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5 Inspiring Ways to Teach with a Portable PA System

By | Education | No Comments

As all teachers know, managing a classroom is difficult. It takes skill and effort to wrangle and direct a large group of students; sometimes, it might just seem entirely overwhelming. However, more and more teachers are embracing technology to keep students on task and engaged. Some teachers have found success and inspiration from using a portable PA system. Here are 5 creative ways you can use a portable PA system with your students.

1. Direct a field trip

Keeping track of students in a classroom is hard enough. Outside of the classroom, you also have to worry about the possibility of students running off, getting lost, or missing the bus. A portable PA system can let you communicate to your students during a field trip. Your students will be able to hear your directions and know when to be where, even if they aren’t at the same location as you. You can also add helpful information about the place being visited. Tips, stories and even possible pop-quiz questions.

2. Foreign language listening

Learning a foreign language requires listening and comprehension. Most foreign language programs involve audio in some form: to learn pronunciation, to practice comprehension, or as a part of a test. Computer speakers are often quiet and low-quality, and make it hard for students to hear and understand spoken words. A portable PA system can let your students have high-quality, easy-to-hear audio that comes directly from you. You can cater the audio to meet the needs of that day’s lesson plan, and you can teach multiple langauge levels in the same room.

3. Lecturing with a sore throat

When you’re speaking day in, day out, nonstop, for hours a day, your vocal chords are bound to get fatigued. A portable PA system can amplify your voice even when your throat isn’t working at its best. All you have to do is speak at a comfortable voice into the system, and your students will hear you through their headphones as if you were lecturing normally.

4. Playing music during work time

Did you know that there’s research showing music can help with completing tasks? Mozart and Bach are the most commonly cited examples, but, there are lots of classical and ambient musicians that can be soothing and help students concentrate. If you’re assigning work in class, why not use a portable PA system to play music? This way you can control the use of devices and music in the classroom while rewarding your students with the option work with music without disturbing the class.

5. Lessons outside the classroom

Most students would agree: if it’s nice out, they want to have class outside. Who wants to sit at a desk inside when the sun us shinning? However, a gust of wind or a passing cars can easily drown out your voice. A portable PA system, can help you stay audible, and let your students enjoy the sun and the outdoors while they learn.

AudioFetch offers a portable PA system called the FetchExpress that could be the perfect compliment to your lessons this fall. We value education and are proudly offering all AudioFetch products to teachers at 20% August 1 through September 30. We hope to be your partner in education this school year! To learn more just contact us.

California Family Fitness Installs AudioFetch

By | AudioFetch News, Fitness Centers | No Comments

California Family Fitness, a premier family fitness center, has recently installed AudioFetch in all 19 of their locations in the Sacramento region.

AudioFetch helps California Family Fitness meet their goal of providing members and employees of all ages a fun, friendly environment and to promote a healthy lifestyle through state-of-the-art equipment, programs, and activities. Our user-friendly fitness audio solution allows their members to hear TV audio throughout their fitness centers, without being tethered to a cardio machine. This allows them to move through the fitness centers, using various fitness equipment without interrupting their entertainment and impeding their workout flow.

To notify members of the new AudioFetch service, California Family Fitness added signage around the fitness centers and on their website.

To learn more about California Family Fitness, visit https://www.californiafamilyfitness.com/.

If you’d like to learn more about installing AudioFetch in your fitness center, please contact us today by calling 1-844-443-3824 or drop us a line here: http://www.audiofetch.com/contact/.

5 Tips for Tour Guides

By | General, Tour Guides | No Comments

With summer edging up closer and closer, it means that tours are going to get packed. As a tour guide, the goal is to always provide a memorable and informative visit. To make every experience as great as possible for your tour members, here are five quick tips for tour guides to keep in mind this travel season.

1) Create opportunities for better engagement

Often tour guides get so caught up in relaying all the pertinent details and information, they forget about their audience. Tour guides are like storytellers in most scenarios, so it is important to keep everyone’s interest and prevent them from zoning out.

2) Reduce distractions as much as possible
It is inevitable that distractions will pop up – from crying kids to unruly tour attendees. However, keep your calm in these situations and handle these distractions with grace and aplomb. Try to minimize distractions as much as possible, and do not let it steer the course of the tour. As long as you stay in control of the situation, you will be able to keep everyone’s attention.

