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Case Study

St James wanted a Second Hearing Loop for a Major Renovation

St James Church - Interior Sanctuary Ima

Client: St James Church in Arlington Heights, IL   


Venue: Traditional Catholic church with 800 seats

Challenge 1: Thunder Hearing & Sound previously installed a hearing loop at St James in 2012 that was enjoyed by many. St James was very happy with Thunder Hearing & Sound’s previous work and therefore contacted them again to update the hearing loop for the new renovation.


Solution: Based on review of the new seating layout and new location of the music location, along with the opportunity of a different wire location due to the construction, Thunder Hearing & Sound recommended a new hearing loop system design and installation for the church. The new design utilized a low spill design specifically for music areas. It was also recommended to re-use the original equipment with a new hearing loop system in the basement that required a very simple installation. 

Challenge 2: While the new expanded area of the nave used the “same construction” as the old original area of the nave, Thunder Hearing & Sound determined that while the construction seemed the same, it was in fact slightly different and a normal single zoned system would not work well.


Solution: Thunder Hearing & Sound designed a multi-zone hearing loop system that could accommodate the differences in construction and create a seamless experience for users.

Challenge 3: During the construction process it was determined that the original wire installation method was not compatible with the new floor. In addition, the new floor needed to be installed in phases throughout the nave.


Solution: Thunder Hearing & Sound quickly devised an entirely new installation approach that would work with the new floor. It also coordinated the installation schedule plan to accommodate the phased approach that was needed for the new floor. 

St James - Exterior Front Image.jpg

Results: Walking into St James today a hearing loop user only experiences a fantastic system that greatly enhances their hearing ability. There are no visible cues to the design, planning, and installation work that was involved in achieving this outcome. 

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