How can I be heard?

The plain truth is if you’re looking to project your voice in a teaching/training environment then over time it's highly likely you will strain your voice. Yes, modern buildings have great acoustic design compared to ten years ago, but acoustic architecture is only a small part of being heard.

In a modern learning/ training environment, the size of the space has increased, or the capacity of students has. So how do you project your voice to many without strain?

 

Types of Voice amplification

In an environment like a hall or theatre box, linear or ceiling speakers would generally be used, and are permanently set up to accommodate multiple users. Depending on the size of the environment speaker placement is key to being heard and can be an expensive exercise to get it just right.

What about an ILS or Training space?

The above scenarios are just not viable in spaces that change in configuration a lot. These rooms tend to have a lower ceiling as well, so a conventional speaker system is only going to project volume at a defined angle and depth. This causes anyone in front of the speakers to get blasted while students at the back find it difficult to hear.

What’s the answer?

Lightspeed Voice reinforcement systems deliver optimum speech intelligibility, overcome classroom/ training room ambient noise and provide crystal clear sound to all your students regardless of where they may be seated or where the teacher may be standing.

Adding voice reinforcement not only allows teacher/trainers to talk at a lower volume so as not to strain their voice and reach every student no matter where they are relative to the teacher's position in the room, this means students get to hear intelligible voice instructions, keeping them on task, attentive and minimising student redirection.

 

How does it work?

The Lightspeed Hybrid Speaker is a combination flat panel and cone speaker which is designed to saturate the room with sound. The flat-panel speaker is different from a conventional cone type-speaker, which is very directional. The hybrid speaker disperses sound with random sound vectors from the surface of the speaker in nearly a 180° radius saturating the room with sound and creating an even sound pressure level (SPL). Lightspeed's unique cross-over technology allows them to also incorporate a cone speaker for the full range of sound that today's multimedia classrooms need.

What about the microphones?

The small (Flexmike) neck lanyard microphone gives the user the ability to mute or increase/decrease the volume and includes a 3.5 mm input to connect another device ie. Laptop, iPad, Andriod tablet. The Flexmike also include a mic jack for adding an over the ear microphone that suits this type of connection.

Another option for a microphone is a Sharemike and the name pretty much describes its use, these microphones are for handing around an audience.

Both Microphones work on a Radiofrequency signal, this type of signal is highly stable and not affected by obstacles or windows. When you’re finished just dock them in the charger and they are ready for another 4-6 hours.

 

Why choose lightspeed?

Young children spend 75% of their school day involved in listening activities. Their primary channel for learning is hearing.”

Sitech Systems NZ ltd is a New Zealand distributor, we have been selling this product for over 20 years, with a five-year warranty on hardware excellent functionality, expandability, and simplicity of installation Lightspeed are the leader in educational environments. The benefits of Lightspeed

All the lightspeed voice reinforcement range include the ability to connect ASLD (assisted listening devices) for a student that has hearing impairments.

How are they installed?

These Lightspeed dual hybrid speaker units are designed to be installed into suspended ceilings. Or if no ceiling tiles, then a fitted surround is added to fit onto a wall or ceiling.

The controller/media connector is best fitted into a side cupboard or on a shelf where if required, you can adjust external volumes i.e., a Bluetooth adaptor or where microphone volumes can be adjusted. Another option in an installation that cannot add cabling is to use the Topcat unit this only requires a power GPO for connection.

 

What types of Lightspeed voice reinforcement units are there?

There are four main types of voice reinforcement depending on the type of learning or environment size.

  1. lightspeed Topcat Only requires power otherwise completely wireless.
  2. Lightspeed TCQ and 955 Access A wired version of the above designed for renovations or new builds.
  3. POD system Used with learning groups combined with a Topcat or TCQ.
  4. Redcat Designed for single-cell environments can include a battery for off-grid learning or mobile trainers.

 

Key points

  1. *Young children spend 75% of their school day involved in listening activities. Their primary channel for learning is hearing.
  2. *ESOL children. With the acknowledgement of English language acquisition as a primary goal, phonemic awareness and word recognition is critical to their ongoing academic success
  3. *Auditory facilities are not fully developed until around the age of 15
  4. *Classroom audio is a proven tool that can overcome adverse classroom conditions, providing students with enhanced speech recognition and, therefore, a much-improved opportunity to learn. Sound-field classroom audio is now recognized as one of the most powerful and cost-effective tools for student improvement.
  5. *Sound-field improves learning and literacy outcomes, creates enhanced classroom harmony and improved student behaviour, and reduces voice strain among teachers. Sound-field achieves this by overcoming problems associated with noise, distance, and reverberation.

 

New Zealand completes its study

The first study of its kind in New Zealand has found more than half of teachers surveyed have suffered from voice problems, ranging from hoarseness to total loss, during their careers.

The findings of a nationwide survey of 1879 primary and secondary school teachers, led by the University of Auckland researchers and published this week, has prompted calls for more awareness around what has been described as an overlooked and potentially damaging health risk. Of the 1081 teachers who reported any voice problems, just over half told of mild problems, while 36 per cent reported "moderate" problems and nearly 11 per cent had experienced severe or very severe issues.

Just over 70 per cent answered that their voice took less than a week to recover from problems, while 22 per cent took up to four weeks and a further 7 per cent reported chronic problems that required at least four weeks of recovery.

 

The Schematic shows 4 TCQ hybrid speakers one in each teaching space. Each with a Flexmike, then two of the teaching spaces have a share mike that between those two rooms for larger group instruction. Lastly, there is a single Share mike connected through a Multi mike for “call all” between all four teaching spaces and includes a Bluetooth receiver for wireless device audio distribution.

 

What next?

In most instances, I would say 90% of the time when we trial these systems in a working environment, they are purchased. The proof in Lightspeed voice reinforcement is in getting Lightspeed working in a situation that they are designed for. Once they have been used for a few days to a week the proof is in the pudding.

Why not book a trial and see for yourself.

Book a Trial

 

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