3) Ensure that everyone is able to pay attention
Both of the above points lead to this – create a tour experience where distractions are minimized and attendees are able to engage with the tour and with others. Ensuring that everyone is paying attention to the tour, and is not disturbed, is really important for the overall experience.

4) Don’t be afraid to be creative
In order to achieve a tour where there is a lot of engagement, and minimal distractions, let your creative side take the lead. Some tour guides like to use little quizzes or other interactive methods, while some use props or other materials to instill a bit of levity in the tours. Either way, if there is a route for creativity, don’t be afraid to take it.

5) Use a good PA system to ensure you’re heard
A tour guide tends to lack a punch if others cannot hear the information being relayed. Make sure that you are using a good and reliable portable PA system to get your message across loud and clear – without any disturbances or interruptions. A low-cost portable PA system with built-in wifi and other capabilities can ensure a smooth and thorough audio experience.

Regardless of whether you’re leading tours inside or outside, walking or riding, with large groups or a small crowd, you’re responsible for creating the tour experience. With these tips, you can create a more enjoyable and memorable one for both your guests and yourself.

Meet our mascot, Rocco!

By | AudioFetch News, Uncategorized | No Comments

Playing fetch with a dog is an exercise in pure joy. The loyalty, expression of enthusiasm and the never ending energy of a dog after a stick is an inspiration for our team. We have built an easy to install product that “fetches” the audio your customers need and sends it to their smart device. We provide each of our clients enthusiastic customer service because we stand behind our technology, and we value the community of loyal customers that follow us on social media. So, when a few clients asked us if the dog in our logo had a name, we thought why not reach out to our community and ask them to help us name our mascot.

From April 10 to May 8, 2017, we asked our followers on Facebook to post a photo of their dog wearing headphones (just like our mascot) along with their suggested name. A panel of judges went through all of the entries and selected the winner.

Congratulations to Stephanie H. the winner of the Sounds N’ Hounds Name Our Mascot competition with her entry of “Rocco.” SOUNDS pretty perfect to us! See her winning photo below.

If you’d like to know more about AudioFetch, contact us! We’d be happy to answer your questions.

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4 Unique, Modern Donations for Churches

By | Churches, Hearing Assistance | No Comments

Churches and other houses of worship thrive on the generous offerings made by their members. But monetary giving during services is just one way that members can support their church. There are several others methods for giving and items that churches need to operate.

If you’re in need other types of donations or would like to expand the ways you accept donations, consider trying one (or all) of these unique and modern donation methods.

1. Mobile or Online Donations

EasyTithe

Image Source: easyTithe

Mobile or online tithing allows your members to give in easy and convenient ways, ways that fit into their busy lives. With software like easyTithe or EZekiel, members can donate at the preferred time and using their preferred payment method, and can even set up recurring donations, all without requiring them to have cash on hand during services.

2. Unused Smartphones & Tablets

Church Donations Blog - Used Smartphones Header

If your members are anything like us, they have a drawer full of old smartphones and other mobile devices that they never use. These devices may not be the latest and greatest, but they still work perfectly. Ask your members to donate these unused mobile devices to the church so you can use them for educational games in nurseries, learning tools on youth retreats and listening assistive devices for elderly and hard-of-hearing members, or for those requiring translation services.

3. Stocks or Mutual Funds

Church Donations Blog - Stocks Mutual Funds Header

Stocks and mutual funds can benefit both the church and the member donating them. Churches can take advantage of increased funding over time if the markets improve, and members can take advantages of tax deductions. Win-win!

Note: You should always consult a tax professional before accepting these types donations to ensure you are getting the most benefit and handling it properly. Encourage your members to also speak with a tax professional.

4. Vehicle Donations

Church Donations Blog - Used Car Donations Header

Selling a used vehicle can be a hassle, and trade-ins aren’t always as valuable as one would hope. Encourage your members to donate their unwanted vehicle to your church to eliminate the headache of selling, and get a tax deduction. You can then fix up the car and sell it yourself, investing the money back in the church, or donate the car to a family in need.

Through unique and modern donation methods, members can provide their support more easily, helping your church operate and grow more efficiently.

