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Frontal view of the ELY cathedral
Project: The Ely Cathedral
Product: ListenRF

Cathedrals, while being wonderful places to worship, have very specific challenges when it comes to acoustics. While some of them offer wonderful places to sit and listen to choral arrangements or for a moment of reflection, they aren’t built as tour group or tour guide friendly: a small footstep can carry from one end of a nave to the other. This presents a challenge for tour guides who must relay information without shouting or whispering.

The Ely Cathedral wanted to solve their tour acoustics problems so they invested in Tour Group equipment from Listen Technologies. ListenRF products allow a tour group user to simply plug into a small receiver that they carry with them throughout a tour. A tour member can adjust his or her own volume and will receive clear and consistent sound from the guide for the duration, so they don’t have to miss a single word of what’s said, even while other tours are simultaneously happening.

The products are also great for the tour guides as they allow them the opportunity to use a normal speaking voice, which is broadcast from a transmitter to each and every tour guest, saving stress on their voice. Although it’s a place with a past, the Ely Cathedral is definitely looking at the present. Including a little technology from Listen Technologies to improve guided tours has made the cathedral a better place to visit, whether a guest is there on a personal pilgrimage or merely there to enjoy the beautiful stained glass.

System Component

• LT-700-863 Portable RF Transmitter (863 MHz)
• LA-278 Behind-the-Head Microphone
• LR-400-863 Portable Display RF Receivers (863 MHz)
• LA-164 Ear Speakers
• Portable RF Product Charging/Carrying Case


The Ely Cathedral is steeped in history. Originally, the site of a monastery founded by a runaway princess turned nun, the cathedral grew from a rather humble site to an awe-inspiring site that covers over 46,000 square feet, including the famous Ely octagon measuring at 170 feet in height and 742 feet in width.

Although the cathedral has had its fair share of pilgrims, it’s highly unlikely that its original purpose was to host bus-loads of tour groups snapping photos of its famous stained glass and restored stonework. Nevertheless, around 250,000 contemporary pilgrimages are made to the Ely Cathedral every year.

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