The 5 Best Assistive Listening Devices for Churches

Editor’s Choice

  • With advanced green battery technology
  • Advanced DSP SQ noise reduction technology
  • Integrated neck loop/lanyard with DSP loop driver

Best Overall

  • Handy
  • ADA compliant
  • It has three frequency options

Budget-Friendly

  • It includes a 1/4″ microphone input jack and 1/4″ line input jack
  • It has a power input of 3dBm 
  • Connectivity technology is wired

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best assistive listening devices for churches is, then I’d recommend the Peavey 72.1 MHz Assistive Listening Device System as the best one.

Church attendees comprise of individuals with different backgrounds and needs. Church services must accommodate the needs of persons with physical challenges and disabilities. These individuals include those who have hearing impairments. 

Many technological advancements aid in supporting individuals with disabilities. One of which is an assistive listening device for churches. Assistive listening devices for churches can give listening aid to the hearing challenged. This allows them to be confident that they are part of the worship or other church activities. It is vital to reach out to churchgoers who may feel separated from the church due to their hearing loss. 

Using assistive listening devices is an important message of unity and inclusion. Compassionate service means that everyone is aware that the church cares for them. This includes ensuring that they can hear the spoken word during worship.

Here are the best Assistive Listening Devices for Churches we will be reviewing:

What are Assistive Listening Devices for Churches?

Assistive listening devices for churches are solutions that bring better interaction and communication. They do this by bringing sounds closer to the listeners’ ears. Assistive listening devices are technologies and portable microphone amplifiers that capture sound. They also filter or suppress unwanted background noise. They enhance the lives and interactions of individuals with hearing impairments. 

An assistive hearing device brings its users closer to the sound source. It reduces distance, unwanted background noise, and reverberation. Its users can bypass poor acoustics by sending sounds straight to their ears. Everyone hears and receives each word said and delivered. This is through the use of assistive listening devices. 

How do assistive learning devices for churches work?

Assistive listening devices for churches are wireless devices. They work with telecoil hearing aids and all cochlear implants. These create clear audio without unwanted feedback or background noise. Assistive listening devices have amplifiers, a thin loop wire, and a microphone. These make them a magnetic field. This is then collected and translated into an audible sound by the hearing aid equipped with a telecoil or T-coil. It serves as a miniature wireless receiver. 

Many individuals buy assistive listening devices so they can hear and communicate better in church. Churches usually have large, wide, and high-ceiling rooms made of hard surfaces. This structure makes hearing difficult. Individuals with hearing loss still experience problems with reverberation and ambient noise. This can happen even if churches have good sound systems. 

Why Assistive Listening Devices Necessary for Churches?

Increase volume audibility

Large church venues affect sound audibility. The source of the sound and its receivers are far apart. This is the case in venues that house a large congregation. Assistive listening devices are important tools to intensify sound for churchgoers. This will enable them to hear the preaching and the worship. 

Better sound quality

Sound volume is not the only concern when it comes to hearing in church settings. A few things may distract churchgoers. These include sounds in the background, echoing concerns, and inferior acoustics. This can impede focus on worship and preaching. An assistive listening device can aid in minimizing these kinds of problems. 

Accommodate a larger number of churchgoers

Some churches cannot allow for an increased number of church participants. This is because of a poor sound system. Other churches need to accommodate other members of the congregation in other rooms. This happens when the main venue is already packed. Assistive listening devices allow churches to bring in more individuals. They can listen to the word of God and take part in the fellowship. 

Helps seniors hear better at church

Hearing loss and difficulties are common among senior citizens. This may hamper how they listen to and understand the word of God as it is preached in the pulpit. Assistive listening devices for churches cater to the needs of elderly members. They are also members of the congregation. These devices grant them an easy and comfortable listening experience. 

Legal implications (Americans with Disabilities Act/ADA)

The American Disability Act (ADA) requires assistive hearing systems in public places. This is a need for public places with sound systems. The ADA defines assembly areas as buildings and facilities. This definition includes any part of them. They must be for education, entertainment, gatherings, or other similar functions. 

Certain assembly areas need the use of assistive listening devices. These areas include classrooms, public conference rooms, auditoriums, stadiums, or theaters. ADA specifies the need for delivering a certain number of units depending on the size of the seat. Generally, churches are not part of this list. Except in states like California and Texas.

Usual Types of Assistive Listening Devices for Churches

FM Systems

FM systems are also called radiofrequency assistive listening systems. They can pass low-powered and wireless FM frequency radio transmission. This happens from an existing sound system to an FM counterpart. 

