Gates Corporation Chooses Listen Portable FM System

As the Gates Corporation’s main training facility in the U.S., the Gates Rubber factory, located in Siloam Springs, Ark., uses plant tours not only to introduce vendors and visitors to Gates’ “well-oiled” operations, but also to conduct employee training.


In a noble attempt to enable all guests to hear over the industrial machinery, tour guides and trainers toted around a microphone and small loudspeaker, requiring the use of both hands. This somewhat cumbersome solution worked well for those in the immediate vicinity of the guide, how­ever it still was unable to reach all of the listeners adequately.


Gates’ HSE Coordinator Bill Medley knows the value of ensuring good sound especially on the shop floor to not only ensure visitor safety, but also when teaching employees about safety. Medley was tasked with finding a more effective audio solution, and his search led him to Listen Technologies’ LS-08 15-Person Advanced Portable FM System.


The wireless LS-08 consists of 16 body packs: 1 transmitter and 15 receivers. All body packs come with the needed accessories (microphone, ear­phones, batteries, etc.) and fit into a convenient charging/carrying case. You can also add more receivers to the system if 15 isn’t enough, or if your needs grow in the future. The system features 57 frequencies to ensure users can always find a clear signal. The inpidual receivers have a chan­nel up/down and seek button, as well as access to the batteries, which are concealed behind a small lockable door, to prevent accidental adjustment, but which also allow easy access to the user.


Bill Medley, HSE Coordinator for the Gates factory noted, “The Listen system allows us to conduct trainings and factory tours in a noisy environment where everyone can clearly hear the speaker or trainer.” Since the Siloam Springs factory is one of the main training facilities, they frequently host guests from other Gates facilities as well as vendors. The visitors were so impressed with the clarity and ease-of-use of the Listen system that many of them have purchased systems for their own facilities.


Gates Corporation, which started out as a family business known as the Gates Rubber Company, has been inventing and manufac­turing various mechanical and rubber-based products for close to 100 years. In fact, they actually invented the V-shaped drive belt commonly found in automotive engines. In addition to a booming aftermarket business for serpentine belts, tensioner pulleys and other items related to the automotive indus­try, they are also an OEM supplier for several major automotive manufacturers, so they have several production facilities all across North America and other parts of the world.


“We’ve been very happy with the Listen system,” says Bill Medley. “It’s been trouble-free and when ever we’ve had any questions about the system, the Listen people have always been very responsive and friendly.”


School District Eliminates Disruptions At Meetings with Language Interpretation

While lively discussions may ensue in some PTA meetings, most are fairly routine and occur with little disruption. For the Arcadia Unified School District (AUSD), however, disturbances from language interpretation, which accommodates its large Chinese-speaking community, were becoming increasingly noticeable and problematic.

Director of Technology and Information Services Robert Leri reported that 65 percent of the population is ethnic Chinese, the majority of those speak Mandarin as their first language. While interpreters in the back of the room and parents did their best to be unobtrusive during meetings, it became evident that the district needed to find a better way to unite the parents linguistically, so they could continue to strengthen the education for the students.

Commitment to Outreach AUSD has already been doing a lot of community outreach to help all parents become involved with their children’s education. In addition to the language interpretation at PTA, booster, and other committee meetings, the district also offers community liaisons for ethnically perse families and free English classes to members of their community in an effort to help children more quickly acquire English skills.

Following suit, AUSD purchased a Listen Portable FM system to reduce disruptions from language interpretation, enabling them to continue providing the valuable service and conduct more efficient meetings.

Taking “Charge” of Interpretation the custom-designed system consists of three LT-700 Portable FM Transmitters with microphones, 50 LR-400 Portable FM Receivers with headphones, and convenient charging carrying cases. The charging cases were a major factor in AUSD’s selection of technology, according to Leri. “Other systems we looked at required a separate cord for each unit. That would have been a cord nightmare,” he said.

To facilitate quieter interpretation services and smoother meetings, an interpreter listens to the proceedings through the headphones of an LR-400 receiver set to one of its 57 channels. Then the interpreter speaks the interpretation into the microphone connected to the LT-700 transmitter set to a separate channel, which broadcasts a clear RF signal out a radius of 150 feet.


