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Assistive Hearing Technology IT and Library Services

Hearing Loop Systems

A Hearing Loop is the most common type of Assistive Listening System. It utilises a loop of wire that surrounds a room, transmitting the sound signal via a magnetic field. Users can connect to it directly with their hearing aids without having to identify themselves or ask for a receiver.

Area coverage Hearing Loops are designed to connect you directly to a sound source, cutting out background noise, reverberation and acoustical distortion that is caused by a building's architecture and the distance to the sound source you wish to hear. There is no limit to how many people can use an area coverage Hearing Loop at the same time.

Infrared (IR) & Radio Frequency (RF) Systems

The main difference between Hearing Loops and IR/RF assistive listening solutions from a user's point of view is that everyone who wishes to use the system requires a special receiver.

IR/RF receivers can either be used with headphones or a neck-loop to connect to a hearing aid. If you know that you will be using a receiver at a venue then you may wish to bring your own headphones to plug into it. To use a receiver simply place the lanyard over your head so that the receiver lies on your chest – in this way it will not become obstructed or lose signal.

Neck-loops create a magnetic field around your head that you can connect to using your hearing aid in the same way as you would with a normal Hearing Loop system. It's advisable to use this option if possible as the gain (volume) and signal to noise ratio will be improved, but you may need to experiment with the position of the loop to get the best out of it.

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Hearing Loop Systems

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Infrared (IR) & Radio Frequency (RF) Systems