What’s the best sound interpretation equipment for your event?

Williams Sound vs new app-based systems like Interactio

Williams sound

Traditional interpretation systems - like those offered by Williams Sound - have been the mainstay at events for decades now. One reason they remain so popular is that event managers aren’t always aware of new alternatives that are shaking up the industry. But in fact there are lots of new technologies out there, and leading the pack of these newcomers is Interactio, an app-based interpretation system that allows for remote interpreting.

As with any innovation, it can often be hard to know how one product or system compares to another. So, we have put together this short guide that will talk you through the major differences between Williams Sound and Interactio. That way you can know all your options and choose the solution that best fits your needs. First, let’s take a quick look at what both Williams Sound and Interactio offer, then we’ll put their products head to head.

Williams Sound interpretation equipment

Williams Sound offers translation hardware that falls into three different types: 1. Infrared products; 2. FM products; 3. Digital products. It also provides the Hearing Hotspot, an app for audio streaming. However, this product requires additional hardware on top of the main translation equipment you are using, and is mostly used in venues where people want to watch TV but can't hear it clearly enough.
The type of Williams Sound translation equipment you choose will depend on factors like the location of your event, the number of languages needed, and the number of listeners.

Interactio interpretation system

Interactio is a mobile app that fully replaces simultaneous interpretation equipment. You only need a laptop, a smartphone, and a good Wi-Fi connection to stream simultaneous interpretation in an unlimited number of languages, anywhere, for up to 50,000 listeners. And the interpreters themselves don’t need to be on site, but can work remotely.
This means with Interactio, factors such as the venue, the number of languages needed and audience size are no longer an issue. You can use Interactio in any event scenario.

Feature comparison: Williams Sound Vs Interactio*

Interactio mobile system Williams Sound
Infrared products FM
Digital products
Number of languages supported Unlimited 1-4 Information not available Up to 14
No cost increase as audience size increases
Listeners can be anywhere in the world
Interpreter can work remotely or on site
Real-time statistics Information not available Information not available Information not available
Statistics and full analytics after the event Information not available Information not available Information not available
Ability to record stream without additional hardware
Ability to add your own logo, agenda, and descriptions
Instant unlimited scalability
1 system for streaming audio via mobile data, Wi-Fi and call-in
Collect direct feedback from attendees
*Comparison and checklist prepared based on information of official websites of Wlliams Sound and Hearing Hotspot published 2019 06 07. GET A QUOTE

An in-depth look at Williams Sound and Interactio

Williams Sound


Like all traditional interpreting systems, there is quite a lot of gear required with Williams Sound. You will need to install transmitters at the venue (the number will depend on the size of the audience and whether you choose infrared, FM, or digital systems), and then have receivers and headsets ready for every attendee who wants to hear the audio stream. This means it’s important to have accurate forecasts of how many people will be attending your event, and how many of these will need to listen to the interpretation. Then there’s the fact that your interpreters will be working on site, so you’ll also need to set up booths for them to work in.

By contrast, Interactio only requires a laptop, a Wi-Fi connection and your attendees’ smartphones and headsets. So organising some spare headsets is pretty much all you will have to worry about. You also don't have to spend hours looking for the perfect place to hide that bulky transmitter while worrying about how to ensure a good signal at the same time. And because the interpreters can work remotely, there’s no need for bulky interpreter booths either.

Sound Quality:

The main strength of Williams Sound translation equipment is that it offers excellent sound quality. That’s what all that hardware is there for.

Interactio’s system has received very positive reviews for its sound quality. And the key point to remember with Interactio is that the event manager can monitor and control the sound during the event.

Scale and audience size:

In this area, there is a big difference between Williams Sound and Interactio. With Williams Sound (and all traditional set ups), the number of people who can listen to the audio stream is limited by location. How close people have to be to the stage to receive the audio depends on whether it is an infrared, FM or digital system, but with all of these there is a limitation.

Because Interactio is app based, there is no limitation. Listeners can be anywhere in the world - they just need to log in to the event using the app. So if an event attendee is running late, or wants to grab a coffee, they can still listen in. It also means your event can have a much greater reach as people can listen to it remotely. So your audience can be any size, and listening anywhere – all they need is an internet connection. And don’t forget, this applies to the interpreters too. And with no need for them to physically be at the event, you can now recruit from a much wider pool of interpreters as well.


There is also a significant difference in budget. With William Sounds, the costs you’ll need to consider include renting or buying the equipment, renting or buying interpreting booths, and paying for the travel and accommodation costs of your interpreters. And don't forget that you will also have to pay additionally for any lost or damaged equipment. For example, attendees often lose their headphones, and you will have to cover the cost.

With Interactio, there are far fewer costs (and a lot less stress as well). There’s no need to rent or buy equipment (except perhaps some spare headsets), no need for interpreting booths, and no costs for bringing your interpreters to the event. This means your translation costs can be as much as 50% lower when using Interactio.

Already trusted by big players

Interactio’s system has already been used for major international events by the likes of Microsoft, Mary Kay, and TEDx.

Does Interactio sound like the right solution for your event?

Compared to systems like Williams Sound, Interactio offers a solution that is cost effective and offers a number of practical advantages. Naturally, as an innovative new tool some events managers aren’t sure about switching from what they know. So one final point to consider is that Interactio is compatible with traditional equipment, so you can manage the transition to Interactio step by step. If you’re ready to give it a try, get a quote for your event today.