V7 & V12a Hearing Loop Drivers are Launched

We are thrilled to launch the first two hearing loop drivers in our new V-Series range on Monday 2nd October 2017. These powerful drivers give you unparalleled performance for an affordable price and are created to be even easier to install and use than their predecessors.

Manufactured in the UK, our new drivers are designed to produce supreme sound quality, with Automatic Gain Control and superior phasing performance. The constant current drivers employ Class D technology and Digital Signal Processing together, making the drivers extremely efficient. Unlike many conventional drivers, these do not require fan cooling and have compact heat-sinks, resulting in quieter, lighter, and easier to maintain products.

Simplicity is key for us at Contacta. Our drivers are created with the installer and the user in mind, so every decision made in the design process ensures that the product works soundly for everyone. The new user interface, featuring a simple dial, makes adjusting the loop parameters effortless, while Euroblock connectors enable swift and straight-forward installation. The V12a is our first dual output driver to be introduced into the product range, simplifying purchasing and installing phased hearing loop solutions.

Our V-Series will include several new drivers with a large array of voltage capabilities, and both single and dual output drivers. The ultra-efficient driver range provides you the variety you need to create a loop for any room. The first to launch are the V7 and V12a models. The V7 is a compact 7.5 volt, 5 amp driver, while the V12a features 5 amps, 12 volts and a dual output for phased array loop configurations. These compact and attractive drivers transform the listening experience for hearing aid wearers at any small to medium-sized venue, offering superior quality sound reproduction across both speech and music.

Key features of the V7 and V12a drivers:

  • Use the latest DSP and Class-D technology
  • Contain intelligent self-diagnostics
  • True constant current drivers
  • Compact and powerful
  • Modern and space-saving design
  • Flexible and suitable for a wide range of situations
  • Low heat emissions
  • Simple user interface
  • Easy to install
  • Rack mountable or freestanding
  • Fully and independently certified to be CE, FCC and ICES compliant

Get in touch for more details or to find out who your local international dealer is, 01732 223900 or email sales@contacta.co.uk.

 

Contacta’s new V Series Drivers Displayed at ISE, Amsterdam, 7-10 Feb

 

We are excited to announce the first two hearing loop drivers in our new V Series which we will be displaying at ISE this year. These powerful drivers, due for release in July 2017, give you unparalleled performance for an affordable price and are created to be even easier to install and use.

Manufactured in the UK, our new drivers are designed to produce supreme sound quality, with Automatic Gain Control and superior phasing performance. The constant current drivers employ Class D technology and Digital Signal Processing together, making the drivers extremely efficient. Unlike many conventional drivers, these do not require fan cooling and have exceptionally compact heat-sinks, resulting in quieter, lighter, and easier to maintain products.

Simplicity is key for us at Contacta. Our drivers are created with the installer and the user in mind, so every decision made in the design process ensures that the product works soundly for everyone. The new user interface, featuring a straight-forward scroll wheel, makes adjusting the loop parameters effortless, while Euroblock connectors enable swift installation. The V12a is our first dual output driver to be introduced into the range, simplifying purchasing and installing phased hearing loop solutions.

Our V Series will include 5 new drivers. With an array of voltage capabilities, reaching an unparalleled 44v and both single and dual output drivers within the range, the ultra-efficient V Series provides you the variety you need to create a loop for any space. The first to launch, with product concepts at ISE 2017, are the V7 and V12a models. The V7 is a compact 7.5 volt, 5 amp driver, while the V12a features 5 amps , 12 volts RMS and a dual output for phased array loop configurations.

If you’re going to be at ISE be sure to visit us at Stand 7-T126 or contact us to find out more.

Contacta Announces New Exclusive Agreement with Tau Audio Solutions

Founded in 1997, Tau is one of the leading distributors of quality audio products in the Netherlands. It has almost 20 years’ experience installing and distributing hearing loops throughout the region. Tau Audio has an extensive range of AV products from recognised brands in which Contacta is excited to be included.

Tau Audio’s goal is to make the lives of their AV integrators easier by assisting them with designing and commissioning systems.

