IHLMA.org

Correct loop installation ensures quality of sound – and reputation

Hearing loops are provided in an increasing number of venues worldwide, and are a key element of public spaces meeting both access legislation and best practice for those with hearing loss. Yet their reputation is called into question when a loop isn’t working or not to the required standard.

Making sure loops are installed and commissioned correctly is, of course, essential. Staff awareness and training at the point of installation will also help encourage awareness both of their existence and their importance to customers and colleagues.

While there should never be a situation where loops have been ‘turned off’, refurbishments, service points being relocated etc. can mean systems are damaged or their power source inadvertently removed.

This is why regular maintenance is so important. In a society that increasingly likes to ‘rate and review’, venues should be keen to demonstrate their accessibility credentials. Ticking the ‘installed’ box is not enough – they need to know the status of their hearing loop.

With some loop drivers now offering remote monitoring, performance management is easier than ever and in-person visits, and their related costs, can be minimised.

The update to IEC 62489-1 for Europe in 2018 has more detail on monitoring a hearing loop “with the purpose of achieving greater reliability”.

Please refer to standards locally for your area, but ensuring good practice everywhere is key to enabling hearing loops to have the reputation they deserve.

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