Compared to infrared systems, FM systems’ operations are not affected by direct sunlight. But FM systems entail the use of a receiver such as earphones, headphones, or a neck loop. FM systems are also compatible with cochlear implants and hearing aids. FM Systems should have on-board signal processing. This is to produce very high-quality audio. 

Inductive Loop

Inductive loops are also known as audio frequency induction loop systems (AFILS). They are also called hearing loops. These are assistive listening devices that have copper wire. The copper wire is inside assembly areas with existing sound systems. An electromagnetic field connects the telecoils. These telecoils are inside the hearing aids or cochlear implants. These are the simplest solutions for assistive listening. 

Inductive loop wires hide in walls, ceilings, floors, or under the carpet. They look cleaner and neater when installed. They are simple, plain, inconspicuous, and effective. People can use these with ease. Users must switch the telecoil option and receive clear sound straight to the ears. It still works when there are no hearing aids or telecoils available. 

Users can begin using a hearing loop receiver and headset with the system. Eliminating unwanted background sound is important for inductive loops. It is ideal for the receiver to be in the direct line from the sound source. This is vital since the sound goes into the t-coil compatible hearing aid.

Infrared System

Infrared systems (IR) transmit voice or sound to an IR receiver. This is possible through invisible infrared light waves from a sound system. This technology is visual. It is impossible to use this outside during the day. This is because there is an alteration in the light. Users should sit as close and straight as possible to the source of the sound. This is crucial since IR signals are present right away. 

Users with weak viewing lines may have interference or no sound signal at all. Persons utilizing IR need a receiver and an earphone or a neck loop. Neck loops reduce the need for headphones. This is true for persons with telecoil-equipped hearing aids and cochlear implants. There is also an assurance that there is no spillage of audio signals outside the church. 

What is the Ideal Assistive Listening Device for Churches?

There are suitable assistive technologies for the church. But we must look into different factors first. We must take into account that everyone receives correct hearing help. We must also consider the setting and the room acoustics. It is also vital to know the level of privacy desired, and how the user interfaces with the device. 

The best assistive listening device to use is one with a wide reach. This is so that church participants inside and outside the church may receive the sound. An effective assistive listening device needs minimal receivers and transmitters for its use. It must also remove complex and costly installations like audio loop systems. This is to ensure that they are cost-efficient. 

We must also consider its compatibility with existing technologies. These technologies include Bluetooth and streaming capabilities. It is important to use roving microphones. These must feed into the assistive listening system. This is essential to ensure the full inclusion of the hearing impaired.

Here are the best Assistive Listening Devices for Churches that we recommend.

Peavey 72.1 MHz Assistive Listening Device System

The Peavey assistive listening system is a good transmitter and receiver set. It is portable as it weighs just one pound. It comes with three frequency options. It also has a wireless transmitter. The transmitter comes with a volume level control which is adjustable. This set includes four receivers and four earbuds. The receivers are also battery-operated. Some opt to use rechargeable batteries. The use of rechargeable batteries is an economical alternative. 

The Peavey 72.1 MHz Assistive Listening Device System is a digital sound system that produces a crisp and clear sound. This assistive listening device system has transmitter rack mount kits. These kits are single or dual and are available to purchase separately. This set can be used in indoor and outdoor venues. Its operating range reaches up to 300 feet. The Peavey assistive listening device can be used for small ministry and church meetings. This is used as well for worship and service for medium-sized congregations. 

Pros:

  • Handy
  • ADA compliant
  • It has three frequency options
  • User friendly for beginners
  • Affordable 

Cons:

  • May produce static sounds from various frequency sources
  • It only works with analog audio output
  • Ear-buds may not be long-lasting

Listen Technologies LS-53-072 Assistive Listening Device

The Listen Technologies LS-53-072 provides a complete transmitter and receiver set. It comes in the smallest and most wearable size for its users. This system only weighs ten pounds when intact. Such size also makes it easy to manage and store. It includes a transmitter and an antenna. It also comes with four receivers, four ear speakers, and two earphones. 

This set has a four-port USB charger as well. With all these tools, the LS-53-072 assistive listening device by Listen Technologies is a full package. It includes all the basic tools you will need to help church members have a better listening experience. It has advanced noise reduction ability. Its neck loop is made in a way that improves the experience of the hearing impaired. 

This assistive listening device is one of the few that is made with green battery technology. This technology is economic and environmental-friendly. This set also meets the requirements set by the law for assistive listening devices. It can accommodate up to 100 users for small to medium-sized churches. 

