How Hearing Loops Help Music Venues Provide A Better Listening Experience For Guests With Hearing Difficulties
Whether you own a club or a concert hall, it's likely that some of your guests have difficulty hearing. Assistive listening devices are typically not designed to amplify sounds coming from speakers on a far-away stage, which can result in poor sound quality and a muddled listening experience.
Thankfully, music venues can help guests who are hard of hearing by installing a hearing loop at their venues. These systems convert sound to magnetic waves, which are then received and amplified by telecoils located within assistive listening devices. Hearing loops are inexpensive to install and provide a much better listening experience for guests who have difficulty hearing. To learn more about how your venue can create a better experience for guests who are hard of hearing, read on.
Why Do People Who Have Hearing Aids Struggle to Hear at Music Venues?
Hearing aids and cochlear implants are typically calibrated to amplify conversational speech. They're built with the assumption that the sound the listener wants to hear is coming from a speaker slightly in front of the listener and is at a conversational volume. Unfortunately, this means that hearing aids usually offer poor performance in music venues.
The sound of a band playing is much louder than speech, and larger venues often have echoes that make it difficult for a hearing aid to correctly process the sounds coming into its microphone. The end result is that performances in a music venue often sound muddled for people who are wearing hearing aids.
How Does a Hearing Loop Work?
Hearing loops produce magnetic waves that are received by a telecoil within a hearing aid or a cochlear implant. All cochlear implants and most hearing aids have telecoils inside of them. When a hearing aid is switched into telecoil mode, its normal sound-amplifying function is turned off. Instead, it begins to receive the magnetic waves emanating from your venue's hearing loop system. The waves are converted into sound, which is then broadcast from the hearing aid speaker directly into the listener's ear.
A hearing loop provides a much better listening experience for your venue guests who are hard of hearing — the sound is clearer and much less muddled compared to listening to a band using a hearing aid's sound amplification mode.
How Do You Install a Hearing Loop at Your Music Venue?
Hearing loops connect to your venue's existing sound system. A loop driver picks up sound coming from microphones on the stage and then creates a magnetic wave pattern matching the sound. The loop driver is connected to a loop wire, which is a metal wire that runs around the perimeter of your music venue. Loop wires are typically hidden under carpeting, in an indentation in the flooring or in the walls. The loop wire broadcasts the magnetic waves produced by the loop driver. These waves are received by the telecoils located in assistive listening devices and converted back to sound.
Overall, hearing loops allow music venues to better serve guests who have difficulty hearing performances. They provide excellent sound quality, and they're more convenient for guests and venues to use than other assistive solutions, such as FM broadcasters. If you're interested in having a loop installed in your venue, contact a hearing loop installer in your area — they'll help you connect the loop driver to your sound system and install the loop wire necessary to broadcast the magnetic signals throughout your venue.