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here - Hearing Loop

SPECIAL FEATUREGet in the Loop!Why Hearing Loops Make a DifferenceFEATURING:How to Install aHearing Loop System,Understanding HearingLoss, Questions EveryHoW Should ask AboutHearing Loops, Top 10Things You Should Knowabout Hearing Loops,Hear the Difference

Audio Video Lighting Review Broadcast Q&A AdviceUNDERSTANDINGHearingLossby Cory Schaeffer34 August 2013

Audio Video Lighting Review Broadcast Q&A AdviceHearing loss is often referred to as “the invisible disability” even though over 17% ofthe population has some degree of documented hearing loss. Compare this to thosewith a physical disability which is at 2%. The numbers are staggering and due to lifestylechoices and the aging of the general population, they are on the rise.People come to their place of worshipto be part of the congregation,to be connected and enriched by theworship community, and hearing themessage is a key element. However,those with hearing disabilities are oftenunable to clearly hear the service. Not only are theyat a disadvantage because their hearing is alreadycompromised, reverb, poor acoustics, inadequate soundsystems and meager mic coverage make it an evengreater challenge to hear and understand the messagebeing delivered. For many congregants with hearingloss, the above factors play an important role in what - ifany - portion of the service they are even able to hearLOUDER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTERMany houses of worship think improving their soundsystems or turning them up will help those with hearingdisability, but louder is not always better. To understandwhy this is the case and why hearing aids don’t alwayshelp, you need to realize that hearing aids amplify allsounds - not just those coming from the sound system.They are ideal when used one on one and in quietsettings. However, once a person with a hearing aid issurrounded by people or enters an amplified venue, thehearing aid is simply another sound system that aug-the intended content or source. Hearing aids by themselvescannot filter out all the reverb, poor acoustics andambient noise. People who have hearing loss need moresignal than noise, and having the sound source sentdirectly to the ear is the best way to block out ambientnoise and reverb.DIRECT DELIVERYThis is where Induction Loop technology (also knownas a Hearing Loop) comes into play. Hearing Loopsdon’t just pump up the volume; instead, they deliver anintelligible signal direct to the hearing aid without allthe ambient noise distractions, allowing people to hearclearly.Hearing Loops are increasing in popularity becausethey offer individuals with hearing loss the ability toexperience full, rich interactions in just about any settingwith little more than the push of a button. A HearingAugust 2013 35

Audio Video Lighting Review Broadcast Q&A AdviceHow toInstall a Hearing LoopSystem in Your HoWby Dave ScrogginsPrince of Peace Lutheran Church in Appleton, Wisconsin. Photo: DRS SoundThe first thing your integrator needs to do wheninstalling a Hearing Loop system in your House ofWorship is run a site assessment. This assessmentwill measure EMI background noise and tests forfield strength and frequency response to determineadverse effects from metal or steel in the floor orbuilding. The installer uses these readings to determinethe loop width and design needed to meet the IEC60118-4standard for hearing loops and determine the size of the loopwire and driver required.August 2013 37

