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Infrared Systems

What is an infrared system used for?

An infrared system can be used in difficult listening situations. It is most often used to help improve listening in conference rooms, in theaters, or at home while watching television.

How does an infrared system work?

An infrared system is similar to a remote control and a television. A transmitter sends speech or music to a receiver using invisible infrared light waves.

How is an infrared system helpful?

You only hear what the transmitter picks up, so you usually receive clear speech with little or no background noise.

What are some advantages of using an infrared system?

  • You will not hear unwanted radio signals with an infrared system like you might with an FM system.
  • You can wear the receiver in many different ways. For example:
    • If you want to listen through hearing aids, you can wear a body receiver or a neck loop.
    • If you do not want to listen through hearing aids, you can wear an under-the-chin receiver with headphones.
  • You can have more privacy with an infrared system. No one can hear what you are listening to from outside the room because infrared signals cannot travel through walls.
  • Some conference rooms and movie theaters have infrared receivers that they loan out for personal use.

What are some disadvantages of using an infrared system?

  • You cannot use an infrared system outdoors during the daytime. Too much light can affect the infrared light waves.
  • If a room has a transmitter, you can sit anywhere in the room but nothing can come between the transmitter and the receiver. Infrared light waves cannot travel through walls, people, or objects.
  • An infrared system is usually not as portable as an FM system.

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