Gallo Center Installs New Hearing Assistance System

Patrons who are hearing impaired can now expect a new experience during performances at the Gallo Center for the Arts. Thanks to a donor-advised fund with Stanislaus Community Foundation, the performing arts center has been able to install a Sennheiser hearing assistance system featuring more advanced technology, better build quality, and a stronger radio frequency signal than the Gallo Center's previous system.

"We're excited to provide this service to our patrons," said the Center's director of production, Erik Vose, who supervised the installation. "The system offers a dramatically improved audio experience for the hearing impaired."

At the heart of the system is a personal copper induction loop that allows the signal from the assistive listening packs provided to patrons to communicate directly with modern hearing aids equipped with T-Coil technology. Patrons wear the lightweight loop around their necks, and connect it to the listening pack. This eliminates the need for some patrons to use headphones. It also allows the hearing aid to process the signal, matching each patron's hearing loss.

"The signal from the loop is picked up by a small coil of wire inside the hearing aid, called a T-Coil," explained Vose. "The T-Coil uses no electricity so it doesn't affect the battery life of the hearing aid. The signal from the loop plays through the customized hearing aid programming. The sound is mixed and adjusted by the hearing aid to compensate for the users hearing loss, giving as close to true sound reproduction as possible with an assistive device."

For patrons without a T-Coil in their hearing aids, the Gallo Center also has acquired new Sennheiser headphones that are lightweight with leatherette ear pads, and provide, Vose says, "excellent sound reproduction with a rich, crisp bass response."

The hearing assistance devices are provided to patrons at no charge and are available at the Gallo Center's coat check counter.

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