Radio aids – optimising listening opportunities: Guide

Gill Weston, Pauline Cobbold, Cate Statham and Helen Maiden with contributions by James Mander, Gary Webster and Brian Copsey | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

Soundfield systems and radio aids

Radio Aid systems can be used in conjunction with a Soundfield System.  The teacher uses the soundfield microphone and the Radio Aid transmitter is connected into the soundfield.  The sound is rebroadcast from the soundfield through the transmitter to the hearing device used by the CYP.

The Quality Standards for the use of personal radio aids QS12 states that:

‘There can be a number of advantages for a deaf child when a personal radio system is combined with a soundfield system.  However, such systems must be regularly and sensitively evaluated to ensure optimum use and benefit’. This can be undertaken using the test box and by speech in noise assessments.

Mary Atkin, in her study, 'Soundfield systems and radio aids: exploring the effects of rebroadcasting’  (2017) states:

‘The research concludes that Soundfield systems support the provision of a good acoustic environment within the classroom.  It also finds that the process of rebroadcasting a Soundfield system through a Radio Aid system requires careful management.  The research supports the need to develop guidance on the use of electro-acoustic balance and speech discrimination testing when rebroadcasting.  The verification process should also include due consideration of the individual user’s preferences to support the most effective use of Assistive Listening Devices’.

The Quality Standards Good Practice Guide 2008, section 5 details how to set up and balance radio aids with soundfield systems.  Although technology has advanced since this was written, the principles are the same.