Introducing Harley Street Hearing’s London Theatre Hearing Guide
At Harley Street Hearing we prioritise ensuring that our patients are hearing to the very best of their abilities in all environments, especially public spaces.
For hearing aid users, improving their hearing in public spaces will often begin with making adjustments to the hearing aid to improve the quality of sound, alongside utilising good communication tactics. However, we recognise that in some cases, this might not be enough and further assistance may be required.
Hearing loop systems
You may have seen the hearing loop (also known as the telecoil) symbol in many public places which instructs customers that there is an assistive listening system available. In settings such as banks, supermarkets and places of worship, you’re required to own an assistive hearing device such as a hearing aid to be able to access the hearing loop for better quality sound.
However, in theatres and other performance spaces, there are ways for non-hearing aid users to benefit from the assistive listening devices during the performance (such as devices on loan with headphones, or the ability to connect your mobile to the system to use your own headphones).
We realise that this may not be common knowledge for everyone with hearing loss, so we have put together a comprehensive theatre hearing guide to share accessibility information on all London theatres.
Assistive listening devices in London Theatres
Due to the upgrade in technology since the hearing loop was first designed, we will be using the term assistive listening devices to allow us to include a whole variety of technology (and ensure we can include any changes we might see in the future) rather than focusing on the traditional hearing loop alone.
The set-up of the assistive listening devices can be slightly different for each theatre, so in our London Theatre Hearing Guide we’ve created a space where you can search through theatres to see what options are available, and how you should access it.
We hope that this resource can be used by our patients and anyone with hearing difficulties who wishes to attend performances in London theatres. From experience, we know that these systems are not always perfectly functional; the technology is often restricted by being retrofitted to listed buildings instead of being included in the initial design stages.
By ensuring you have the easiest access to the information in one place, we hope to highlight to theatres how important it is to have fully functioning equipment and are happy to collaborate with them to ensure everyone is appropriately catered for.
The exciting development and future roll-out of Auracast LE Audio (a design of new low-energy audio connectivity), should further enhance the quality of assistive listening devices for hearing aid users attending theatre performances.
If you have any feedback or updated information based on your experience at a London theatre, please do get in touch so we can update the details accordingly. Call 020 7486 1053 or complete the form below.
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If you’d like to understand more about what a telecoil is please see this video below, as explained by Matthew Allsop, Partner at Harley Street Hearing. Matthew is the content creator for Hearing Tracker, where he shares his honest opinion on everything to do with hearing technology. Hearing Tracker is the world’s first truly-independent resource for hearing aid customers.