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Why are assistive listening systems needed?
Why are hearing loops the preferred assistive listening system?
What hearing aids can receive loop broadcasts?

What do loop systems cost? Who sells and installs them?

What are common concerns and FAQs?

Do you have a sound demonstration?

Churches and cathedrals
Theaters, courts, and
auditoriums
Transient venues: Drive through stations,
ticket windows
Airports, train stations
Home TV rooms
Future venues: Offices, cars, phone enhancements

 

 

 

 


What do loop systems cost? And where can I buy one?

North American vendors (see them here) offer equipment that ranges from:

  • small portable and commercial window-counter installations to
  • systems for home TV rooms to
  • larger area systems.

Portable receiving units, akin to those for infrared and FM systems, can be purchased for those without telecoil-equipped aids. But with more and more people receiving sound broadcast by their own hearing aids, there will be a reduced need to purchase, maintain, and replace such units, which helps make loop systems cost-effective.

Some installations, including for many older wooden structures, are easy installations and, with volunteer assistance in running wires, needn't cost much. For optimal performance in institutional settings, professional installation (and design, if needed) is highly recommended. Metal in the floor, walls, and ceilings, for example, may necessitate special system design and extra amplification. Adjacent rooms may require systems designed to prevent spillover of sound from one room to the next.

For optimum results, the wires are typically installed not at ear level but rather either below the listener (under a carpet edge, a baseboard, or a floor) or above the listener. The typical professionally installed loop system is unseen by the audience and does not affect the venue's architecture or appearance.

Home loop systems, some of which put the loop in a thin pad that simply slips under a cushion, are available in the USA from $165 and up. Using a Radio Shack phone connector with built-in on/off switch, most can receive telephone input as well, enabling improved two-eared listening.

Typical costs range from $2000 to $8000 for small to medium-sized worship centers, but more for very large facilities with lots of embedded steel. Most congregations' loop systems will cost no more than what one of their members would pay for a pair of today's high tech hearing aids.

When comparing loop system costs to alternative listening systems, consider what counts: cost per user. (A system that costs slightly more, but has many more eventual users, will be most cost-effective.) Also, loop systems can be used without the additional expense of purchasing and maintaining portable receivers and headsets (although many venues will purchase one or more loop receiver/headset units for possible use by those without suitable hearing aids).