Tau Audio Solutions have exclusive rights to distribute British built technology from Contacta’s talented in-house design team, to contractors and dealers across the Netherlands. They will be circulating the full range of large area loop products, one-to-one loop systems and loop accessories. Tau are also adding Contacta’s speech transfer systems as a new product range within their repertoire.

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Ron Vossen, Managing Director of Tau, released the following statement;

“We are looking forward to working with Contacta and introducing their range of UK-made products into the Netherlands. Their superior in-house design capability and hearing loop expertise make them an excellent fit for us.”

Simon Thomas, Managing Director of Contacta Systems Ltd added;

“We are delighted to be working with Tau Audio Solutions to distribute our products throughout the Netherlands. This is an exciting opportunity for our brand to expand into this region.

With one of the largest Audio Visual exhibitions in the world held at the RAI in Amsterdam every year, the BeNeLux AV market is competitive. The Tau Audio team have demonstrated their wealth of knowledge and experience within this market. Our combined induction loop designing, specification and installation skills acquired over the last few decades will undoubtedly produce great results in this territory.”

What to Expect From Your Audiology Appointment

It isn’t always obvious what to expect from an audiologist appointment, so we’ve enlisted Laura Turton, Specialist Adult Audiologist & Operations Manager for the British Society of Audiology, and she’s helped us answer some important questions for you.

What can I expect from the appointment?
In your initial appointment the main focus will be around assessing your hearing and the impact your hearing loss is having on your life. The audiologist should ask you some medical questions about your ears, explore what expectations you have for the appointment and find out where your hearing loss is mainly affecting you and how that makes you feel. A fundamental part of this assessment is having your ears examined and undertaking a hearing test (where the audiologist will find the quietest sounds you can hear across tones of differing pitches).

This appointment is your opportunity to discuss honestly and openly what bearing your hearing is having and you should be presented with a range of options you can take to manage your hearing loss further. Take the time before the appointment to think about places where you have noticed your hearing has changed. If you are suitable you will be offered one or two hearing aids, which will probably be fitted at a future appointment.

At the hearing aid fitting appointment you may not see the same audiologist again, but your previous audiologist should have recorded your comments extensively from the assessment. The person seeing you should recap on these at the beginning of the appointment. Then they will typically undertake some tests (some of which you will need to actively participate in and others you won’t) to make sure your hearing aids are giving you an appropriate amount of sound during your appointment. During your appointment the audiologist should talk to you about different options within the hearing aid, such as whether you would like to have the hearing aid set to be fully automatic, or where you can have control over the volume, and the variety of programs available for different situations. This is the moment in the appointment where you need to consider if you want to try a loop system in the future.

If the audiologist does not activate part of the hearing aid called the telecoil at this point, you will not be able to use a loop system or take advantage of its benefits. Before this appointment keep an eye out for the loop logo in places that you work, socialise and visit. If you have seen one then ask for the telecoil to be activated, you have nothing to lose by having this done, even if you choose not to use it. After your hearing aids have been set up, the audiologist will show you how to use them and look after them. You should then be booked either a face to face or telephone follow up to check on your progress.

How long will it take?
The assessment should be between 45-60 minutes. The hearing aid fitting should be around 60 minutes and the follow up should be between 15 minutes on the phone and 30 minutes face to face.

Do I need to bring anything with me?
Bring any reading glasses so you are able to see the detail on the hearing aids as they are being demonstrated and for your first appointment take a list of any medication you are on.

What will the audiologist ask me?
Think of your appointments as a two-way conversation about any problems you have noticed about your hearing. The audiologist needs to understand any medical issues you have with your ears (such as infections, tinnitus – noises in your ears or head and dizziness), plus any wider medical conditions you have. This is important as sometimes they need to refer you to a medical consultant to investigate these further. However, the most fundamental part of the appointment is for the audiologist to get a better understanding about your hearing loss, what impact it is having and what you would like to do about it.

