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Hearing Loop Systems what are the options?

Fixed & Portable Solutions

Hearing loop systems what are the options?

They are far simpler than many people think, Hearing loops, or induction loops as they are sometimes called, utilise technology which has been around for several decades, but the system which connects the dots is somewhat more pioneering.

The effect on the lives of those with hearing problems can be truly transformative, allowing people with hearing impairment to go about their daily lives, whether at work or play, without interruption.

Despite the many benefits of installing a hearing loop system, the usage of these simple systems is still poorly understood.

Given a large number of people within the UK who suffer from hearing problems are around 11 million.

Ensuring provisions are in place within your business is essential.

As is training staff to understand how to use Hearing loop systems, this represents a real opportunity to create a more inclusive environment which works for everyone.

There are two main types of hearing loop system available to buy

  1. Fixed hearing loops
  2. Portable hearing loops

We’ve created this quick guide to understanding what they are and how to differentiate them.

Being empowered on the key aspects is a natural benefit to making an informed choice when deciding which system best suits your needs.

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How Do Hearing Loop Systems Work?

The most popular of all assisted listening devices remains the hearing aid, and hearing loop systems work in conjunction with this device to help ensure everyone can hear what they need to when they need to.

All hearing loop or induction loop systems operate using the same basic principles.

First, they pick up on the electromagnetic field which is generated by a telephonic earpiece, and this signal is converted to be audible for hearing-aid wearers after radiating in a ‘loop’ around a specific space.

Anyone with hearing impairment can tune their hearing aid to this signal by adjusting its frequency.  

The range of environments which hearing loop systems can be used within is almost endless.

In essence, anywhere there are people, a system such as this can help to make life both simpler and more enjoyable.

For business premises, they can also provide a healthy boost to productivity and efficiency, ensuring colleagues always hear one another, and customers are never left in the dark about what’s being communicated to them.

Each induction loop has four main elements;

  1. The audio source itself, which is typically either a microphone, television or radio
  2. The amplifier,
  3. The loop (which helps transmit the signal around the space)
  4. The hearing aid which catches the signal

Fixed Hearing Loop Systems

Fixed hearing loop systems are a fantastic way of installing a permanent, wired induction loop system into a set space.

They are great for use in spaces where you know there will always be a need for them, as the ‘fixed’ nature of this variety means they are there for the long run!

For businesses where there is an established point of contact with a customer who may have hearing difficulties this system is ideal, some examples of these businesses would be:

  • Customer service desks
  • Checkouts
  • Ticketing kiosks
  • Retail shops
  • Post offices
  • Banks
  • Petrol stations
  • Serviced office blocks
  • Sport centres

These are just a few who can benefit from this form of a system for the sheer ease of use and simplicity they can provide.

Installing a fixed system means there is no fussing with moving the hearing loop around.

A fixed system means that you’ll never lose it either, and it’ll always be there reliably and efficiently doing the job it is there to do.  

In addition, fixed systems require far less maintenance and tend to power on for longer than their portable counterparts.

However, some businesses may find this static device difficult to handle.

The need for an agiler zonal system means that the portable alternative could prove more beneficial for making sure everyone is understood in every area of the company premises.

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Portable Hearing Loop Systems

The primary benefit of a portable hearing loop system is its flexibility.

This makes them particularly valuable for companies which have clear points of contact with customers who may need them anywhere over a wider area, rather than in one single fixed point.

Whilst a fixed system is static and usable only within a fixed space, a portable system can, as the name suggests, be moved around when needed to cater to different locations such as:

  • Meeting rooms
  • Workstations
  • Board meetings
  • Auditoriums
  • Training rooms
  • Recreational break out rooms
  • Cafeterias

Some of the best models on the market can be used as either your standalone system or linked up to a public-address facility.

Their flexibility tends to make the unit itself smaller, but this can also present a few problems with maintenance.

The batteries may need to be changed on a more regular basis, requiring significantly more upkeep than fixed hearing loop systems.

In addition, you will have to ensure your portable system is not transported around needlessly or left in a location where those who need it cannot access it.

Training in using the portable system will be essential for anyone who would use the portable hearing loop, ensuring they remain adept at using it in a variety of different scenarios will help improve your staff’s communication with your customers.

However, with careful planning, these issues can be overcome.

This allows you to reap the benefits of this handy portable unit and making it the hearing loop system of choice for many businesses both large and small.

Choosing The Right System For You

Ultimately, choosing your hearing loop system is dependent upon the needs and requirements of your business

Having some form of system installed is a must, to avoid flouting the Equalities Act of 2010.

This act states that companies must make provisions for the hearing impaired, and as companies strive to become ever more diverse and the drive for everyone to be understood grows, so does the call for premises to ensure they meet these basic requirements.

When making your decision, be sure to review the information available carefully and pick the option which is best suited to your venue, workforce and clientele.

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Book A Consultation With The Specialists At HearingLoop.co.uk

Still unsure which hearing loop is right for you?

At HearingLoop.co.uk, we have the skills, experience and know-how to help guide you in choosing your new induction loop, helping to make life easier for the hearing impaired and keeping you on the right side of UK legislation.

Learn more about hearing loops and hearing aids download our FREE guide or contact us for a no-obligation consultation, book this here.

Mark Slatter

Mark Slatter is a director and chartered Manager (CMgr MCMI, Level 6) with 18+ years of expertise. He holds a BA with Honours in Management. His LinkedIn Profile