Listeners, equipped with the body pack receivers, hear through the headphones. Each unit has inpidual volume control so even guests who may be hearing impaired can listen to the interpretation clearly.


“This system really addresses the needs of the parents, so all of then can understand and participate in their children’s education,” Leri said. The district also intends to use this portable language interpretation system with its bilingual advisory committee, other parent groups, and possibly with students.

Tour Guides Serve Up Satisfaction On Food Processing Plant Tours

As an experienced industrial tour guide, Robert Sapien has been taking advantage of tour group communication technology for a number of years. The first system he used worked pretty well at blocking out the din of noisy machinery on the plant floor. However, its clunky design and flimsy nature was undesirable and quickly wore out.
Sapien, who is the administrative assistant for Fresh Express’ flagship plant, tried a second system for his tours. Unfortunately, the system was ineffective with the industrial-strength noise in this exemplary salad processing plant in Salinas, Calif. Sapien reported that the noise-canceling quality was so poor that even with the sound equipment on, he had to shout to be heard. This limitation also meant he could take fewer guests on a single tour because everyone had to be within “shouting range.”
Using his experience with other systems, Sapien knew what he needed, and kept his eyes open for several years to find the right product. While browsing through a catalog from Hello Direct Inc., Sapien found an ideal solution: a Listen Technologies’ Tour Group System. Not only did the features listed in the catalog match his needs, but the free 30-day demonstration of the Listen prod­ucts also would enable him to ensure the product could handle the noisy salad processing environment before he spent any money.
Sapien reported that the demonstration went really well. They made the switch to the Listen LS-07 15-Person Portable FM System, and now his visitors, sales director, and his vocal chords are thanking him for it.
The system Sapien uses includes a portable trans­mitter and 15 portable body pack receivers. Their system also features a noise-canceling microphone that expertly eliminates background noise from the loud machinery on the plant floor.
“We conduct about 60 tours each year, and we get tons of compliments on the quality of the tour. First, the presentations are good and second, they can clearly hear what is being said through their headphones,” Sapien said. “Providing tours period has such a great impact on our customers.”
In addition to great tours, Sapien explained that using Listen’s equipment is another way to convey the plant’s commitment to top quality, an integral element of the Fresh Express brand. The excellent tour experience reinforces the value of the company, its prod­ucts and its professionalism to its clients.
“Using Listen’s tour group system makes it much easier for me to convey the important selling points to customers,” Sapien said. “It’s much more easy and comfortable for the visitors to hear the message clearly.”
From experience, Sapien knows how to serve up satisfaction on his plant tours. Listen-ing.

Trojan Horse Training Uses Wireless Listening Solution

It’s another hot weekend that finds ten students of Las Vegas-based Trojan Horse Training dressed in smart jodhpur trousers and show jackets, and competing in jumping and dressage* events with their equine companions. In the warm-up arena, a handful of trainers busily chase and call out final instructions to their dozens of students competing that day. The result is little more than a shouting match – each instructor trying to get the attention of his or her riders and communicate the corrective actions.
For expert trainer Gina Tatom, who sits outside the arena, her instructions pierce through the chaos to her students with crystal clear reception. Tatom uses a portable wireless audio system from Listen Technologies to train and coach more effectively.
Tatom first saw wireless audio technology being used by internationally acclaimed training moguls Pat and Linda Parelli. She immediately recognized how audio technology could aid her training program and started an extensive search for an affordable system that could withstand the rigors of her business, which spans from horse breaking and problem behaviors to show jumping.
“When working with some of these more challenging horses, there can be a lot of bumps, especialy if a rider falls off,” Tatom explained. “I needed a product that could withstand that kind of jolting.”
After passing up expensive professional systems and flimsy residential systems from the local electronics store, Tatom tried a Listen Portable FM System by taking advantage of the manufacturer’s free 30-day demo program. Between her private lessons and weekend shows, she put the Listen system through the wringer ensuring it could hold up to the demands of equine arts. Listen gave a blue-ribbon performance and the lifetime warranty gave her the additional assurance that she would always have functioning equipment should something go wrong.
Her satisfaction met, she purchased her own Listen Portable FM System which includes one LT-700 Portable FM Transmitter and four LR-400 Portable FM Receivers. The body pack styling enables the users to clip the units to their belts, allowing free movement for both the coach and the student. Tatom wears thetransmitter, which is equipped with a headworn microphone, and the students tune in with their receivers and headphones.
“The Listen system is great! I love having it,” said Tatom, whose passion and drive have earned her a reputation of never-ending energy. “My work is not as exhausting now because I can coach while sitting in the shade outside the arena instead of following my riders around. Plus, I don’t have to shout anymore.” Tatom further explained that in windy conditions especially, it’s difficult to hear a trainer even if she’s shouting.
The Listen system is particularly effective in those warm-up arenas with all her students wearing the receivers. “I can call out the name of the student, easily get his or her attention, and give instructions in a normal voice. The students have commented that this really helps them stay calm, which is so important when competing.”
From the trainer’s perspective, Tatom reports that her students are able to learn more quickly during their lessons because they can hear well. They save time because there’s no need to repeat instructions. To top it all off, her clients get more value for their money because the audio technology allows them to make the best use of their training time.
Thanks to the solid performance of Listen’s Portable FM System, Gina Tatom gets all-around winning results with her students at Trojan Horse Training.
*Dressage (pronounced dreh SAHZH) is the guiding of a horse through a series of complex maneuvers by slight move­ments of the rider’s hands, legs, and weight.

