Difference between Induction Loop Systems, Digital FM Solutions, Infrared Solutions

Differences in loop systems

Induction loop systems use electromagnetic fields to transmit audio from a microphone or other audio source to a hearing aid or cochlear implant. The hearing aid or implant must have a Telecoil or often referred to as T-coil, a particular type of receiver, to pick up the audio signals. Installation is required during construction to embed the loop underneath the floor finishing or above the ceiling panels, whichever meets the customer's requirements. Therefore coordination is important between different parties to ensure successful installation.

 

Digital FM solutions use a 2.4 GHz global frequency standard for wireless broadband communication to transmit audio. The audio source is connected to a transmitter, which transmits the audio to a receiver in a portable neckloop that listeners would have to wear to be able to hear. The receiver can be a portable device. Digital FM solutions are portable and do not require installation. However, the building owner has to assign manpower to issue and collect back the receivers and neckloops after every event. Moreover, it is required to sanitise the neck loop and charge the receivers after each use.

 

Infrared solutions use infrared light to transmit audio. The audio source is connected to a transmitter, which transmits the audio to a receiver, similar to the Digital FM Solution, and in the form of a neck loop that is portable and listeners would have to wear to be able to hear. The receiver is portable; however, the transmitters would require to be installed. Infrared requires a line of sight; if there is a lot of natural light, this might affect the coverage. However, the building owner has to assign manpower to issue and collect back the receivers and neckloops after every event. Infrared solutions are less affected by interference from other sources but require a direct line of sight between the transmitter and receiver.

 

Overall, Induction loop systems are the most cost-effective and do not require extra manpower to collect  receivers or neckloops in every event. Digital FM solutions need a receiver but do not require installation. Infrared solutions are less affected by interference but require a line of sight.

 

What should I choose for my space?

 

The best option for you will depend on the specific requirements, the environment in which the public will use the system, and the budget available. We recommend consulting a professional knowledgeable about assistive listening systems to determine the best option for your situation.

 

The Hearing Enhancement System by the Listening Lab is the most professional HES distributor and sole distributor of Ampetronic Induction Loop Systems in Singapore. Check the installation process we did at NUS University Cultural Centre (UCC) and OWWA School. To learn more, you may send your questions through our enquiry form, give us a call at +65 6817 5100 or send us an email to hes@listeninglab.sg.

Featured Projects

National Skin Centre

National Skin Centre

National Skin Centre Featured Project The Singapore National Skin Centre (NSC) stands as a beacon of dermatological excellence in the…


One Punggol

One Punggol

One Punggol Featured Project Nestled in the northeastern of Singapore lies the vibrant district of Punggol, often hailed as the…


Installing Induction Loop Systems in Singapore

Conference Room

An Induction Loop System, or a Hearing Loop System, is a specialized audio system that uses electromagnetic energy to transmit sound directly to hearing aids and cochlear implants. This system is designed to assist individuals with hearing loss better understanding speech and other sounds in various settings, including public spaces, homes, and workplaces.

 

An Induction Loop System consists of a loop of wire placed around a room or area and a loop amplifier that interfaces with a microphone or other audio source. The audio signal is then transmitted through the loop wire, which creates a magnetic field that can be picked up by hearing aids and cochlear implants that have a telecoil or "T-switch" setting. This setting allows the hearing aid or implant to receive the magnetic signal and convert it into sound, eliminating the need for additional devices.

 

Note: Only hearing Aids with a Telecoil will only be able to enjoy the Induction Loop Systems.

Pre-installation questions

Before installation, here are some of the things we will initially ask these questions to help us:

  • Floor plan - this is for us to understand the size of our work area, what would be provisioned nearer to the completion of the project, and for us to design the loop per the customer's requirement.
  • Type of floor finishing - will help us understand whether factors affect the desired or expected results, such as the high presence of metals, resulting in reduced audio signal clarity.
  • Listening Height - whether for sitting or standing, different heights will require different settings on the amplifier.
  • Audio Source Location - this will enable us to know where to start and end the loop during the installation phase.
  • Bolting points on the floor - allows us to make a more effective design and to divert away from them so that the loop does not get damaged during the installation of furniture and carpentries.

Installation time frame

A typical time frame for an Induction Loop System Installation is as follows:

  1. Training Room / Conference Room - 1 day
  2. Full Gymnasium coverage - 2 - 3 days
  3. Retractable Chairs - 3 days
  4. Full Auditorium coverage - 3 to 4 days

In conclusion, an Induction Loop System is a specialized audio system that uses electromagnetic energy to transmit sound directly to hearing aids with telecoil.