What type of hearing aids will the audiologist recommend me?
This is a hard question to answer as it depends on many different factors. The first is where you are being assessed. Within the NHS each department will chose a number of hearing aid manufacturers to fit, which will be different across different regions of the UK. Private providers have different hearing aids available to those on the NHS. Both the NHS and private dispensers have a range of styles available to them (although for the widest selection you may need to be seen by a private provider). The most appropriate one will be offered to you based on the choice available, the severity of your hearing loss and factors such as your dexterity and eyesight. If the loop system is an important feature to you it would be worth expressing this in your assessment to ensure your hearing aid has a telecoil located inside of it.

What questions should I ask?
Always think about questions that are personal to you, whether these are about how to use the hearing aid, when you should try the hearing aids, what you can expect in different situations and always express any worries or questions you have. If your audiologist advises you in some way that you don’t understand then please ask for clarification, as we are working to support you and want you to feel like you can ask us anything.

The take home message is that you have nothing to lose by having the telecoil activated on your hearing aids and it can open up opportunities to use loop systems either with additional personal devices for your home, on the phone or in public buildings which can give you the extra support you need in these situations. Ask your audiologist about this option at your next appointment.

lauraturtonLaura has worked for the last 16 years in a variety of roles across the NHS and the voluntary sector. Her clinical work focuses on adults who have acquired their hearing loss later in life and is passionate about connecting people to all types of organisations who can support all of their needs in addition to the support Audiology can provide, in particular, any information and support that can lead to people feeling more confident in managing their own hearing loss and taking control. Laura currently splits her time between seeing patients, supporting quality standards in Audiology and managing the strategic and operational work of the British Society of Audiology.

 

A Simple Solution for Attracting New Clients to Your Care Home

Despite the ever growing need for care, it is not easy attracting new clients to care homes. The care home resident population for those aged 65 and above has remained almost stable since 2001 with an increase of 0.3%, in spite of a growth of 11.0% in the overall population at this age (Age UK, 2016). This may be due to the increasingly common perception that care homes are a location of last resort for those with the greatest need.

In the current climate of rising costs, rising demand and reduced funding, one of the ways to boost business is to embrace technology. One of the pieces of technology that can revolutionise the way residents interact with each other and your staff is a hearing loop.

Hearing Loss is a major public health issue, affecting a third of over 65 year olds in the UK. With 93% of residents in nursing homes and 99% in residential homes aged over 65, this is a matter that care homes must address.

It can be tricky for those with hearing loss to distinguish speech or other sound sources, even with a hearing aid. In normal mode, a hearing aid amplifies all sounds. In a care home environment this means increasing the volume of noises such as moving chairs, scraping plates, vacuum cleaners, televisions or radios and others chatting. It can all get overwhelming. The result is that residents often remove their hearing aids. They find it incredibly hard to contribute to group activities and talk to staff, many retiring to their rooms and becoming very isolated.

Hearing loops improve communication by cutting out this background noise and enabling the user to hear the sound source directly. Sounds such as a speaker’s voice or the television become crystal clear.

technology, television, age and people concept - happy senior wo

A hearing loop would not only improve the lives of current residents, but communicate to potential residents and their families that everyone is welcome.

By installing assistive listening technology at your care home, you ensure you are supporting the NICE quality standard (QS50) relating to the mental well-being in care homes and complying with the new Accessible Information Standard which came into play in July 2016.

There are hearing loops to suit a variety of situations within your residential home. Personal loops are a viable solution for use with televisions. Sound is relayed to the hearing device with no delay via a small loop pad, placed under a seat or via a cable installed around the perimeter of the room. Portable loops with a built-in microphone are perfect for one-to-one conversations, while large area loops are used in areas such as communal games rooms, allowing all residents to partake in and enjoy group activities.

How do residents use it? Simple. Once a loop has been installed they just need to switch their own hearing device to the “T” position. This is something that an audiologist needs to activate if they haven’t already done so.

Investing in a hearing loop is a small step that could create a huge change within your care home, attracting new business and boosting communication for residents and staff. Get in touch today to find out how it could benefit your home.