alternatively you can call us on 01254 377 007.