 

This system is designed to assist individuals with hearing loss by providing better and clearer speech and other audio sources in various settings, including public spaces, places of worship, and workplaces. With the clear and direct sound provided by the Induction Loop System, individuals with hearing loss can enjoy a better quality of life and space than regular people.

 

By choosing Loop Systems, you are guaranteed professionalism and great integration techniques to determine the solution with ongoing support from our dedicated and professional consultancy team.

 

"Customers remember the experience – not just because you complied." Our ingenious solution delivers sound clarity unparalleled by others. Our vision, quite simply, is to bring intelligible sound to life for the hearing impaired.

 

For more information, contact our friendly and knowledgeable team at +65 6817 5100 or email hes@listeninglab.sg. You can also send us a request for a quotation.

Featured Projects

National Skin Centre

National Skin Centre

National Skin Centre Featured Project The Singapore National Skin Centre (NSC) stands as a beacon of dermatological excellence in the…


One Punggol

One Punggol

One Punggol Featured Project Nestled in the northeastern of Singapore lies the vibrant district of Punggol, often hailed as the…


AWWA School @ Bedok, Singapore

Featured Project

Hearing Loop Installation at AWWA School

AWWA School @ Bedok, Singapore

AWWA School is a specialized institution that educates children between the ages of 7 and 18 with multiple disabilities and autism. The school caters specialized education with multiple disabilities and autism to grow the potential for independence and improve the quality of life of students with special needs.

 

Located at 50 Bedok Reservoir Crescent, AWWA School at Bedok is a focal point serving children with autism. The school also delves into collaboration opportunities with their stakeholders to expose the students to the various platforms in the community, whereby they could develop, adapt and establish the skills they have acquired.

 

Flat Copper Tape to be implemented on top of Metal Flooring of AWWA School’s MPH
Flat Copper Tape to be implemented on top of Metal Flooring of AWWA School’s MPH

Multi-Purpose Hall

One of the key features of the school is its Multi-Purpose Hall (MPH), which is designed to accommodate different activities and events. However, implementing a hearing enhancement solution in the MPH proved challenging due to the high metal loss associated with the metal flooring.

Before installation, it is essential to understand the type of flooring used to help us develop a solution for the construction needs. The type of flooring used in AWWA School’s MPH is metal flooring.

 

Our biggest challenge was to overcome the high level of Metal Loss while implementing Flat Copper Tape to provide the electromagnetic field as part of the Hearing Enhancement Solution.

 

What is Metal Loss?

  • The presence of metals near a loop will result in the signals being “bounced” back, resulting in a cancellation of the loop signal to a certain degree, affecting the Hearing Aid user with the Telecoil function.
  • Common Metals found in installation sites would be:
    • Rebars or wire mesh in concrete floor/walls.
    • Metal reinforcement in walls or ceilings.
    • Overhead metal support structures.
  • Metal loss results in a loss of high frequencies which causes the sound quality to be muffled.

When metal objects are present near a loop, signals are bounced back, causing some cancellation of the loop signal. Rebars or wire mesh in concrete floors and walls, metal reinforcement in walls or ceilings, and overhead metal support structures are all common metals in installation sites. Metal loss causes a loss of high frequencies, resulting in muffled sound quality.

 

Metal Loss Test

Why is Metal Loss Test required before installation?

  • Crucial to carry out Metal Loss Test, especially when there is a significant metal content in the construction.
  • To ensure that customers do not have to over-invest in a costly loop driver when it is unnecessary.
  • To have a guaranteed preliminary result, the designed loop system with the necessary factors will perform within expectations. Flat Copper Tape will be implemented on top of the Metal Flooring of AWWA School’s MPH.

To ensure that the school will not over-invest in a costly loop driver, a Metal Loss Test is required before installation. This test is essential when the construction has significant metal content. The designed loop system with the essential factors can perform within expectations by conducting this test.

 

AWWA School's MPH Metal Loss Test
Metal Loss Test carried out at AWWA School’s MPH to analyze preliminary results before installation of Flat Copper Tape.

 

Type of Loop: Low Spill Multiloop

 

To contain the signal spill not far from the loop boundary. Usually used to prevent the magnetic field generated by the loop from causing interference with electrical equipment like electric guitars and dynamic microphones around the stage area.

