Sound Field Systems

Sound Field Systems use a teacher-worn microphone and wall mounted speakers to enhance the teacher’s voice so everyone can hear!

The first goal of BHENY will focus on the installation of sound field systems in classrooms in 13 communities

Sound Field Installation

Audiologist Lynne McCurdy installs a sound field system in a class room in Nunavut.

Why do we want to make the teacher’s voice louder?

Classrooms are busy places, with lots of activities, discussions and learning going on – but sometimes they are also noisy places where it is hard to hear the teacher or fellow students.  If you are a child with a hearing loss in a noisy room, it can be very hard to hear and learn.  The sound field system allows the teacher’s voice to be clearly heard above the background noise, at a volume that remains consistent throughout the classroom, and throughout the day. The students at the back of the room hear just as well as the students at the front of the room.  The teacher’s voice remains at a constant level, even if the teacher turns away from the students (as when writing on the blackboard). When a second, passaround microphone is included for students to use when speaking, students are able to hear their classmates, as well.  Teachers say that sound field systems help them save their voices as well – you might not know that the famous singer Luciano Pavarotti quit his job as an insurance salesman, saying “All that speaking from my sales talks was damaging my voice.  Talking can be harder on the voice than singing.”  Teachers also say that sound field systems help with classroom management, because they do not have to repeat themselves, or take time getting everyone’s attention – they just switch on their microphone!

Want to learn more about sound field systems?  Here are some links to research on sound field systems, some conducted by Bheny team member Dr. Pam Millett :

Using sound field amplification in a universal design model to enhance hearing and listening

Sound field amplification research summary

Improving student listening and engagement for English Language Learners using sound field amplification