Infrared

At Gordon Morris we supply, service and install high quality infrared hearing systems from manufacturer Sennheiser.

Why use an infrared hearing system in place of an induction loop system?

Infrared hearing systems have many advantages:

  • The infrared signal cannot be heard outside the room unlike an induction loop system as the signal will not permeate walls, ceilings, or floors. This means that each room has total privacy from any other room.
  • There is no loop wire to run around the room so it is easier to install in rooms with multi-levels e.g. theatres, or wide areas e.g. exhibition halls.
  • As infrared light carries the signal there are no losses due to the amount of steel in the construction of the room which can affect the signal and frequency response of induction loop systems
What is an infrared hearing system and how does it work?

An infrared hearing system is an assistive sound system to facilitate communication with hearing impaired people and is a popular alternative to an induction loop system. A standard system consists of an audio source, an infrared radiator (transmitter) and infrared listening receivers.

Step 1: Sound from a microphone, sound system or any other audio source is input to a modulator, which produces an electrical signal containing the audio information.

 

Step 2: This signal is converted to an infrared (IR) signal for transmission via the radiator

Step 3: The radiator diodes produce the (invisible) infrared light and emits it into the room.

Step 4: Receivers are used to convert the infrared light signal back into an electrical signal and then into an audio signal again (or a personal induction loop if used by a hearing aid wearer). There is no limit to the number of receivers that can be used on a system.

Infrared hearing systems are mainly used as single channel signal and use a wall mounted device called a radiator. These infrared radiators give off invisible light and are available in different sizes depending on the area of coverage and the number of channels required. Multiple radiators are often used to ensure an even coverage of the light so the user doesn’t experience dead spots.

Multichannel systems are available and would be used in places such as cinemas for audio description and sound enhancement or meetings where they may need to be translated into different languages or for assistive listening.

An infrared hearing system is also available in a portable version they are quick to set up and unlike a portable induction loop system there are no cables to place around the perimeter of the room.