FM Radio Hearing Systems

What is a FM radio system?

A FM radio (RF) system is an assistive listening transmission system based on radio technology. A typical system consists of an audio source, a radio transmitter and radio receivers.

How do FM radio systems work?

FM radio systems distribute an audio signal in the form of radio waves. The audio signal (from a microphone or AV system) is fed into a transmitter that converts the audio signal into an RF signal and transmits this around the space. Portable battery powered receivers are used by individuals to convert the radio signal back into audio which is then fed into either headphones or (if a hearing aid user) induction neck loop. Each system user can then select their channel (if required) adjust their personal volume. There is no limit to the number of receivers that can be used on a system.

FM radio system exampleTransmitters are available in stationary (mains powered) or portable (battery powered).

FM hearing system example

As FM systems transmit via radio waves, they do not relay on line-of-sight between the transmitter and receivers and are less prone to ‘blind spots’. They can also be used indoors or outdoors.

Where are FM radio system used?

FM systems are generally used in large venues such as concert halls, theatres, auditoriums, exhibition halls, performance spaces indoors or outdoors, or other multi-function spaces that require a flexible system that can accommodate for different layouts.

FM Systems are sometime used for other technical reasons such as-

-FM system do not suffer losses due to the amount of steel in the construction of the room which can would affect the signal and frequency response of an induction loop system. Systems can also be used in environments with high background magnetic interference.

-Portable FM system are quick to set up with minimal or no wiring.

-Multichannel systems are available so they can be used to provide hearing support, audio description, silent conferencing, guided tours or simultaneous interpretation. Channels can be named and/or disabled on some transmitters and receivers.

FM radio systems are more commonly known as Tour Guide Systems, as the technology was originally developed to assist tour guides speaking to their guests over distance or in noisy environments. Most FM systems are one-way however, two-way systems are available for specialist applications.

We are the biggest dealer in Europe for FM/tour guide systems. Please contact us for more information.

We supply products from all the major manufacturers so can select the most suitable and cost-effective equipment for each customer’s individual needs.

Alternative systems are Induction Loop (AFILS), Infrared (IR), Audio Over WiFi and soon to be launched, Auracast (Bluetooth).