Contacta Announces New Exclusive Agreement with 2MAudio

2M Audio GmbH is an established Pro-Audio Distributor in Switzerland and is recognised for its extensive knowledge of professional sound systems. As a distributor for D&B Audiotechnik for more than 20 years, they are a leader in high-end PA Systems and have customers across many markets throughout the country including theatres, event locations, conference and corporate venues, and touring companies. 2M Audio pride themselves on their sophisticated solutions and the recent agreement will see Contacta’s range of hearing loop drivers and accessories introduced to their offering.

2M Audio Contacta

“We wanted to add well-balanced high quality Pro Audio products to our portfolio to provide them to our customers, AV-integrators and touring companies. The quality of Contacta’s products rival those of the market leader in Switzerland while they offer fantastic value to installers and end users. We also believe that with the support of a brand like Contacta we can ensure better accessibility in a larger number of public and private locations here”, said Stefan Meier, Managing Director of 2M Audio.

The Managing Director of Contacta, Simon Thomas, stated, “we’re excited to expand our export reach with the addition of 2M Audio as an exclusive distributor in Switzerland. What particularly attracted us to working with 2M is their preference to only provide systems of the highest quality and their varied customer base. We know that this will be a prosperous relationship and look forward to doing business with 2M in the coming years.”

 

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.

Christmas & New Year Opening Hours

Here are our adjusted office opening hours during the Christmas and New Year period:

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Our last dispatch date for orders will be 20th December 2016 at 2pm. Our warehouse will then be closed until the 3rd January 2017. Standard lead times apply.

Call our team today on 01732 223900 or email by clicking here to make sure your order makes it in time for Christmas.

We hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Loops vs Bluetooth

Assistive Listening Technologies

There are numerous types of assistive technologies available today, aimed at enhancing accessibility and making everyday tasks a little easier. A piece of technology that improves communication for those that have hearing loss is often referred to as an assistive listening device (ALD). As more and more of these technologies appear, and they become more and more complex, it can be a bit of a headache deciphering which options are best for different scenarios.

Here, we’ll delve a bit deeper into hearing loops and Bluetooth systems. We will cover a bit of history, the technology used, and identify how the main features of each impact the user.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth is a wireless communication platform that uses radio waves at high frequency to transfer data between two or more electronic devices. It is a young technology, developed first by telecommunications company, Ericsson, in 1994*.

Bluetooth is now used in numerous applications, one of which is as an ALD. Bluetooth technology cannot be put into hearing aids itself as it requires an enormous amount of power so hearing aid manufacturers make wireless enabled hearing aids and things called streamers (usually worn around the neck or in the pocket) to link them to the Bluetooth device that the user wants to hear clearly.

One advantage of using Bluetooth connectivity is that multiple devices can be connected at any time, enabling you to switch between your phone, tv and tablet if desired.

Loops

Now let’s talk loops. Hearing loops, also called induction loops, are a relatively old technology developed officially in 1937 for use with the telephone. This invention was called the telephone coil, which is where the word ‘telecoil’ comes from.

The first hearing aids like those used today, worn behind the ear, with the telecoil were made in the 70’s. Not much has changed since then. Therefore, it is an extremely simple piece of technology with straight forward operation.

A length of wire is laid around the edge of a room or installed in a counter and then connected to a loop driver. This produces a magnetic field. The electromagnetic signal is then picked up by a coil of wire within a hearing device (the telecoil) and converted back to speech or music. This might sound complicated but all a user needs to do is switch their hearing aid or cochlear implant to the “T” setting and they will be able to hear clearly.

A loop reduces background noise and amplifies just the sound source you’d like to hear. It works with your hearing device and is therefore tailored to each and everyone’s own hearing loss.

Hearing Device Compatibility

A large factor in choosing what technology to aid you is the compatibility with your current hearing device. Wireless technology that allows hearing aids or cochlear implants to function with Bluetooth enabled tech are not standard and are often costly solutions. The Bluetooth receiver that you use must be made by the same hearing device manufacturer, meaning if you were to get new hearing aids, there is a chance that it wouldn’t work with your Bluetooth device.

The telecoil is found in almost all NHS provided hearing aids in the UK. An audiologist just needs to activate the telecoil before handing it over to the individual. It is a good idea to remind them to do this!

Applications

Although it is universal for a number of applications, Bluetooth is only really useful within the home environment. The Bluetooth receiver will not interact with equipment when you’re out of the house.

Hearing loops, on the other hand, are installed at many venues, shops and public places throughout the UK. The Equality Act 2010 states that all service providers must make reasonable adjustments for those with hearing loss which means there should be a loop in all of them!

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Keep an eye out for this sign to see where there is a loop installed.

Other factors to bear in mind

When using a Bluetooth streamer to watch your favourite soap, you may notice latency. This means that there is a delay from the picture to the sound being relayed to your hearing device. This happens with Bluetooth due to the complex process involved in converting and transmitting the signals from different bits of equipment. Sound from a hearing loop is transmitted to the hearing device in real-time for a superb listening experience.

Bluetooth relies on you remembering to carry around or wear around your neck an extra bit of kit. Once loops have been installed by the venue or at your home then all the user needs to do is switch their hearing aids to the correct setting.

Contacta

There is often an assumption that newer means better but in this instance we believe simplicity wins over complexity. Simple technology = fewer problems.

At Contacta we design and manufacture loops that are suitable for a variety of settings, whether it be at home or in an amphitheatre or stadium. See our loop range here and talk to us if you’d like to know more.

* Korean J Audiol. 2014 Dec; 18(3): 105–111.

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.”