3 Reasons Music Increases Productivity

By | Food for thought, Music | No Comments

In today’s workplace, an average employee is productive for only three hours, leaving many business owners searching for simple and inexpensive solutions to keep their teams focused. “Building friendly relationships creates a fertile ground for teamwork,” according to Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert. “That atmosphere engenders more creativity, as people innovate most when they feel supported and the work culture is upbeat and fun.” Keeping your employees smiling isn’t easy, but retention is definitely a money saver.

The cost of finding a new entry-level employee is 30% to 50% of annual salary, for the middle-level it increases to 150%, and for high-level it’s 400%! One solution to retaining strong employees is to keep them happy, and one easy way to keep them happy is to provide them with music. Here are our top 3 reasons why offering your team an internal music option could be just what your business needs:

1) Music Makes People Happy
Dissatisfied employees can cost up to $75 billion yearly. So, it pays (companies) to be happy. Music therapy is more effective than other therapy methods in curing depression. Music also increases breathing rate, and increased breathing is a sign of happiness. It even affects babies as early as five months old. On the other hand, for those that value crying, sad music may help them have a cathartic experience.

2) Music Relieves Stress
Stress costs companies $200 to $300 billion yearly, and music can prevent this. Music can have a tremendously positive effect on reducing stress hormones. When working in a fast-paced or deadline-orientated work environment, music can be just what the team needs to stay focused and relaxed.

3) Music Increases Cooperation
A Cornell University study found that music has an effect on our willingness to cooperate. The study found that upbeat or “pleasant” music made people more willing to cooperate, while unpleasant music had the opposite effect. If your workplace thrives on teamwork (and let’s face it, whose doesn’t?), music can be an inexpensive and effective tool in fostering more unity and increased productivity. The Harvard Business Review found that happiness increased productivity by an average 31%, appreciated sales by 37%, and tripled creativity.

In order to keep everyone humming, so-to-speak, you have to be able to offer your staff multiple music options at once. A wireless audio streaming system can bring more smiles to your team’s work life, and make you the boss of the year!

Offer the Miracle of Hearing to Your Church Congregation

By | Churches | No Comments

Masses of people flock to worship services to seek counseling about the things in life that challenge and worry them. People come ready to be inspired by a power greater than themselves and to interact with others on a path of positivity. Most of all, people come to be uplifted in a world that often leaves us wondering about our purpose and fated course of action.

People experience a grand portion of these services audibly: following the words of the pastor, enjoying the hymns of the choir, talking and sharing with others. Much of the appeal of being in religious spaces is felt through our ears.

Aging adults and the hearing impaired may find it disappointing not being able to fully engage in church services. What might also come as a surprise is that according to general statistics on hearing from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders about 15% of adults of all ages and backgrounds have varying degrees of hearing loss or trouble hearing. In fact, NIDCD estimated that 28.8 million adults in the U.S. might benefit from using hearing aids.

Lack of accessibility in places of worship can lead to a decline in service attendance, especially for those with aging congregations. Loss of hearing is alienating and may lead people to shy away from attending services and interacting with their community like they may have before. Offering only unaided services could lead to the negative outcome of people remaining at home to listen to services on devices like radios, television sets, computers and phones where they can adjust the volume to suit their needs.

Hearing loss can affect anyone and offering accessibility tools to individuals who might need them can set one place of worship apart from another as an open and accommodating community. Besides setting yourself apart as a hospitable place, you will be able to reach your congregations at different stages of hearing ability.

Offer the miracle of hearing with assistive listening devices for churches and help your congregations hear better.

How AudioFetch Stacks Up Blog Post

How AudioFetch Stacks Up Against Other Wireless Audio Streaming Systems

By | AudioFetch News, General | No Comments

We often get asked by new customers how AudioFetch compares to the other wireless audio streaming systems out there. Our Competitive Comparison chart addresses the key features and benefits in a succinct and easy-to-understand manner. However, many businesses need more details to truly perceive the differentiating factors.

