Convention centers, conference rooms, theaters, schools, churches and numerous other public venues use inductive hearing loop technology to allow their guests to hear better during presentations and services.
Hearing loops have helped millions of people and are a great solution that does not require any additional devices for the listener, besides a hearing aid.
But what about the people that don’t have (or maybe even refuse to wear) a hearing aid?
And what about the practical limitations of installing hearing loop wiring in every room?
A wireless audio streaming system can be more effective, efficient and affordable solution for venues and guests alike.
These systems work by using encoding audio to be distributed to phones and tablets via WiFi. Individuals hear through an app downloaded to their smartphone or tablet.
Here are the top reasons to choose a wireless audio streaming system over an induction loop system.
1. No Hearing Aid Required
Oftentimes, people don’t wear hearing aids when they should.
According to research by The International Journal of Audiology, the reasons are many:
- they forget to carry it with them
- it’s too uncomfortable to wear
- it creates too much feedback
- it’s too expensive to purchase
- or it makes them feel old
Whatever the reasons, not wearing a hearing aid when you need one can lead to feelings of isolation and missing out on important conversations and connections.
With wireless audio streaming, all the listener needs is a smartphone or mobile device–something nearly everyone has already and never leaves home without–and a pair of headphones.
The listener simply downloads and launches the app, connects to local WiFi and they can start listening immediately.
For a hearing loop, the listener would press a button on their hearing aid to access the telecoil program.
With wireless audio streaming, they only need to connect their smartphone to the hearing aid via Bluetooth, a feature supported by most of the major hearing aid manufacturers, including Oticon, Phonak, GN ReSound, Widex, etc.
2. No Wires, No Mess, No Hassle
The headaches of installing a hearing loop can be prohibitive. Wiring must be installed in every room to be useful and effective.
This process can be very time and labor intensive, causing disruptions to normal business flow for days and sometimes weeks. Once installed, these wires are not easily moved if there’s an issue with signal, or they need to be relocated for other reasons.
A WiFi based system that streams audio locally requires no wires, and installation involves simply plugging in the equipment and connecting to WiFi. It really is that easy!
3. Minimal Equipment
A single, small piece of equipment is all that is required for WiFi-based local audio streaming systems assuming the location already has a WiFi network.
Coverage can be changed, or scaled, by simply adding, or relocating, sufficient access points to ensure WiFi coverage totally encompasses the audience.
4. Better Signal
The hearing loop signal’s strength is confined to the loop, and decreases dramatically outside that area.
They’re also known to have interference issues from other electronic devices, such as computer monitors, television screens or fluorescent lights, causing static or humming sounds.
With wireless audio streaming, as long the end user is connected to the same local WiFi network being used to broadcast the audio, they’re able to hear the signal clearly with no interference.
5. Lower Installation Cost and No Monthly Fees
Depending on the size and construction of the venue, installation of hearing loop systems can be difficult.
You’ll need to pull up carpeting, tiling or baseboards (which may then need to be replaced), and metal in walls or floors can oftentimes create interference. Installation usually requires costly specialists, can be quite messy and, takes some time.
Compare those challenges to WiFi-based local audio streaming systems, which are essentially plug and play. And depending on which system you choose, you only pay for the equipment, there are no recurring monthly usage fees.
Wireless audio streaming systems are the revolutionary new way to provide hearing assistance in public venues.
They save time and money, and provide a simple and enjoyable experience for guests.
If you have any questions about these systems be sure to leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!
Tim DePumpo is the CEO and founder of AudioFetch, a technology company that helps people hear better in public spaces with wireless audio streaming equipment and mobile applications.