Museum of Contemporary Art Mounts Listen for Gallery Tours

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland is a non-collecting institution, and thus is recreated three times a year. This ensures a steady stream of traffic through its 23,000 square feet of gallery space. Like most museums, MOCA conducts tours, some led by docents, others by artists. All share a common thread: unparalleled sound, thanks to equipment from Listen Technologies Corporation.
While reviewing the museum’s overall sound options, Grayson saw an unmet need for a reliable, portable system to facilitate these ‘walking talks.’ From this came a rather innovative sound solution for the tours.
Each of two Listen LR-600 Wireless FM Receiver/Speakers were mounted onto a microphone stand so they could be moved by floor managers from one area to the other as the tour moves through the galleries. With an LT-700 Portable FM Transmitter worn by the tour leader, a unique answer to portability was found.
The superior sound from the Listen speakers is made all the better by being positioned mid-room rather than in front of the group. In addition, opting for speakers rather than individual receiver packs worn by patrons has allowed folks to join in or move on from the group at their leisure.
“It’s a highly effective means through which the tour leader communicates with participants,” said MOCA’s Director of Development, John Grayson, “providing an ideal solution for intimate, one-off tours. And everyone appreciates that they don’t have to shout to be heard, which makes it easy to conduct three or four consecutive tours.
“Listen offers a variety of solutions for tour groups in this kind of atmosphere and really addresses making the visitor experience more pleasurable. In fact,” said Grayson, “the folks at Listen have solutions to problems you never knew you had.”
That’s just what we at Listen like to hear.

Listen Tour System a Smooth Blend for Gavina Gourmet Coffee

There was a time when the folks at Gavina Gourmet Coffee led tour groups through their Los Angeles plant, yelling. It was the only way to be heard over the din of roasters and the other machinery needed to create and crate these popular fine coffees. Then a trip to a coffee plantation in Brazil introduced the Gavinas to a Listen Technologies wireless portable system.
Founded by Don Francisco, patriarch of the Gavina family, the company remains family owned and operated. A Cuban immigrant, Don Francisco arrived in the US with his eight children, 150 Cuban pesos, and coffee knowledge gained from growing up on a coffee plantation. Today, his children are at the helm, with nieces and nephews part of the business as well.
Roasting gourmet beans from around the world is not, for the Gavinas, a matter of importing beans by reputation. They travel to plantations around the globe to find the best beans for their customers. It was during one such trip to Brazil that they were introduced to a Listen portable tour group system.
“We’d needed a friendlier system,” said Leonor Gavina, co-owner of the company, so the first item of business upon return from Brazil was to put in place a Listen Technologies sound solution. Now, whether guiding a group of sixth graders or hosting interested vendors, “The best part of this is that we no longer need to yell or repeat ourselves.”
With the rising interest in coffee over the past several years, the Gavina plant sees more and more visitors interested in learning about how their morning lattes, espressos and robust cups of unadulterated java actually end up in their hands. The two Listen transmitters and 14 rechargeable receivers, make their tours an exercise in comfort.
“This equipment easy enough to use that we pretty much just put on the transmitters and receivers and started in. It has taken some getting used to, only because it has made everything so different for us,” she said. In fact, the only “problem” encountered was realizing they’d forgotten to recharge the batteries a time or two.
“Sometimes someone just drops in to see the plant, and even with one-on-one tours the system is great. Everyone loves using the equipment.” Indeed, it’s a far cry from the days when Mike’s answer to guiding a tour meant picking up a bullhorn.

