Headsets, because of their fragility and vulnerability to damage, are generally unsuited as listening devices in high density public seating areas such as those of the multi-lingual auditorium. For applications of this kind, a need exists for a listening facility capable of speech reproduction comparable to that obtainable from the headset, but with inherently superior resistance to damage. In this paper, the physical and psychoacoustic criteria relating to the design of such a facility are developed and a practical facility designed in terms of the criteria is described. Details and photographs of a prototype installation at United Nations Headquarters in N.Y. are included.
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