Hearing loop system design involves a number of considerations to ensure that the installation provides maximum benefit to its users. Proper design requires training, knowledge and some pre-design testing. Proper installation also requires test equipment to ensure that the installation meets the requirements of the IEC60118-4 standard for audio loops to ensure sound clarity, sound volume and uniformity from one venue to the next.
So what's involved in design?
The following design factors determine the type and size of the amplifier and the layout of the loop antenna.
1. Fixed loop or portable loop?
2. Room size - length and width
3. Room usage - standing area or seating area; fixed seating or moveable seating
4. Room coverage - the whole room or just a part of it
5. Location of existing sound system, if any
6. Adjacent rooms - does loop spillover need to be controlled for privacy reasons
7. Floor construction - wood, concrete, on grade or suspended, amount of reinforcement metal is used. Flooring materials :carpet, tile, ceramic
8. Wall construction - wood or steel studding, baseboard type
9. New construction or retrofit
10. Loop antenna installation options
11. Ambient electrical system noise and mitigation
Also see http://www.ehib.org/emf/WiringProtocol.pdf
Except for very rare situations, the gathering of the data above requires that a site visit and evaluation be made by Better Hearing Solutions personnel.
And what's involved in the installation?
1. Placement of the loop antenna to achieve minimum visibility and uniform sound field coverage
2. Placement of the hearing loop amplifier
3. Connecting to the existing sound system or to an independent source
4. Testing and adjusting loop signal strength for sound volume
5. Testing and adjusting loop frequency response for sound clarity6. System operator training
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