North Carolina Aquarium Makes A Splash With Wireless Listening

In the popular Pixar animated film Finding Nemo, the young and stubborn clown fish, Nemo, proves to his overprotective father that“fin impairment” cannot prevent him from exploring the adventures of the ocean. With the same vigor and ambition, the staff at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is ensuring that their patrons can also savor the aquatic adventures regardless of hearing or language barriers.
The Aquarium is using a wireless audio system from Listen Technologies to assist patrons who are hard of hearing as well as offering tours and language interpretation. They acquired the LS-06 Portable FM System from Independence Audio for the job because of its simple operation, intuitive design, hearing aid compatibility, and versatility.
“Our patrons really like using the Listen system. They like being able to adjust the volume to suit their individual needs, and it’s so convenient to use with hearing aids,” Aquarium Educator Jackie Harris said. The LA-164 Ear Speaker they use slides around the back of the ear and can be worn over hearing aids or ear plugs. With most tours being populated by seniors, this is a very helpful feature.
The need for a Listen system originated with the Aquarium’s activities for Deaf Awareness Day, which occurs annually around early October. “On this day, everything is directed toward those who are deaf or hard of hearing,” Harris said. Among the activities are dive presentations, films, and guest lecturers. Additionally, organizations that offer products and services for the deaf and hearing impaired assemble at the Aquarium to inform these important patrons about their specialized services. With the help of the North Carolina Division for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, this proactive attraction identified ways to accommodate people with hearing impairments. With Listen’s Portable FM System and sign-language interpreters, both the deaf and hard of hearing can participate in the many informative and entertaining presentations at the Aquarium. “We also use the Listen system for tours,” Harris added. “Especially when it’s busy, the walls of our facility bounce a lot of noise. So the system helps people hear the tour guide better and helps them stay together as a group.”
Having the Listen Portable FM System also enables the Aquarium to make an impressive splash with its Hispanic community, overcoming language barriers for this growing segment of patrons. Harris explained, “We have a staff member who is bi-lingual and interprets tours and programs for our Spanish-speaking visitors.”
The interpreter listens to the presentation and simultaneously speaks the Spanish interpretation into the microphone attached to the portable transmitter that comes with the Listen system. The transmitter sends a signal out a distance of 150 feet, and patrons wearing the portable receivers can listen to the interpretation through their ear speakers.
Thanks to the perseverance of and listening technology made available by the dedicated staff at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, hearing impaired and Spanish speaking patrons no longer need to “fish” for the words and meaning of the presentations. And they’ll all “hear” the guide confirm that indeed they’ve found Nemo.

