Churches and houses of worship around the globe use inductive hearing loop technology for assistive listening, allowing their members to hear better during services. A hearing loop is a wire that hugs the perimeter of a room and is plugged into an amplifier. That amplifier creates a magnetic signal, which is then sent to the T-coil in a hearing aid, providing a clearer audio without interference.
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 refuse to wear a hearing aid? And what about the business implications of installing wiring in every room?
There’s a better solution for churches and members alike. It’s wireless audio streaming. Below are four reasons that wireless audio streaming systems are better than hearing loop systems for assistive listening devices in churches:
No Hearing Aid Required
Oftentimes, people don’t wear hearing aids when they should. The reasons are many: They forgot it at home; 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, which nearly everyone has already and never leaves home without, and headphones.
No Wires, No Hassle
For businesses, the costs associated with installing wiring in every room and the time- and labor-intensive process of installing the loop wire are often prohibitive. A system that streams audio locally requires no wires, and installation involves simply plugging in the equipment, connecting to wifi and configuring channels. It really is that easy!
A single piece of equipment is required for local audio streaming systems. If you’d like expand coverage or connect with other audio sources, you can add a transmitter and receiver, but these are entirely optional.
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. Therefore, installation usually requires specialists, can be quite messy and takes some time.
Compare that to local audio streaming systems, which are essentially plug-and-play. And with a system like AudioFetch, you only pay for the equipment, we do not charge any recurring monthly usage fees.
Want more tips and info on hearing assistance for churches? Check out our blog “How to Make Your Church More Accessible.”