Pros: 

  • With advanced green battery technology
  • Advanced DSP SQ noise reduction technology
  • Integrated neck loop/lanyard with DSP loop driver
  • Produces clear and crisp sound
  • ADA compliant 

Cons: 

  • A limited number of users
  • May produce static sounds

HamiltonBuhl ALS700 Dual Frequency Listening Device

Hamilton Buhl is one of the pioneers in electronic and sound systems. Their products enhance and improve learning for all ages. This includes those individuals with hearing disabilities. The Hamilton Buhl assistive listening device is composed of a transmitter, six earbuds, and six receivers. Each receiver has its volume control. This allows each user to ensure they take in the right amount of volume from the sound source. It also comes with a carrying case for easy mobility. 

The ALS 700 Dual Frequency Assistive Listening device has a 150-footage range. It can accommodate an unlimited number of receivers. You can use this in wide and big facilities, without compromising the sound quality. Users can receive the same sound quality even with the use of a single earbud. This device is also cost-effective. 

This Hamilton Buhl assistive listening device can be used in a variety of places. These places include theaters and museums. This assistive listening device can be used for worship and service for small to medium-sized congregations. 

Pros: 

  • It includes a 1/4″ microphone input jack and 1/4″ line input jack
  • It has a power input of 3dBm 
  • Connectivity technology is wired
  • Audio input gain adjustment and channel selection indicators
  • ADA and FCC compliant
  • Battery operated 
  • Warranty is available

Cons:

  • May produce static sounds
  • Does not include audio resources
  • Transmitter is separate
  • Batteries usually only last for 1 hour and 30 minutes

Williams Sound PPA VP 37-00 Assistive Listening Device 

The William Sound PPA is an efficient transmitter and receiver system. This device weighs about 6 ounces only. This device includes 1 PPA T27  transmitter, an antenna, and four R37 receivers. Its LED display is one of its unique key features. It has a push-button channel selection which makes operating this unit quite easy. 

This system has a whopping 17 frequency channels with a wireless reach of 1000 feet. This implies that this device can accommodate thousands of receivers. This assistive listening device is as well compatible with different earphones and headphones. It can also connect to a sound system easily even in covered and obstructed areas. It is very easy to set up as the connectors and wirings are straight up and standard. 

This assistive listening device can be used in services and worship that house about one thousand church members. 

Pros:

  • It includes 1 PPA T27 transmitter
  • It has 4 new PPA R37 receivers with AA batteries
  • It includes 1 IDP 008 wall plaque and 1 WCA 013 audio cable
  • Battery power can last up to 6 hours
  • Wide range reach
  • ADA compliant

Cons:

  • May produce static sounds when near other frequency sources
  • The transmitter may be very sensitive to nearby devices
  • This device is quite expensive
  • FM transmitter only; is not used with hearing aids

Listen Technologies LP-4VP-072-01 Assistive Listening Device

The Value Package assistive listening device is a good starter receiver transmitter system. It does not need exceptional skills to set up as it is easy to install and administer. This assistive listening device by Listening Technologies comprises a stationary transmitter with three channels and an antenna. It also comes with four receivers and four earbuds. The earbuds are the single ear type. It has a power adapter. It as well includes an assistive listening notification signage kit and a four-port USB charger. 

This assistive listening device also comes at a reasonable and affordable price. This assistive listening device has a 600-feet range of transmission. It can connect with microphones and other audio resources. It makes a clear and crisp sound as well. It is ideal for enclosed small to medium-sized places. Such places like classrooms and conference halls. The Value Package assistive listening device can be used for small church gatherings and meetings. 

Pros: 

  • It has three channels for easy management, installation, and use
  • It has a reliable clear sound quality of 2 dB SNR
  • With a frequency response of 50 Hz – 15 kHz (±3 dB)
  • There is a power adapter available 
  • There is customer service and technical support that is available
  • ADA compliant

Cons:

  • It has a limited range reach
  • May produce static sounds as it comes near other frequency sources

Conclusion

Poor construction acoustics make listening difficult for church members. This is especially true for the hearing impaired. The spread of sound in a wide assembly area with high ceilings is more difficult. This is the reason why assistive listening devices are essential in churches. 

The Peavey 72.1 MHz Assistive Listening Device System is the best choice for an assistive listening device in church. It is an accessible, cost-efficient, and effective assistive listening device. It is portable and easy to carry. Speakers and listeners can both use this in church. The Peavey Assisted Listening System can be a wonderful resource for churches to use. It offers good sound quality and volume to churchgoers. It can prove to be vital to ensuring that service is accessible to all. 

Alex Shute
AUTHOR
Alex Shute
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow. In his free time, he enjoys perfecting pour-over coffee, smoking meats, and discovering new cycling routes around Southern California.