What does a loop system cost?
Loops systems vary in cost, depending on the size and construction of the room. Small installations may cost $2,500-$7,500. Typical installations cost for larger venues such as auditoriums, senior centers, churches, etc. are $8,000 -$35,000. A large performing art center may cost $100,000 – $150,000. Considering the cost of a good set of hearing aids is around $6,000, the cost of a hearing loop is quite reasonable since it serves an unlimited number of people.
How is a loop installed?
A loop system may easily be installed by experienced professionals in virtually all spaces of public accommodation. Prior to installation, a test loop is run to make sure the proposed design will meet the international standard, IEC 60118-4, which defines the magnetic strength field, frequencies and measurement requirements. Installations are tested with a FSM (field strength meter) to confirm compliance. In other words, everyone will be “in the loop” when seated or standing in a looped space!
A “hearing loop” is often described as a loop wire that is laid around the perimeter of a room. In fact, a perimeter loop is not always the right solution. As a general rule, the ideal width of a loop is between 10 feet and 25 feet, although this can vary depending upon construction of the floor or ceiling where the loop is to be installed.
Perimeter loops are certainly the easiest and cheapest configuration to install- if they will work. Perimeter loops can be one or two turns, with the two turn loop increasing the signal roughly 15%. In newer buildings with more metal and steel in the construction, perimeter loops are usually not acceptable, except in very small rooms.
Many typical loop designs include a figure eight or snowman, which is a continuation of the figure eight design to three or four loops. This design can be done in many churches around each pew area or in rooms where a perimeter loop does not give the signal required to meet IEC 60118-4:2006. This is all dependent on testing prior to installation.
To cover larger area, control signal spill outside of the loop, account for metal loss in the floor or ceiling or accommodate rooms where there is not fixed seating, a phased array loop design is the best overall design. Two independent loops, typically called the master and slave, are staggered over each other and are driven by separate amplifiers with a 90 degree phase shift of the input signal. The resulting signal is quite uniform in both vertical and horizontal planes, making this the best choice for many venues.
Other loop designs may include a cancellation loop at one end such as where there is a stage and spill could be an issue upon the stage for microphones or musical instruments.
We offer your church, auditorium, corporate meeting room, bank, senior center or private venue the support you need to successfully go “live” with the hearing loop. American Hearing Loop specializes in phased array installations for optimal user satisfaction.
- Custom design and installation to ensure you get the right product for your venue
- Signage to inform that a Hearing Loop is installed
- Handouts to educate users and the general public
- Publish-ready announcements for your newsletter, church bulletin or emails
- We can help you with a news release to send to the newspaper, church magazine or blogs
- We will post your location on our website directory as being accessible for persons who use hearing aids
With each installed hearing loop system, we will be available to answer questions, offer hands-on instruction and verify that the system works to the satisfaction of the end users. The loop will be in working order as soon as installation is completed. We typically have a “shake down” time and we ask that a few known hearing aid users provide us with feedback.