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Starkey is renowned for its commitment to providing exceptional auditory experience for individuals with hearing loss.

This dedication comes to life through regular training sessions conducted at their headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Audiologists and hearing professionals worldwide attend these sessions to learn how to use the products and gain a deeper understanding of the user's perspective.

While designing their training environment, Starkey identified several key features they wanted to incorporate into their 300-person training room. Among these features were an elevated stage for presenters and a retractable partition to divide the space into two discrete rooms for simultaneous training sessions.Williams Starkey 3 HIAdditionally, Starkey aimed to incorporate an induction loop system into the room, providing assistive listening to individuals using hearing aids and allowing attendees to experience firsthand the immersive sound of a looped environment, particularly with Starkey’s T-Coil hearing aid. They also sought a solution to deliver language interpretation support to create an inclusive environment that seamlessly worked with their existing AV equipment.

 

Recognizing the need for seamless assistive listening and language interpretation, Starkey turned to Williams AV for their assistive communication needs. The Williams AV design and services team selected two Digi-Loop DL210 NET D hearing loop amplifiers for the training space.

 

These amplifiers provide dual 12 Arms loop output for dual loop or phased array configurations in larger spaces. The Dante connection allows the amplifiers to easily integrate with the existing AV equipment, including audio from interpreter consoles. With this setup, Starkey can deliver interpreted conversations through one amplifier while the floor language is delivered through the second amplifier. Using the built-in network controls, the AV team can remotely operate and monitor the induction loop system without being onsite for the training events.

 

Design & installation challenges and solutions

One challenge the design team faced was how to best accommodate scenarios where audio needed to cover the entire space or be directed to specific sections for multiple simultaneous trainings. To address this challenge, the loop system was designed in a phased array pattern, ensuring uniform audio coverage across the entire space while allowing for targeted delivery when required.

Williams Starkey 2 HI   Williams Starkey 4 HI

Loops on the left side of the room (red and blue) were connected to one of the Digi-Loop amplifiers, while the loops on the right (green and red) were connected to a second amplifier. This setup enables Starkey to split the audio in the room into two halves, allowing the delivery of different audio signals on each side, including interpreted audio for enhanced training experiences.

It’s not uncommon to have unexpected challenges pop up during an installation; this project was no exception. During the installation and testing, the team discovered that the metal stage caused audio interference with the hearing loops. Hearing loops installed near metal can often experience a reduction in the audio’s field strength and the loss of high frequencies. The Williams AV team of experts worked with Starkey to adjust the loop layout to accommodate the metal stage and restore the audio loop signal to this part of the room. After installation, attendees could hear audio through their hearing aid or with a hand-held receiver, making the space accessible for all.

 

Thanks to the thoughtfully designed hearing loop layout, Starkey can effortlessly rearrange tables and chairs during training sessions to accommodate breakout groups without sacrificing the audio signal. Furthermore, this setup allows Starkey to offer interpretation services to one side of the room via the induction loop, ensuring a seamless and inclusive training environment for all participants.

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