I just met with Wayne Alonzo of Azden, who’s showing a relatively new all-in-one assistive listening system that’s designed mainly for K-12 classrooms.
It’s not completely new – Alonzo says Azden has been OEM’ing all the components to other manufacturers for a few years, but this is a newly branded package from the company. The IR-CS Infrared system includes everything you’d need for a classroom: A pendant mic with an emitter, a handheld mic, a dual-channel receiver, an infrared sensor, and four 6.5in. ceiling speakers. (This assistive-listening system does not use individual receivers, as do those designed for the hearing impaired.) There’s also an IR-WS system that employs wall-mounted speakers. The cost for the systems are $1,200 and $1,100, respectively.
Alonso says that for classrooms, infrared is a better choice than FM because classrooms are always nearby dozens of other classrooms, and all of them will be fighting for space on the band. Infrared is confined to a single room.
This is somewhat of a departure for Azden, for which 90 percent of its business is in the “audio for video” realm, according to Alonso. But, he says, the hope is that the classroom market becomes more and more significant.