Below are specifics on how our products and services compare to others you may be researching:

Channel Options

When it comes to the number of channels and how they’re managed, you have options. AudioFetch Express is a single input unit to accommodate  a single audio source, or for multiple AudioFetch Express units to combine a few input audio sources to up to six channels on the AudioFetch App., we offer a single channel unit. For larger venues, the standard AudioFetch system can be expanded from 4 inputs all the way up to 64 inputs. Each AudioFetch chassis supports 16 inputs, and up to four AudioFetch boxes may be added to the network.Customers  can add 4-input cards in the field when expanding.

Additionally, you are able to label each channel so that users can quickly find “TV1,” “CNN,” “ESPN” or whatever makes sense for your venue.

Inputs & Outputs: It’s What it’s All About

When it comes to audio inputs, you also have options. Each AudioFetch unit allows for three different connectors–analog, optical and digital coax. This gives you the flexibility to install in whatever way works best for your business. It also eliminates the need for costly optical adaptor boxes. Less money, less equipment, less hassle.

Low, Low Latency

AudioFetch has one of the lowest latencies on the market. We wouldn’t claim lowest latencies, and neither should our competitors. That’s because each installation is different with unique circumstances–venue location, structure, your wifi network, surrounding networks, etc.–that could impact latency levels. Ours is low, and we’re more than happy to prove that at your venue. But don’t trust any company claiming lowest latency and be sure to read the fine print if they “guarantee” it.

Marketing So Simple Even Your Dog Could Do It

Regardless of their role–marketing, sales, admin, executive or owner–anyone at your organization can easily understand and manage the AudioFetch marketing portal for customizing the AudioFetch app. We provide some clear-cut instructions with your product, and that’s truly all you’ll need to get in there and create ads, view usage metrics, and download reports. App users tap your custom graphics and message then choose to be connected to either  a phone number, a website, or to send an e-mail.

AudioFetch Marketing Portal

The marketing for other wireless audio streaming products is so complex and cumbersome, they propose you pay them a monthly service fee just to manage it. That’s not a convenience fee, it’s because you’d never be able to use it on your own! We believe your resources, and your budget, can be used more wisely.

We Develop, Manufacture & Support Our Products

We don’t just sell AudioFetch products, we also continue product development of AudioFetch, develop each unit, manage manufacturing and assembly, and support each installation from our offices in Colorado. We do not private or white label any other companies’ technology or equipment. That means, we’re able to provide informed, effective and efficient support throughout the entire process, from installation to ongoing usage. There are no other companies, or board members to negotiate or appease and our design engineers and App developers are our own..

When you order an AudioFetch product, you work with AudioFetch exclusively. And when you work with AudioFetch, we work for you. Exclusively.

Custom-Designed Hardware

AudioFetch  is a custom-designed hardware platform to ensure the fastest, most efficient audio processing. We incorporate a microprocessor-per-input, so scaling multiple inputs is not an issue.

Other audio streaming systems use an off-the-shelf computer. These computers still need to run their normal operating systems in addition to the large software package required to process audio. These single processor units quickly become burdened, resulting in slower and less efficient audio streaming.

Barely Bigger Than a Tissue Box

Our flagship AudioFetch product is small, flexible and at 10”x6”x3”, it’s barely bigger than a tissue box. AudioFetch Lite is just 10”x3”x2” and FetchExpress, our single input, integrated-WiFi model is even more sleek. It’s about the size of a deck of cards (4.25”x2.5”x1”) and can easily be hooked on a belt or tucked into a pocket for hands-free usage.

Mounting Options

Due to the minimal size and weight of all AudioFetch units, AudioFetch can be installed virtually anywhere. However, for cleanliness and convenience, a lot of our customers like to tuck the unit out of the way. For these instances, we offer a single rack mount rail and all necessary hardware to flush-mount the unit within a standard 19 inch 4U rack space. If a unit requires rack-mounting, you should reconsider. This is a liability, not an asset.

Accessories ARE Included

Each AudioFetch unit comes with all necessary audio, ethernet and power cables at no additional cost. And this should always be the case, no matter what company or product you’re purchasing.

Simple, User-Friendly App

Our smartphone app was designed with simplicity and user experience in mind. We aren’t trying to recreate your website within our app with loads of links, information and distracting content. Our app has four main components–Main Menu, Available Channels, Volume Control and Advertisement space.

