Infrared (IR) hearing augmentation systems use an infrared signal to send audio from a transmitter to a personal receiver (a neck loop). The receiver must be in direct line of sight of the transmitter or cabled repeaters, so these are generally useful in smaller rooms where people will not be moving around much, such as courtrooms and some meeting rooms. The infrared signal will not travel through walls, people or objects, therefore a person requiring hearing assistance will not be able to hear if there is any physical barrier between the transmitter and them self (and their receiver).
For these reasons, infrared systems offer greater privacy than other hearing systems. People outside of the room cannot listen to what is happening in the room. Where multiple hearing systems are required in rooms within close proximity, infrared systems may be a suitable solution as these cannot interfere with each other or leak audio between the rooms.
A neck loop receiver is required for all listeners and is used with a telecoil enabled hearing aid or custom headphones.
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