Comparing RF & IR Wireless Simultaneous Interpretation Technology

If you’re searching for a wireless interpretation system, you’ve likely encountered the terms “IR” and “RF” a few times. But what exactly do they mean?

Both are forms of simultaneous interpretation equipment. IR simultaneous interpretation equipment utilizes infrared technology. RF simultaneous interpretation equipment, meanwhile, is FM based.

Both IR and RF simultaneous interpretation equipment are widely used in the UAE. This is because the UAE is a nation of immigrants and most gatherings in the country are attended by people of various tongues. For that reason, if you’re planning an event in Dubai or anywhere else in the UAE, you should secure an interpretation system. But should you choose an IR or RF model?

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IR Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment

IR simultaneous interpretation equipment is a great deal more complex than its RF counterpart. Its complexity breeds numerous pros and cons, the most noteworthy of which you’ll find detailed below.


  • The major advantage of IR simultaneous interpretation equipment is that its infrared technology makes it almost impossible to intercept. For this reason, it is commonly used at private events where sensitive information is being shared.
  • Because IR simultaneous interpretation equipment does not rely on radio signals, you won’t have to worry about interference from microphones and other audio channels.
  • IR simultaneous interpretation equipment transmits multiple different channels at a time. Some systems can handle 32 channels simultaneously.


  • IR simultaneous interpretation equipment is not particularly versatile. It is safe for indoor use only and requires a very specific placement to be effective.
  • If you choose IR simultaneous interpretation equipment for your next event, you’ll have to dedicate plenty of time to set it up. IR systems often require many hours of work and professional assistance to properly erect.

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RF Simultaneous Interpretation System

RF simultaneous interpretation systems may not look as glamorous as their IR counterparts, but they are no less effective. Let’s take a look at the most noteworthy advantages and disadvantages of an RF system.


  • An RF simultaneous interpretation system is markedly more portable than an IR counterpart. RF systems can be used both indoors and outdoors. For this reason, they are a common sight at public gatherings, tour buses, and guided walks in the UAE.
  • RF simultaneous interpretation systems are very easy to set up. In most cases, an RF system can be installed in an hour or two, making it perfect for events where time is of the essence.
  • IR simultaneous interpretation systems cannot transmit through objects. With their RF counterparts, however, this is not an issue. RF systems can transmit through walls and other obstacles without sacrificing audio quality.


  • Because they rely on radio signals, RF simultaneous interpretation systems are prone to interruption. The presence of a radio or speaker can throw off an RF system entirely, rendering it totally useless.
  • RF simultaneous interpretation systems are far from secure. They can be easily intercepted by even a novice hacker. For that reason, confidential events should use an IR system exclusively.