Listen Technologies Corporation, a provider of advanced wireless listening solutions, announced that Beck Center for the Arts, a non-profit, performing arts and arts education organization in Lakewood, Ohio, has installed Listen Technologies’ ListenRF assistive listening solution in its theaters where live performances are offered for children, teens, and adults.  

Beck Center had an aging assistive listening system in its 484-seat Senney Theater that was not working correctly and no longer serving its patrons. Beck Center noted that fewer people would request the assistive listening equipment because of the system’s poor performance. Seeking to provide more accessibility for patrons and wanting all to enjoy clear audio while attending productions at the theater, Beck Center selected the ListenRF assistive listening system from Listen Technologies. It also installed ListenRF in its 96-seat black box Studio Theater. 

Selecting an Assistive Listening System  

ListenRF is an assistive listening system that uses radio frequency to transmit a venue’s audio to small, discreet, and lightweight receivers that patrons wear on a lanyard around their neck or clipped to their belt. Patrons can hear audio clearly through headphones or earbuds connected to the receiver.  

Larry Goodpaster, director of finance and operations at Beck Center for the Arts, and others from Beck Center considered various assistive listening technologies and brands to replace the Center’s existing system. They evaluated ease of installation and use of different systems and considered online reviews before selecting ListenRF from Listen Technologies, the organization said.  

“One of the advantages of the ListenRF assistive listening system is that you can be up and running in minutes,” says Goodpaster. “The installation was simple. We hooked up the ListenRF system in the sound booths by connecting it to the audio sources. We determined the best location for the antenna in both theaters for the best coverage and reception and then played with the sound mix to ensure it sounded great. We tested the system from different seats in the theater, and the sound quality is excellent.”  

Improving the Theater Experience 

Lucinda (Cindy) Einhouse, president and CEO of Beck Center for the Arts, reports that patrons have shared positive feedback about the new assistive listening system and have said the system made their theater experience better. 

“It makes such a difference for those with hearing loss,” says Einhouse of the ListenRF assistive listening system. “The crystal clear audio means better speech intelligibility. Better intelligibility means patrons with hearing loss enjoy the same great experience as their hearing peers. They are now able to fully engage with action on the stage.” 

Flexibility and Increased Accessibility 

Beck Center is committed to providing inclusive and accessible experiences for everyone, the organization says. In addition to assistive listening receivers, Beck Center offers Listen Technologies neck loops for patrons with telecoil-enabled hearing aids or cochlear implants. A neck loop, or induction loop, slips comfortably over the wearer’s neck and transmits the audio signal from the receiver wirelessly to their telecoil-enabled hearing device. 

“We are excited to offer the high-quality neck loops required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for use with hearing aids and cochlear implants,” says Goodpaster. “Additionally, having two theaters, it’s great to have the ability to use the [ListenRF] receivers in either of the theaters if the need arises. And it’s so easy to do! That’s a huge plus when you’re dealing with multiple spaces.” 

Assistive listening devices are not just for patrons with hearing loss. Anyone attending a performance or event in the Studio and Senney theaters may request an assistive listening device to enhance their listening experience. Equipment is available for free on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Photo: Listening Technologies Corp.