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  • 1.  Headphones/Listening Device Recommendations

    Posted 10-17-2022 04:57 PM
    Hi All,
    Can anyone recommend good headphones/listening devices?

    We like the look of the Interpretation Shop's single cup headphones, but the headphones are going to be hooked up to a pushbutton, so we are worried about there not being any volume controls. Is this an accessibility issue?

    I have also found museum listening wands, and while they have obvious volume control, they look a little dated.

    I would love any suggestions or thoughts! Thanks.

    Sarah Rosenkrans
    Exhibit and Education Assistant
    Indiana University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
    Bloomington IN

  • 2.  RE: Headphones/Listening Device Recommendations

    Posted 10-18-2022 05:48 AM
    Hi Sarah, since this year we are using byod-applications instead of hardware listening devices. I can recommend, best, Lars

    Lars Wohlers PhD
    Founder and Owner of Interpretive Planning, Training, and Visitor Studies Company KON-TIKI

  • 3.  RE: Headphones/Listening Device Recommendations

    Posted 10-18-2022 11:37 AM
    WHOH! Blocks look aweseom!

    Matthew Isble
    Exhibit Designer & Founder of
    Crocker Art Museum
    Sacramento CA

  • 4.  RE: Headphones/Listening Device Recommendations

    Posted 10-18-2022 12:31 PM
    A great question. I'd also like to share an accessibility scenario that I experience with my 4-year old son.

    My son is hard of hearing. He has microtia and atresia meaning he has no outer ear and doesn't have an open ear canal. He has to wear two hearing devices called Bahas. That means he can't wear headphones. The handheld "paddles" work OK because he can hold them up to his Bahas. He can also bluetooth into a device like a tablet. He is 4 now but I can imagine when he is older, he could bluetooth into a tablet or phone to listen.

    Medically complex mama & museum professional 


    Elysian McNiff Koglmeier (she/her)
    Head of Growth
    Artwork Archive

    Part Time Hours
    Online: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays

  • 5.  RE: Headphones/Listening Device Recommendations

    Posted 10-19-2022 10:47 AM
    Hello Sarah,

    I would be happy to help you sort out what is out there.  We (Lantern the company I work for) has a number of audio only and multimedia technology solutions plus Apps and other newer tech options.  I have also been in the mobile tour industry for 20+ years so I can point you in the right direction if we are not the right option for you.  With that said, before you search for the solution, you need to first really address what the need is; What type of content do you want to play, Is it for only one or a few items or for a museum wide experience, who is the audience, what are your budget or operational constraints, how permanent are these content installations,etc.  Please reach out to me ar to set up a quick phone chat.


    Jared Crellin
    Account Director
    ListenUp Audio
    Atlanta GA

  • 6.  RE: Headphones/Listening Device Recommendations

    Posted 10-21-2022 08:30 AM
    These days recommend the creation of an audio "tour" triggered via QR codes at the exhibit. This does not mean you should not have a stick or cup as well (accessibility is about alternatives), but the most convenient device for the user is the user's phone which will be specifically optimized for their personal needs. For those who do not have a smartphone, the stick will be there. You don't need to use a tour app to provide audio directly to a user's phone. You can provide it via your own website which allows you to provide a transcript or description and anything else you might wish to go with it. Another clever method I saw recently was to create a "podcast" and link directly to the episodes (Anacostia Museum). This allows users to access your audio via their podcast app of choice no matter where they are. The museum that used this found that off-site visitors were listening to their podcast, expanding their audience.

    Stick or cup or headphones depends on specifics. Stick is dead simple and familiar to visitors, but low quality. Good for voice. Cup is also simple though some visitors find it awkward,  better quality audio and isolates outside noise to some degree. Headphones are the most burdensome, but essential when quality matters (music museum for instance). They deliver high-quality stereo and isolation.

    Tod Hopkins
    Technical Director
    Hillmann & Carr Inc.
    Washington DC

  • 7.  RE: Headphones/Listening Device Recommendations

    Posted 10-24-2022 10:08 AM
    Thanks Tod! This is super helpful. I love the idea of using QR codes to create additional listening stations and to provide transcripts! Making it a podcast is also really intriguing.

    Sarah Rosenkrans
    Exhibit and Education Assistant
    Indiana University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
    Bloomington IN