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Hearing Assistance for Houses of Worship

Assistive listening devices help parishioners who are hard of hearing.

Williams Sound PPA375 PRO system with 4 receivers Ryan P. asks:

I am on the sound crew for our church. A few of our worshippers are hard of hearing. We’re a small church and we only need 3 or 4 devices. What would you recommend?

AudioMan hears your dilemma and offers the following assistive listening devices for houses of worship in a similar predicament:

Ryan, parishioners, sound engineers and spiritual leaders at houses of worship of just about every size have asked me over the years how to help their parishioners who are hard of hearing.

Fortunately, there are some good solutions available. Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) that help ensure that everyone who comes to worship will be able to hear what’s being said.

Moreover, wireless Assistive Listening Devices are scalable which means they can be used for houses of worship ranging from the very small to the very large without changing the basic set-up.

For your church, I’ve got a two suggestions in mind:

Nady ALD800 RF hearing assistance systemThe Nady ALD800RF hearing assistance system operates on the VHF bandwidth and, with a range of 300-500 feet, it’s perfect for a church of your size. It comes with a transmitter and four receivers with earbuds (you can buy different kinds of headsets and headphones separately). You can connect the transmitter to your existing sound system, and it’s compatible with any wireless microphone system that has a ¼ inch plug.

The receivers work as miniature radios that only pick up what’s coming through the transmitter. You can preset the transmitter and receivers to one of 8 different frequencies, to help avoid static and interference during services and church meetings. They fit easily into a pocket, so your hearing impaired members won’t feel conspicuous using them. I like this system because you can add on as many receivers as you need. You may think that 3 or 4 receivers will do the trick now, but if you need more later on, you won’t need to get a whole new system.

Alternatively if you think you might need a more user-friendly system that packs a little more punch, I’d recommend the Williams Sound PPA375 PRO system, which also comes with a transmitter and four receivers with earbuds (you can buy more receivers as you need them). It’s got a greater operating range – up to 1,000 feet – and you can choose from 10 different FM frequencies, which helps greatly in guaranteeing clear reception. Unlike the Nady system, the receivers are field tunable, meaning your parishioners can switch frequencies in case of mid-service interference.

The Williams Sound system has other advantages. The Williams Sound T35 transmitter is more sophisticated, with a digital LED display, easy-to-use menu controls, and a coaxial antenna for stronger signals. The transmitter is also rackmountable, so you can easily integrate it with your current sound system and, thanks to the antenna, still get a strong signal even if the transmitter and receivers are in different rooms.

Whichever system you choose, your hearing impaired churchgoers will enjoy the experience more once they’re able to hear what’s going on!

If you’d like more options, have a look at our enormous selection of ADA-compliant hearing assistance systems, as well as our variety of headphones and headsets that go with them. Have more questions? Drop us an email or call 1-800-263-0112 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.