How Wireless Assistive Listening Systems Benefit Kids & Teachers
It seems obvious: kids learn better when they can hear their lessons. Classroom PA systems are a great way to overcome acoustical challenges for students with unimpaired hearing.
But how can you improve the classroom experience for students with mild hearing impairment?
Good educational practices- not to mention ADA requirements – stipulate that your lessons should be accessible to everyone, regardless of hearing ability.
Here’s how an ADA compliant wireless assistive listening system can further extend the sound of your voice, and help all of your students make the grade.
What Is a Wireless Assistive Listening System?
A wireless assistive listening system consists of a transmitter that broadcasts your voice and one or more receivers that amplify the audio signal into headphones students can set to personally comfortable volumes.
Although portable transmitter systems exist, their portability tends to add to their cost. For this reason, fixed transmitter wireless systems are a cost effective solution for most classrooms.
Among these systems, you have two basic choices: FM or infrared.
FM Hearing Assistance Systems
The FM system has a major price advantage and is therefore an a good choice for classrooms where interference or privacy isn’t an issue (more on that later).
To use a fixed transmitter system, simply connect the classroom’s sound source (whether it’s a projector or a PA system) to the input jacks of the transmitter. The transmitter will broadcast the signal using an FCC approved frequency set aside for hearing assistance.
Each student’s receiver will pick up the signal and amplify it to the desired volume.
Some receivers can pick up signals on a single channel, while others can be adjusted to find channels that are interference-free.
But if interference is an issue in your school, you may want to consider an infrared wireless system.
IR Hearing Assistance Systems
An infrared assistive listening system broadcasts in a line-of-sight configuration so the signal will not bleed into surrounding rooms.
Therefore, in schools with wireless systems in multiple nearby classrooms, IR systems sidestep the problem of conflicting signals overlapping each other.
Also, since infrared only broadcasts on one wavelength, there’s no need to tune equipment to matching frequencies.
The disadvantage of infrared systems (besides their added cost) is their limited range, especially in rooms where there isn’t a direct line of sight between a radiator and all of the receivers.
Depending on the size and shape of the classroom, you may need to add additional radiators to achieve full coverage.
Choose a Wireless Assistive Listening System that’s Ideal for Your Classroom
These assistive listening systems will bring your classroom up to ADA standards, but they’ll also do something a lot better – get your lessons into the ears of all of your students, regardless of hearing ability.
If you have more questions about assistive listening systems for your classroom or other public venue, call 1-800-263-0112 or email AudioLink’s trained staff of audio experts!