The world’s largest cruise ship has installed a Wi-Fi hearing assistance system to help customers with hearing issues. 

Royal Caribbean International’s Icon of the Seas has been fitted with Listen Technology’s audio over Wi-Fi technology, and the cruise line said it planned to add the assistive technology to its full fleet. 

The system is one of a growing number of ‘Bring Your Own Device’ systems that allow those with hearing issues to use their own hearing aids or headphones, rather than having to use ‘one size fits all’ kit provided by a business or venue. 

Listen Technology’s product is called ‘Listen EVERYWHERE’ and uses an app that can be downloaded to passengers’ phones, tablets, or other mobile device. This allows passengers to use their own headphones, or link the app directly with their Bluetooth enabled hearing aids or cochlear implants.

Through onboard Wi-Fi, audio streams are then available directly from the microphone or speaker meaning the sound is provided directly and clearly, unlike older systems which amplified ambient noise meaning sound quality was often substandard. 

The onboard theatres and screens will all offer the service. Credit: Listen Technology

As well as benefiting customers with hearing issues, the technology can also be used by anyone who wants to remove outside or ambient noise from events or cinemas onboard the cruise. This can especially benefit those who require audio description or would like more language options for live or recorded performances. 

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Listen Technology said it could also be utilised for ‘silent disco’ events. 

“Royal Caribbean is renowned for providing outstanding guest experiences with the latest technologies and services that raise the bar on travel and offer next-level vacations,” said Kasey Kaumans of Listen Technologies. 

“Listen Technologies is proud to have Royal Caribbean select our audio over Wi-Fi assistive listening solution to offer guests exceptional hearing and engagement experiences onboard its ships.”