What is a Soundfield system?
A Soundfield system, is similar to a personal listening device, however in this set-up instead of the child wearing a personal receiver (headphones or ear-level device) the speaker’s voice is transmitted to a speaker which amplifies the message to the room (i.e. classroom). The teacher is still required to wear a small microphone.
At Little Ears we recommend the Phonak Digimaster Soundfield System. This system uses digital and dynamic technology. Dynamic technology refers to the devices ability to monitor the background noise level in the classroom and adjust the gain (volume) applied to the teacher’s voice accordingly.
Further, Phonak has developed a single array of 12 speakers which projects the teacher’s voice in a horizontal plane rather than vertical like other systems. This reduces reverberation thereby allowing for lower volume levels to achieve clarity and better outcomes. Older traditional speakers project sound in a cone shape which then reverberates off of ceilings, floors and walls as well as into the classroom. Increased volume is required to deliver the signal due to the need to overcome reverberation.
The teacher’s transmitter “Touchscreen” is intuitive (similar to a smartphone), has a small group mode and can be used with multi-media devices (e.g. watching videos through interactive whiteboards etc.).
When is a Soundfield system recommended?
Background noise, distance between the teacher and your child and poor room acoustics can all negatively impact a child’s ability to detect and understand their teacher in the classroom. Students must be able to hear their teacher well in class for successful learning.
A Soundfield System amplifies the teacher’s voice to a comfortably level above any background noise to ensure all children in the class can hear well. Background noise has also been shown to reduce in classroom where a soundfield system is used.
Can a Soundfield system also be used with a personal listening device?
Phonak Soundfield systems may also be used with Phonak personal receivers for children who require extra benefit to hear and maintain their attention in reverberant rooms. Here the teacher wears the transmitter which amplifies his/her voice to both a classroom speaker and to a child’s personal receiver.
How do I purchase a Soundfield system?
Please contact us for information regarding the purchase of a soundfield system. The type and size of system you need is dependent on the size of your classroom.