You need an interpreting system. Also sometimes called translation equipment, interpreter headsets, simultaneous interpretation system.

The purpose of an interpreting system is to send the voice of a human interpreter to those that want to listen in a different language from the rest of the audience.

Express Route

Click HERE to bypass most of the questions and go straight to our most popular choices. The vast majority of our customers choose a simple single language system. So if you are looking for a system that is simple and reliable, for a solo interpreter, one language, perhaps for a church or PTA, the express route will probably work well for you!

If you would like to explore all the options in depth, read on!

Types of Interpreting Equipment

There are 3 main types of interpreting systems, although we should say that well over 99% of our customers choose conventional FM systems:

Conventional FM


Digital FM


Here are the pros and cons of each:

Conventional FM: Pros – FM systems are easy to install and use, relatively inexpensive, and flexible. There are portable and fixed systems to choose from. FM systems are available for up to 8 languages.

Cons – If you have multiple adjacent rooms – such as a court building, or a conference with breakout rooms – each room may need to be on a different channel. They cannot provide ‘absolute guaranteed secrecy’ which may be needed in a courtroom, or other government or high-security locations.

Wi-fi: Pros – A wif-fi system can send a signal to the smartphone or tablet of each user, so they don’t need to have a specialized receiver. This could obviously be a large cost savings.

Cons – Your wi-fi system needs to be very robust, and meet stringent system requirements. You may need a knowledgeable IT person to handle the installation. Other wi-fi traffic may seriously impact the audio quality. There are limits as to how many listeners you can have on the system, depending on the specifications of your wi-fi system. There could be logistical issues such as you may need to provide power outlets so listeners can keep their phones charged. You may also need to keep a supply of earpieces in case people forget to bring theirs. The technology is still quite young, and so may change more often than the more established technologies.

Digital FM: Pros – These newer systems – Digi-Wave being the best known brand – offer 2 way communication, and a high level of security. They can be used in almost all countries of the world. In 1-way mode, they can handle up to 15 different languages.

Cons – digital systems have a fairly short range, and are more expensive than simpler FM systems.

Infrared: Pros – IR systems can have total security, which makes them great for courtrooms and top-secret events. Some systems, such as Bosch and Taiden, can handle up to 32 languages.

Cons – generally more expensive than conventional FM systems, in some cases much more expensive. They have a much smaller range than FM systems, and may require skilled installation. Most IR systems are not very portable.





Why buy from

Best Prices: ABBN sells at the lowest prices the manufacturers will allow advertising. It’s a good idea to call us before placing an order, especially if it’s a large one, because we can often offer better prices that we are not allowed to advertise online.

Lifetime Free Technical Support: Yes LIFETIME! If you buy from ABBN, you can always call us during business hours, and we will assist you over the phone with any problems you may be having with your equipment. If we can’t come up with a fix over the phone, we can tell you where to send it for repair, if necessary.

We Know Our Stuff: We don’t want to brag, but we are specialists. We work with translation and assisted listening equipment every day. If you have a question, ABBN usually knows the answer without having to consult the manual!

We Care: We want you to have the best system for your needs. ABBN won’t try to sell you something that is more expensive than you need it to be! And we’re nice people (at least, our mothers tell us we are!)

Download a Williams Sound catalog:

Williams Sound Catalog

Download a Listen Technologies catalog:

Listen Technologies Catalog & Price List

Download a Taiden catalog:

HCS-5100 Digital Infra-red Language Distribution System–TAIDEN 2008-ld.pdf

All the equipment we sell is FCC approved for translation and assistive listening in the USA. Please call us if you need equipment that can be used overseas.For a free, no obligation quote, CLICK HERE!