Rocking and Rolling with Listen Tour Group

When you visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, OH, you have the option of taking a tour with a Listen wireless audio system.
John Grayson, corporate relations manager, explains how they have benefitted from the Listen products. As museums go, the Rock Hall can be pretty noisy. Hey, it’s rock and roll. But the cacophony isn’t always conducive to group tours. The Listen units really help to save the voice of the guide. Also, when we pause along the tour, large groups tend to slowly disperse as folks are drawn by their interest in the artifacts. The units are so practical for rounding everyone up and moving along. They help save time and keep the tour moving on schedule. “
Tour guides at the hall wear LT-700 Portable Transmitters with a head worn microphone. Each guest wears a personal belt pack with an ear speaker that can receive the transmitted audio up to 150 feet away. This can have other advantages as well, as Grayson explains. “Today when the group got on the elevator to move to another floor, one of the tour members fell behind and missed the car. When it was discovered that she had gone missing, the interpreter simply used the transmitter to tell her that we were waiting for her-three floors away. “
With their international appeal, the Rock Hall also uses the Listen devices for interpretation. Multiple tours (or interpretations) can all take place in the same area, thanks to Listen’s 57 channels and field tunability.
“People love them because of the clarity, “Grayson points out. “That seems to be the unifying theme when people finish the tour –it sounds so clear. “The tour guides also appreciate the system. “They (the guides) say after four of these hour-long tours, they are not going home hoarse at the end of the day.
Presentation, ease of use, flexibility, and clarity … all great reasons why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum uses Listen wireless audio for their guided tours.

State-of-the-Art Shipping and Tracking Facility Shines with Tour Group Solution

How do you show off a state-of-the-art shipping and tracking facility when the equipment includes conveyor belts and jet aircraft making so much noise you can’t hear someone yelling next to you? With Listen, of course!
At UPS’ Louisville Kentucky transport hub, executive and VIP tours are conducted which include walking guests through the maze of conveyors in the warehouse and out onto the tarmac where the planes are speedily taking packages to their worldwide destinations. UPS executives wanted to create a favorable impression with their important guests, but had trouble making them heard over the background noise.
By utilizing a Listen LT-700 Portable Transmitter and Noise Cancelling microphone, UPS Tour Guides are now able to speak comfortably while feeling secure that all tour members can hear the presentation.
UPS was so happy with their Listen system in Kentucky that they added another system at their Chicago, IL facility. With Listen, it’s easy to give a great tour!
UPS’ comments on Listen: “Listen Technologies’ products play an important role in the UPS Welcome Center. We use their equipment every day for customer visits to our international air hub in Louisville, KY.”
“These visits often involve high-dollar customers and important dignitaries, so it’s essential that we convey the best possible image of our company. Listen’s hands-free equipment allows us to communicate key information clearly and safely while moving around our operation.”
“Listen Technologies has been an important strategic partner with UPS.” “We needed results quickly and Listen’s entire team made it happen.”
“They do “listen,” and they do hear you.”

Weyerhaeuser Handles Industrial-Strength Noise with Listen

If you’ve ever used a cardboard box, you’ve probably used a Weyerhaeuser product. These standard and custom designed corrugated boxes, as they are called in the paper industry, are produced in more than one hundred Weyerhaeuser plants across the country; plants teeming with activity and filled with noise. There is so much noise that employees must wear earplugs to protect their hearing.
So how do they communicate with each other? They yell. Not the best way to conduct plant tours for visiting managers, potential clients and vendors. But thanks to a wireless solution from Listen Technologies stopped. , a lot of the yelling has
Having worked in similar plants with similar noise issues, Maintenance Manager, Jim Dixon, decided to look into how others had met that challenge and what new technologies, if any, might improve those results. After some investigation, Dixon found Integrated Systems Support Group ISSG provided Dixon with a demo system from Listen Technologies Corporation for a test run. , a Listen dealer.
Everyone liked the results. “In an industrial environment like ours, earplugs are a necessity. Listen’s crisp, clear sound- even with earplugs – is more than we’d hoped for,” says Dixon, whose experience with tour sound systems landed him the responsibility for finding a solution for Weyerhaeuser.
With the new Listen system, tour guides are finding their jobs easier and their tours more professional. They wear a portable transmitter and a behind-the-ear microphone, and can speak in their normal voices – no background noise to add distraction. Their listeners wear portable receivers and stereo headsets. All the equipment is compact and easy to wear, and is conveniently stored in a charging/carrying case.
Many companies that turn to Listen for a sound solution soon find additional uses, adding to their ROI. Weyerhaeuser is no exception: using the same system they purchased for tours, the plant manager can now speak from his office to an employee, equipped with a Listen receiver, anywhere in the 173,000 square-foot facility and the sound remains crisp and clean.
With their Listen tour group communication system, the only yelling that Weyerhaeuser hears now are the shouts of praise from delighted customers, energized tour guides, and happy visitors.
Listen Technologies