Assisted hearing WiFi devices

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Dick Rees Dick Rees 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #81437
    Profile photo of psikes
    psikes
    Participant

    Just wondering if anyone has been successful with using an assisted hearing device with a Qu mixer? We first attempted using one called AudioFetch connected to Alt out and a Linksys router. The latency was so bad we ended up returning it as unusable for us. They advertise a low latency figure but for us it was almost 500 msec. They have lots of users out there so not slamming the company at all and they did try to help us. If you have found something that worked I would love to hear about it. We are now looking at one from Listen Technologies.

    Thanks, Phil

    #81441
    Profile photo of Giga
    Giga
    Participant

    Probably a daft question but what is an assisted hearing device ?

    Giga

    #81443
    Profile photo of psikes
    psikes
    Participant

    For people with hearing deficiencies it allows them to use their smartphones connected to a local network to hear what is going through the sound system. Lots of new hearing aids can connect via Bluetooth to smartphones. Other folks can use earbuds or headphones to listen. Not so much for rock band use but we do a fair amount of stage production as well as presentations to audiences of up to 350. Living in a 55 plus community this is quickly becoming a must have device.

    Phil

    #81451
    Profile photo of airickess
    airickess
    Participant

    I doubt you’ll find a low-latency option if you are using the WiFi-to-cell phone option for listening assist. I looked over the AudioFetch site and didn’t see any latency figures for their product. I only saw that they claim “low latency” once on their site, so maybe 500ms is low latency for them.

    You might want to go over to ProSoundweb forums and ask there. I’m sure someone there will be able to give you advice on a solution to your needs.
    ProSoundWeb LAB Forum

    #81454
    Profile photo of DanK
    DanK
    Participant

    Sound associates and sennheiser make assisted listening systems that modulate audio into infrared light and the end user has a headset that requires line of sight to operate. This system has the lowest latency.

    RF based systems may be more useful because they don’t require a direct sight line to the emitter but are potentially more expensive.

    Either of these kinds of systems can be fed via a mix or matrix out of the QU series.

    #81456
    Profile photo of Giga
    Giga
    Participant

    I think I have a potentially brilliant solution: project a hologram of the speaker and delay that also ๐Ÿ™‚

    Giga

    #81460
    Profile photo of psikes
    psikes
    Participant

    We would love to do the RF version but the Sennheiser unit costs about $11,000. A bit out of our league. Thanks for the suggestions.

    #81490
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    Look at a listen Technologies LS-54-216 kit system, if you need more than four body packs
    those can be purchased as extra items. On line you find those systems for about $1800, I could help you out on a better price!!
    Listen Tech LS-54-216

    The 216mhz versions sound really good, the over the ear ear pieces that come with the kit are not so great but any ear bud will work. The kit also comes with a couple neck loops
    that will work with T coil hearing aids, never tested those for myself though!!!

    For installations where I have put in a hearing assist system if available I will put the system on it’s own mix/aux. Set the mix to post fade, add a little delay to help offset what the user may still be hearing from the main system, roll off some of the low end and maybe bump the high up some to help.

    Putting the system on it’s own post fade mix will allow you to bring up the spoken word inputs in relation to the music or performance input channels.

    #81501
    Profile photo of psikes
    psikes
    Participant

    Thanks Mike, I will definitely look into that system.

    Phil

    #81505
    Profile photo of psikes
    psikes
    Participant

    Mike, do you have any experience with the ListenTech unit that uses WiFi rather than RF? Also, if you would contact me off the list I would like to hear what your price would be on the LS-54-216.

    Thanks, Phil

    #81506
    Profile photo of Mike C
    Mike C
    Participant

    I have never installed or demo’d the WIFI system.
    The latency could be an issue, they only go as far as saying “low latency”
    I realize a big part of the over all latency would be out of their control.

    #81507
    Profile photo of Dick Rees
    Dick Rees
    Participant

    Phil…

    WiFi and such work well for remote rooms, but for in-room/real-time RF is the only way to go. Folks who need hearing assist are already dealing with one issue. Adding latency to that is not a good idea.

    In every church install I’ve ever done it had to be built-for-the-purpose gear like the Listen Tech.

    #81884
    Profile photo of PEJ
    PEJ
    Participant

    Sorry I am late to the party/discussion. I have great success with a low power FM transmitter for hearing assist. There are a couple of options for receiving. Many brands of smartphones have FM tuners built-in and then they can Bluetooth to a hearing aid or earbuds. The other option is a pocket FM receiver. We use this brand since they are digitally tuned and have a lock switch so the user can’t mess them up.
    https://www.thesource.ca/en-ca/audio–and–headphones/portable-audio/radios/nexxtech-digital-am-fm-pocket-radio/p/108015479
    The Source is our old Radio Shack store.

    This seems similar in functionality.
    https://www.amazon.com/Sangean-DT-180-AM-Pocket-Radio/dp/B000G6M91G/ref=mp_s_a_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1549847654&sr=8-8&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=fm+receiver+digital+pocket&dpPl=1&dpID=41ZmRD%2BOrZL&ref=plSrch#immersive-view_1549847720466

    Some hearing aid users wear a pendant around their neck that have an 1/8″ input so they can use the radio with an 1/8″ cable.

    Low power transmitters are another conversation. I have used a couple of different models.

    Qu24, AB168, Qu32

    #81912
    Profile photo of psikes
    psikes
    Participant

    We ended up using a Listen Technologies WiFi unit and it is working pretty well for us. Living in a 55+ community means the majority of the folks using our facility having hearing problems. With that number of folks to service a high dollar RF unit was simply not in the budget for us. This will mostly be used for presentations and spoken word stage productions. The music performers usually have sufficient volume to obviate the need for hearing assistance.

    So far so good, Phil

    #81913
    Profile photo of Dick Rees
    Dick Rees
    Participant

    Phil…

    Glad it’s working within your budget. For anyone else considering such issues I think it only fair to quote Listen Technologies themselves regarding other possible issues, particularly ADA compliance.

    While these types of solutions can be used by the general public as well as the hearing impaired, itโ€™s important to note that they were not designed to meet the ADA standards for assistive listening or comparable laws outside of the U.S., which require venues to provide an equivalent listening experience for the hearing impaired. While the audio latency associated with Wi-Fi technology is negligible, it cannot provide an equal experience for people with hearing loss. This limitation combined with the requirement to provide a specific number of assistive listening devices means that Wi-Fi is not an ideal solution for compliance. That said, there are applications where Wi-Fi-based solutions can complement an existing assistive listening system (ALS) that uses RF, IR, or induction loop technologies, giving all patrons or customers the best possible listening experience.

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