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SETTING THESTANDARD:IEC 60118-4Now the main specificationfor international use, theIEC 60118-4 standard isbased on the principle thatthe long term averageof the field strength at atypical listening locationmust be 100mA/m,+- 3dB. To determinethis long term averagerequires a measurementover 60 seconds or more.The standard thereforesets a more pragmaticrequirement for determiningthe short term peaksof the signal. Short termpeaks need to be 12dB(x4) higher than the longterm average, based onthe fact that peaks ofspeech are approximately12dB higher than the longterm average level ofspeech. Therefore an inductionloop system mustbe capable of deliveringfield strength peaks of400mA/m +- 3dB (280to 560mA/m). Peaksmust be measured usingfast RMS measurement(125ms averaging time).In addition, the IEC60118-4 standard setslimits on acceptablebackground noise,and requires that thesystem delivers frequencyresponse of +- 3dB from100 Hz to 5 kHz relativeto the field strength at 1kHz. All measurementsmust be made with a coilthat picks up only thevertical component ofthe magnetic field, thecomponent that is pickedup by the telecoil of ahearing aid.The readings also help determineif an engineered phased arrayor perimeter design is requiredto meet the seating requirements(fixed or movable) and assure yourinstaller can meet the IEC standardsfor frequency response andfield strength.From this testing, a final designbased on test results will becreated. The length of the installdepends on the options availablefor running the wires. If wireneeds to be placed under existingcarpeting, make sure you have aprofessional do any cutting thatneeds to happen.Prince of Peace LutheranChurch in Appleton, WI, recentlyinstalled a hearing loop system.During this installation, a professionalcarpet installer had to openup the seams and pull back thecarpet where the wire neededplaced on the concrete followedby 13ga. flat wire with a vinyl2mil cover over that in the shapeand design required. Then thecarpet was replaced and seamsput back together like it wasnever opened up.The loop amplifier was locatedin the audio rack with the mainsound system, processing andamplifiers and tied into a bal-video recorder, which included an ambientmic in this feed. It is important toinclude an ambient mic in the hearingloop mix if it is available so users don’tfeel closed in or miss out on the manyunmicíd aspects of the service. Thereis a delicate balance between hearingresponses or ambient sounds loudenough and the organ being too loudwhen played.A 4 wire (star quad) feeder was runthrough the wall from the loop amplifierto the loop in the sanctuary and tied intothe appropriate loop wires. Using thestar quad wiring insures there is no EMIProfessional carpet installer Dave Pethan carefully peels back the carpeting under which the hearing loop will run.Hearing loop wire placed and taped down to the floorbefore the carpet is placed back in position.Sometimes more than one wire placement is needed toensure the entire sanctuary is hearing loop capable.loop in the audio rack as it crosses mic lines or video cables.When the loop was completed, it was tested with theinstalled loop driver, and a ëCertificate of Conformityí was givento Price of Peace verifying that the install met the IEC 60118-4standards documenting the readings.While every install is different, the basic process is the same.Your HoW should work with an installer that guarantees the IEC60118-4 standard is met and that any carpet and pre-existingstructures within the facility will not be damaged.Installing a hearing loop in your facility provides allowshearing impaired congregants to actively participate in weeklyservices, and also assures them that they are a vital part of yourchurch community.Dave Scroggins and his partner, Jean Luloff, work with churches of all sizes installing hearingloops through their company DRS Sound. Email or visit their websiteatwww.drssound.comto learn more.40 August 2013

Audio Video Lighting Review Broadcast Q&A AdviceQuestions Every HoW ShouldAsk About Hearing LoopsWhat do Westminster Abbey, the Opera House in Sydney Australia, andmain chamber of the US House of Representatives have in common?THEY ALL HAVE HEARING LOOPS Leo GarrisonHow much do Hearing Loops cost?Hearing loops range from $2k to $35k based on complexity of the design. There is no way to estimatethe cost without obtaining venue information, audio system information, and performing two main tests:1) Metal testing, which lets the integrator know how much loss to expect due to metal within the facility2) EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) testing, which determines the amount of electrical noise alreadypresent in the room (mainly caused by older systems and fixtures)When contacting a loop integrator, have photos, room layouts, equipment gear lists and room capacitiesper room you are interested in looping, and research whether your venue has metal within thestructure. All these components together help determine cost.Can I still introduce a loop system if our facility has EMI or metal?Yes. For EMI, you will require an electrical specialist to come to your facility and narrow down thecause or causes. They will perform several tests within the space that will identify the problem anddetermine the solution.As a rule of thumb metal networks are what really effect loop systems: metal that is connected toseveral pieces of metal within the room you want to loop. Metal I-Beams, rebar, metal reinforced concretefloors, drop ceiling grids, etc., can all be overcome by sending more power and some equalizationthrough the system.August 2013 41

Audio Video Lighting Review Broadcast Q&A AdviceAm I required to have a Hearing Loop?You are required to provide an assistive listening device if you rent your facility out to the generalpublic. This is how the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) classifies HoW.How much does the loop system rely on the sound system?order to sound good. The majority of installs will have the loop systems mimic what comes out of themain speakers. The mix to the loop system should be a dry (no effect) output of your main speakersminus unnecessary ambient noise. Itís important to remember if you don’t have a vocal or instrumentmicíed the end user will not be able to hear that individual.Do you have to have a T-Coil hearing aid to use the system?No! There are loop receivers that have the t-coil built in that you can plug a regular set of headphones to.How far do loop systems spread?Loop systems can spread three times their size. There will be signal loss as it expands outside of itsdesigned parameters, but that can be compensated within the hearing aid or loop listener as they generallyhave around 10db gain built in.Are there guidelines the integrator has to follow?Yes, the ADA adopted the standards that the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) hasspecified within 60118-4:2006. All integrators at completion should provide a Certificate of Conformity tohold themselves responsible for the installation they have provided.Leo Garrison is a Senior Integration Specialist at Metro Sound Pros.42 August 2013

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