Keep Children’s Hearing Safe at Outdoor Covered Playground

In recent years, covered playground has become a highly praised facility for schools. It offers shades on sunny days, decreasing the risk of sunstroke. On rainy days, it shelters students from winds and rains. Moreover, many schools install solar panels on the top of the covered playground for environmental-friendly purposes.

What’s Covered Playground?

The semi-outdoor playground used on rainy days is called a covered playground. It’s constructed for the schools that don’t have enough budgets for building a stadium or multi-sport ballcourt. Many covered playgrounds are created in the basement, between two buildings, or multiple classrooms that have been knocked through. They’re normally designed for basketball, badminton, or tennis (Source:National Academy for Educational Research)

Although this facility is built with good intentions, the improper installation and arrangement could cause harm to students’ hearing; that is “noise”. Noise is ubiquitous but it’s often neglected. If students are exposed to noise, their learning and hearing would be detrimentally impaired.

For covered playgrounds, many system integrators use horn speakers. However, it would unintentionally construct a risky place to students’ hearing.

Why Horn Speakers are not Suitable for Covered Playgrounds?

The greatest advantage of outdoor horn speaker is its loudness and long-distance transmission, However, the semi-outdoor covered playground has the roof, steel girders, and concrete pillars. It would cause sound refraction and reverberation that makes no sound output.

If there’s no sound output, turning the volume up is the first step that people normally do. However, volume-up would cause high sound pressure and great noise, making our ears uncomfortable and may cause permanent hearing damage.

The Acoustic Solution for Complex Applications

BXB’s General Manager Jerry Hung said that there is a good covered playground in Kaohsiung Municipal Guanghua Primary School but it lacks a complete acoustic system. Thus, Hung presented a proposal to the principal.

For covered playgrounds, there’re two advantages of using column speakers:

  • Column speakers have great vertical control ability. In the environment with serious sound refraction and reverberation. Column speakers enable focused sound energy to be delivered precisely and kept away from reflective surfaces like walls.
  • Column speakers make the sound pressure equivalent, making the people in both nearby and remote places listen clearly. It’s the best solution for semi outdoor with outstanding and hearing-friendly sound performance.

The sound field of column speaker: column speakers have the ability of vertical sound coverage, which can decrease the sound resonance from the ceiling or stage. The listeners can hear the direct sound.

BXB offered amplifiers and WS series Waterproof Hi-Fi Column Speakers for Kaohsiung Municipal Guanghua Primary School. The column speakers are certified with IP55 protection standards, which can be resistant to rain. The greatest feature is its 105dB Max. S.P.L., 180°/150° dispersion, and 110Hz~20KHz frequency response.

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WS series Waterproof Hi-Fi Column Speakers

Decibel (dB) that we commonly know is called “sound pressure level (S.P.L.)” in the professional terms. It’s the pressure of the sound wave that brings to our eardrum. Generally, the 120dB sound could cause earache. If we stay at the environment with 80dB sound over a long time, our hearing would be probably lost. The lost hearing can’t be recovered anymore. Therefore, to be aware of the sound pressure level is essential to protect our hearing.

The max. S.P.L. of BXB’s column speaker is 105dB, which can totally lower the risk of hearing damage. Moreover, its 180° (horizontal) and 150° (vertical) dispersion is greatly adaptable to the semi-outdoor scenario. It’s the best solution making listeners hear clearly without turning up the volume.

For students, especially school-age children, the “harmony” of sound is most important to the growing hearing. Frequency response curve is the measure of signal gain plotted against the frequency of audio equipment. 110Hz~20KHz frequency is the most suitable range for the campus. It makes the sound of PA or songs harmonious and the volume moderate.

Beside selecting the right products, the most important knack is...

After selecting the adequate PA equipment, installation is the key to the success. With different spaces and constructions, the delivery of acoustical energy can be different. For instance, the bigger space is, the worse the sound uniformity is. The position near the loudspeakers would receive too much sound pressure level; the central position would get the sound from too many directions. It would decrease the speech intelligibility.

The installation of PA system is a professional technique requiring highly-experienced technicians. In terms of the Kaohsiung Municipal Guanghua Primary School, the field is constructed with dozens of column speakers. The angle of each speaker is carefully and precisely configured. In the process of construction inspection, General Manager Hung personally check the sound effect and volume at each corner and instructed the technicians in speaker’s angle adjustment. He has to ensure that the sound of each space can be clearly heard and comfortable to students’ ears.

Create a Risk-free Learning Environment

Schools should be a happy and healthy environment for teaching and learning. Thus, before constructing a new facility or space, we should think more about the things we may neglect or the risks that would cause harm. Noise is the risk easily ignored. BXB offers the products and solutions that avoids these risks. Let’s keep creating the risk-free learning campus for students!

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