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Author Topic: Hearing Assistance FM72 vs Induction Loop  (Read 2041 times)

Eileen Krause

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Hearing Assistance FM72 vs Induction Loop
« on: October 14, 2019, 12:05:53 pm »

Friends,
Firstly, thanks to those that take time to offer wisdom and share real world experience!  It's a great resource. 
My small church is looking to install hearing assistance system and I'm "caught" in the middle of the decision between FM system vs Induction Loop. 
Loop install is of course more expensive (although honestly from preliminary opinion the 50x45 sanctuary perimeter with wood pine floors and exposed rafter underneath etc.. would not be a extra extra expensive or problematic wire install)
BUT--  setting aside price difference

Do any of you have real world experience with usage of systems, problems with either technology?
My sound guy agrees with me that FM system is best course and the Williams Sound company rep recommended FM+wifi system .... BUT 3 or 4 of hearing aid members just say-- put in the loop..
for them it's automatic to their t-coil hearing aids and no gadgets or earpieces needed.

It's a tricky "church folks" decision to make as we want to respect the older group and their needs
but it seems like whichever decision we make "someone" will be unhappy ..

Any feedback, wisdom much appreciated..  it's stressful for me as I navigate but I do have assistant pastors assurance that HE will take the complaint department... LOL. 


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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Hearing Assistance FM72 vs Induction Loop
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2019, 12:29:20 pm »

We went the FM route.  What about the fourth member?  Would it work for them?  What about visitors?  What about someone that hasn't yet been able to afford hearing aids?  A church is for everyone that wants to participate.

Another use we get out of ours-unfortunately, we have had to go to watching exterior doors during services.  Often, ushers watching doors will use our Listen System to "tune in" to the service.

I'm not trying to argue for the FM system-just questions I think you might want to consider.
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Steve Swaffer

Eileen Krause

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Re: Hearing Assistance FM72 vs Induction Loop
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2019, 05:39:32 pm »

Steve
thank you so much for your real world feedback.  I absolutely agree with you..  And I am so sorry too that new realities now have our ushers "watching" the entrances and exits..  sad.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Hearing Assistance FM72 vs Induction Loop
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2019, 05:55:56 pm »

A few things to consider:
  • Loop system is useful for those with T-coil hearing aids. FM systems can be adapted for hearing-aid use with a "neck loop".
  • Loop system is less prone to radio interference -- or to cause radio interference.
  • Loop system requires users to be inside the loop. If the loop only surrounds the sanctuary, stepping into the foyer or restroom means they'll lose reception. FM systems typically have a range that allows for users to range further; for example, security personnel or a parent that needs to bring a child out to the car.
  • Loop systems can cause interference with analog video signals (though this usually means you have poor video cabling).
  • If the loop is too large, the signal can be lost or fade toward the center of the loop.
  • FM systems can receive or cause RF interference, though this is less of a problem in the band designated for unlicensed use of assistive listening systems (72 MHz).
  • The public broadcast spectrum (87-108 MHz) can be used without a license, providing your broadcast doesn't interfere with licensed usage and the received radiated power is within acceptable limits. I am not an authority on this and cannot recommend it as a solution because ensuring compliance is difficult.
  • Some FM systems can be finicky to tune and keep in tune.
  • The third option is an infrared system. Like a loop system, it limits the user to a defined coverage area (usually the room). It is generally considered to be immune to radio interference. It requires that the receiver have unobstructed line-of-sight to the transmitter. It, too, can be fitted with a neck loop for hearing aid use.
  • If you need multiple audio channels, FM works better in the same room (i.e., language interpreter system), but loop or IR can work better if you have multiple rooms with different audio (no need to manage channels on receivers). Probably not a huge concern in a small church!

Here's some more information: http://hearing.wustl.edu/Hearing-Assistive-Technology/Hearing-Assistive-Technology-On-the-Go
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 06:03:18 pm by Jonathan Johnson »
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Hearing Assistance FM72 vs Induction Loop
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2019, 07:30:22 pm »

The points have pretty much have been covered between FM vs. Loop but I will say
if you go with a FM system get one that operates in the 216mhz band width.

They sound better, less background noise, better range and you have a smaller antenna
to install.

I don't think Williams Sound offers a 216mhz model, Listen Technology does.

Erik Jerde

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Re: Hearing Assistance FM72 vs Induction Loop
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2019, 12:05:21 am »

Loop systems have been known to cause intractable problems with single coil pickups.  If you use any instruments with pickups this should be an important consideration. 
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Eileen Krause

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Re: Hearing Assistance FM72 vs Induction Loop
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2019, 09:51:45 am »

Jonathan,
Thank you so much for the bullet point list.  It confirms my research but offers a bit more of the technical issues that can arise with one choice or the other.    I fear I'm reaching analysis paralysis.   :(.   

Do you work in venue/church that uses a system?   

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Eileen Krause

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Re: Hearing Assistance FM72 vs Induction Loop
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2019, 09:55:34 am »

The points have pretty much have been covered between FM vs. Loop but I will say
if you go with a FM system get one that operates in the 216mhz band width.

They sound better, less background noise, better range and you have a smaller antenna
to install.

I don't think Williams Sound offers a 216mhz model, Listen Technology does.

Hi Mike,
Wow, I had not considered.   Adding to the list of considerations.  So do you have personal experience working with the Listen Tech 216 system?
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Eileen Krause

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Re: Hearing Assistance FM72 vs Induction Loop
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2019, 10:03:31 am »

Loop systems have been known to cause intractable problems with single coil pickups.  If you use any instruments with pickups this should be an important consideration.

Erik,
Thanks for the tip.  We don't have a worship band..no electric instruments used during service..
Although I could be tempted to whip out my beloved 1967 Strat and play my Hendrix inspired version of How Great thou Art....   😂😂   that would be my finale as I leave the church due to stress caused
from working on church audio/tech.     
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Hearing Assistance FM72 vs Induction Loop
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2019, 11:53:28 am »

Erik,
Thanks for the tip.  We don't have a worship band..no electric instruments used during service..
Although I could be tempted to whip out my beloved 1967 Strat and play my Hendrix inspired version of How Great thou Art....   😂😂   that would be my finale as I leave the church due to stress caused
from working on church audio/tech.   

Without digging too deep into the details - loop if designed right (they aren't simple) beats RF.  The number one hesitation for loop is cost.  If cost isn't a big hurdle, and Listen or Williams designs the system themselves - go for it. 
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Re: Hearing Assistance FM72 vs Induction Loop
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2019, 11:53:28 am »


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