What is soundfield? It’s time to reboot!

May 18, 2018

In our work with Catholic, State and Independent schools, and architects and infrastructure experts attached to them, we are always glad to explain the evolution of technology that can be known as soundfield.

This evolution has seen soundfield equipment grow from technology that captured one teacher voice and delivering it within standard classrooms.  That is, microphone involved two-piece systems, cabling from transmitters to a clip-on style microphone, or even a microphone that was head worn.   And, using transmission platforms that can no longer be used because legislation regulating airspace have changed.  This is in contrast to today’s technology that can use platforms known as DECT and Access which not only comply with legislation, but allow functionality suits bigger, more agile learning spaces and allows for two-way communication to truly compliment modern and collaborative teaching styles driven by curriculum. We have come a long way.

It is an exciting challenge to reboot the understandings of education stakeholders that are often based on their time working in remote Australian schools where forms of hearing impairment have a higher prevalence that in more urban environments.  And, soundfield can often be confused with hearing aids.

A broader view is now taken by experts in this science. In the Handbook of Acoustic Accessibility – Best Practices for Listening, Learning and Literacy in the Classroom written by Joseph J. Smaldino and Carol Flexer, the term soundfield is not used. They recognise that technology has broadened and use the term Classroom Audio Distribution Systems to describe the varying solutions.

Hear and Learn supplies the widest range of soundfield solutions, or Classroom Audio Distribution Systems. We use legal transmission platforms that cannot clash with Wi-Fi and the like; remember, schools are a minefield of airspace and we use a platform that is separate and distinct from all other devices.  All of our devices cater for any size and use of a classroom.