 

Challenges faced: High Metal Loss

 

Metal flooring of the MPH will result in a muffled or dull audio quality for Hearing Aid users.

 

Solution

 

To overcome this, the installation team used two sets of C14-2Ns amplifiers, which is a higher capacity driver that allowed the driver to compensate for Metal Loss and achieve audio quality and clarity on par with or exceeding the IEC 60118-4 standards, also known as the International Performance standard for induction loop systems.

 

Fat Copper Tape

 

 

Finished Hearing Loop Installation at AWWA School
Finished Hearing Loop Installation at AWWA School

 

Contact Us

 

If you are looking to improve the accessibility of your projects for people with hearing disabilities, consider our state-of-the-art induction loop system. Our system is designed to provide high-quality, clear sound to hearing aid users by creating a magnetic field picked up by telecoil-enabled hearing aids.

 

Don't let metal loss or other acoustic challenges prevent you from delivering an exceptional client experience. Contact us today at +65 6817 5100 or email us at hes@listeninglab.sg to learn more about how our induction loop system can help you create inclusive and accessible spaces. You can also ask for a quotation by providing us with the space requirements.

 

How Induction Loop Systems are More Superior to FM or IR Systems

Conference Room

Induction Loop System is an audio technology that supports enhanced hearing and communication for individuals with a hearing impairment.

Audio Induction Loops, occasionally called Hearing Loops, deliver an assistive listening system for individuals with hearing impairment, specifically those who use a hearing aid.

But how are Induction Loops more efficient than an FM or IR System?

  1. One of the main advantages of Induction Loops over FM and IR systems is convenience. Both the user and the venue benefit from the convenience factor. With Induction Loops, users do not need additional equipment or devices as the system directly links with the user's hearing aid or cochlear implant.
  2. Another benefit of Induction Loops is that they can be less costly than other systems like RF and IR for larger spaces. Large venues for the Loop system are more cost-effective than using IR and FM for large venues.

Take this example: Each hearing aid user requires one receiver, and the support of 100 hearing aid users will be the receiver cost multiplied by 100, which will be more expensive than the loop. While RF and IR systems cost less because buildings do not need to be modified to install them, Induction Loops can be a more cost-effective solution in the long run.

  1. Induction Loops offer a complete range throughout a venue and are less prone to interference than other systems. For example, in FM systems, the signal quality can be affected by obstacles, such as walls or people, which can cause interference.
  2. Induction Loop Systems use a magnetic field and equip hearing access the same way wherever installed. They function at airports, ticket windows for trains or buses, and service counters where passing out and getting back an IR or FM receiver is impossible.
  3. Induction Loops and IR systems offer greater privacy for users and the venue than FM systems. With FM systems, the signal can travel beyond the intended listening area and potentially be heard by others, compromising privacy.
  4. It is worth noting that the efficiency of hearing aid systems can vary based on individual needs and the specific venue or environment in which they are used. Therefore, consulting with a hearing healthcare professional is essential to determine the best assistive listening system for a particular situation.
  5. Induction Loop Systems are sanitary. There are no hygienic considerations when one uses their hearing instrument as the receiver.
  6. The induction loop system provides an intelligible sound quality, whereby the hearing aid user will be able to experience with their hearing aid that has been tuned to their unique hearing loss profile, allowing them to get the best possible experience out of the induction loop system.

With all the various benefits of hearing loop systems, why do some venues still install IR or FM systems?

  • IR and FM systems can still be less expensive than hearing loop systems, especially for smaller venues or venues with a limited budget.
  • IR and FM systems may be more compatible with existing audio systems in a venue, making installation and integration easier.
  • IR and FM systems are typically more focused than hearing loop systems, making them a better option for venues where privacy is a concern, such as courtrooms or medical facilities.
  • IR and FM systems have existed longer than hearing loop systems and may be more readily available in certain regions or countries.

Efficiently, The Listening Lab understands this intimately as we are the only audiology retail chain implementing hearing enhancement systems in buildings. We understand what the users are going through and how a sound system helps the hearing aid user cope much better. We also understand building owners' and designers' requirements and expectations to deliver an integrated, hassle-free solution.

Contact us so we can provide the necessary information for your specified requirements.

Featured Projects

National Skin Centre

National Skin Centre

National Skin Centre Featured Project The Singapore National Skin Centre (NSC) stands as a beacon of dermatological excellence in the…


One Punggol

One Punggol

One Punggol Featured Project Nestled in the northeastern of Singapore lies the vibrant district of Punggol, often hailed as the…