AudioFetch App Sections

The  simple interface makes the app intuitive for users of any age or tech-savviness. Once your customers download the app, they just need to open it and it will immediately locate the AudioFetch unit and connect. Your staff won’t have to spend their time explaining what it is, how it’s used or how to connect.

If you do want to provide an experience more akin to your website, you can always integrate AudioFetch into your own custom app through our API. Learn how this could benefit your business, and get instructions.

Monitor Usage & Performance

Through The Doghouse, our easy-to-use management portal, you can view usage metrics and download reports to learn how your customers are using AudioFetch to make improvements, and better understand your return on investment.

You can view reports such as Sessions Per Day, Listening Time, Session Length and Top 5 Channels. Access to these reports is provided at no additional charge.

AudioFetch Usage Metrics 2

AudioFetch Metrics

Choosing the right wireless audio streaming system for your business can be a challenge. The more informed you are about the features and benefits will help you make a smart decision. If you have other questions about how AudioFetch stacks up, contact us today!

Using Portable PA Systems for Auctions Blog Header

Using Portable PA Systems for Auctions

By | Auction, General | No Comments

Being heard is one of the most important parts of an auctioneer’s job. But the myriad locations where auctions take place can make that challenging. Uber quiet art galleries, elegant charity events, rowdy cattle yards, vast impound lots–these locations can be distracting for buyers or cause a distraction to other guests.

A portable PA system is an effective and cost-efficient way to ensure that bidders can hear your every word. Following are five other benefits that portable PA systems provide to auctioneers and audiences.

Save Your Money Maker

For auctioneers, your voice is your money maker. Hollering over the din of noisy crowds and background clatter puts a strain on your voice and, if done for long periods of time, can cause vocal fatigue and irrevocable damage. Using a wireless audio streaming systems allows you to speak at a normal volume and still have the audience hear you.

Broadcast Even in Remote Locations

Portable PA systems for local audio streaming create a wireless network. So even if you’re in a location with poor cellular service like a rural stockyard or a cavernous warehouse, your audience can use the integrated wifi to download and access the app for live streaming.

Help Hearing Impaired Audience

Even if the auction is taking place in a quiet location without any distractions or risks of distracting others, your audience may have hearing impairments that require some type of assistive listening device. And while many people have hearing aids, they may have forgotten them, don’t like to wear them or get annoying feedback in certain locations. With wireless audio streaming, all the listener needs is a smartphone or mobile device and headphones.

Minimal Setup and No Wires

Portable PA systems are small and lightweight. They can easily be strapped to a belt or slipped into a pocket for hand-free operation. Very little setup is required. Simply charge the equipment, connect to wifi and configure channels, and you’re ready to go!

If you’d like expand coverage or connect with other audio sources for larger venues or ongoing auction events, you can add a transmitter and receiver, but these are entirely optional.

Affordable with No Monthly Fees

Local audio streaming systems start at just $500 and do not require recurring monthly usage fees. And once you purchase the equipment, it’s yours to use as much as you like.

Ensuring that your audience can hear every word creates a more pleasurable auction experience and helps to increase bids. To learn more about how a wireless audio streaming system can help grow your auctions, contact us today.

Sounds n Hounds Contest Blog Header

Enter our Sounds ‘n’ Hounds Contest!

By | AudioFetch News, General | No Comments

The adorable dog with headphones has been AudioFetch’s mascot since its inception, however, our dog has never had a name. We think it’s about time we give our dog a name, and we need your help! Please submit a name for our dog, along with a photograph of your adorable pup wearing headphones. Because we know our dog isn’t the only one that loves listening to music! If we choose you, not only do you get to name our puppy, but you’ll also receive a $100 PetSmart gift card, so you can treat your puppy to something special.

AudioFetch Mascot

How to Enter:

Head over to our Facebook page, and submit your suggested name and image in the comments.

You can select an image directly from your computer, or submit images from Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for consideration in the contest.

You only need to submit a name and photo. But if you’d like to explain why you think the name is a good fit, or telling us a little but more about your music-loving pup, we’d love to hear more.

The contest runs April 10 through May 7, so you have a full month to come up with a name and snap a great shot of your best friend!

Official Rules:

Before entering, please read the Official Rules. By submitting a name and photo, you agree to all terms and conditions stated in these rules.

Good luck and we can’t wait to hear our mascot’s new name!

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