by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A man explained:
I am looking at a loop system for my home to be used with the telecoils in my hearing aids. I want to use it primarily to help me converse when a lot of people are in the house. I have a couple of questions. 1. How many microphones (I like the Radio Shack wireless/patch cord option) are the systems limited to? 2. Will it work effectively with a room microphone?
The Contacta line of loop amplifiers are great amplifiers. That is why I carry them. I have looped one end of my house using the Contacta HLD3 loop amplifier, and am very pleased with the results.
Now to answer your questions.
1. The Contacta HLD3 just has one microphone port (jack) on the back. Therefore, if you want to use multiple microphones, could get yourself a small mixer and plug all your microphones into the mixer, set the levels so all their outputs are about the same, and plug the output of the mixer into the loop amplifier. That way you are not limited by the number of microphones you have. At the same time, you have also leveled out the differences in volume between the people using the various microphones.
2. The loop amplifier itself will work great—but one room microphone is going to pick up all of the noise and babble in the room, so you are probably not going to be able to effectively hear any given person. With our poor ears, typically we need a microphone right at the speaker’s lips, not a general one in the room picking up all the other sounds. You’d have to experiment to see if a room microphone would work for you in the situation you describe, but I know it won’t work for my ears. If only one person is talking at a time, and he is quite close to the microphone, and there isn’t any background noise, then a room microphone could work quite well—but this is not the situation you are envisioning. It would be much better to have multiple microphones—one clipped to each person’s collar.
You can learn the specifics of the Contacta HLD3 loop amplifier here.