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  How to Buy the Best Interpretation Equipment for Your Needs

When buying simultaneous interpretation equipment, there are a few basic rules to keep in mind:
Interpreters booths:
It is always best to buy only what you need now, in modular systems that can be added to later, when your needs increase. There are two main types of simultaneous interpretation equipment, radio frequency and infrared. Radio frequency is also divided into wideband and narrowband. Here are the main features of each:
Radio Frequency Systems
  • Lowest cost
  • Easy to install
  • Good rejection of radio interference
  • Immune to light interference
  • Wider frequency response
  • For good sound quality
  • Receivers are field tunable
  • Wide coverage
  • Easy to install
  • Highest rejection of radio interference
  • Immune to light interference
  • Good fidelity for voice application
  • Narrower frequency response
  • Wide coverage
Infrared Systems
  • Difficult to install
  • Transmission confined within opaque walls
  • Immune to radio interference
  • Sensitive to light interference
  • Limited coverage

Below is a side-by-side comparison of features and functionality for our most popular RF and IR systems:


Feature Listen Radiofrequency Williams Sound Radiofrequency Williams Sound Infrared Bosch Integrus Infrared
Frequency Response +/- 3 db 50 Hz-15 KHz 22 Hz-16 KHz 30 Hz-16 KHz 20 Hz-20 kHz
Frequency Bands 72 MHz 216 MHz 72 MHz 2.3-3.8 MHz 2-8 MHz
Signal to Noise Ratio 80 dB 74 dB > 60 dB gt; 80 dB
Number of channels 56 6 4 32
Nominal range 72 MHz: 1,500 ft. (457 m) 216 MHz: 3,000 ft. (914 m) 72 MHz: 1000 ft. (304 m) 18,000 ft 2 (1,700 m2) per emitter (2-channel mode) 28,000 ft2 (2,600 m2) per emitter (1-channel mode) 1000 m2 per medium-power emitter (4-channel mode) 2000 m2 per high-power emitter (4-channel mode)
Transmits through walls? yes yes no no
Works well outdoors? yes yes no no
Performance affected by light fixtures, camera flashes, shadowed areas or sunlight? no no yes yes
Susceptible to RF interference? yes yes no no
Transmission security? no no yes yes
Stereo Transmitters / Receivers? no no yes yes
Multiple channels simultaneously? yes yes yes yes
Portable systems? yes yes no yes
Wireless transmitters:
Wireless transmitters are commonly used for escort interpretation and trade show applications, as well as tour guide systems.

For more information, please click here for our transmitter selection chart.
Wireless receivers:
Radio frequency receivers are available in 1, 3, 6, 8, 16, and 32 channels . Infrared receivers are available in 1, 2, 4, 6, 16, and 32 channels. Click here for our radiofrequency receiver selection chart, to help you determine which type is best for your needs.
Interpreter control centers:
Make sure that any interpreter control centers you buy are fully ISO 4043 compliant and have a built-in amplifier that provides the interpreters with individual volume controls, as well as microphone mute button, microphone switching, transmitter selection buttons, and relay capabilities.
Interpreter headphones and microphones:
There are many types of professional microphones for simultaneous interpretation, including unidirectional, omnidirectional, lapel, hand-held and headset microphones, depending on the venue and application.
Audience headphones and earphones:
There are many types of headphones and microphones, depending on the venue, application, type of audience, etc. Make sure that you have the right equipment for your needs.

For our full range of simultaneous interpretation products, please call us at 210-545-0019 or e-mail us at sales@barinas.com.
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