Infrared (IR) Systems

Infrared diagram with transmitter on wall, speaker, and a small audience. On the other side of the room's wall, there is an ear with a slash mark symbolizing that a person cannot hear outside of the room.

Graphic credit: Assistive Listening HQ

Infrared Systems (IR), use invisible infrared light waves to transmit speech or music from a public address or sound system to an IR receiver. This technology is line-of-sight and cannot be used outdoors during daytime due to being affected by light. The line-of-sight gives more security than other systems.

Please also see FAQ for assistive listening systems (FM, IR, hearing loops)

Loaned Equipment

All users need to borrow a receiver from the site/facility and

  1. If the person doesn’t have hearing aids or hearing aids without a telecoilHeadphones or earbuds
  2. If the person has hearing aids with a telecoil A neckloop

See “how to use” for a video and more information.

Location Matters

  • For good user reception, the emitter needs to be optimally positioned for all users and may be mounted on the wall or in the ceiling. 
  • Users – sit where you have a good sight line so you won’t experience interference or receive no sound signal at all.


Neckloops must be compatible with receivers and preferably ordered from the same manufacturer that makes the receiver. If neckloops are ordered retroactively – or of a different make as the receiver, there may be a mismatch causing the neckloops to be underpowered and thus not provide a strong enough magnetic signal for the telecoil to pick up, and when the user increases the volume setting on the receiver, it can cause distortion.


Troubleshooting IR and FM systems (this website)