Are you dealing with hearing loss? You’re not alone: millions of Americans now live with hearing impairment, tinnitus and similar hearing problems. but that doesn’t mean they have to give up the things they love. That includes watching TV.
These days there are so many options to help you watch and listen to your favorite TV shows and movies in full and powerful sound. It’s not just a matter of cranking up the volume. It’s also about clearly hearing what’s going on in your programs.
If you’re new to watching TV with hearing loss and looking for a better way, here are some of the best tips and accessories that can help improve your experience:
- Room Loop – These devices can be used in many different settings from meeting rooms to your family room. Using a magnetic field and the “T” (telecoil) setting on hearing aids, they transmit sound directly to the user clearly and with minimal background noise to interfere with understanding. The best part is, the volume can be adjusted for the listener without affecting the volume for others in the room.
- Wireless Headphones – With a wide variety of options out there, headphones can be a great option, especially if you aren’t yet fitted with hearing aids. Specifically, those with hearing loss that want clearer sound while watching TV should look for wireless headphones that include a speech-enhancement mode or stethoscope-style headphones, called stethosets. These wireless headphones will not only transmit sound but also enhance it, reducing background noise and making dialogue easier to understand.
- Sound Bar – This slim type of speaker can also be an effective option for those not yet using hearing aids. An all-in-one speaker system designed with space efficiency in mind, these devices can deliver stereo or surround sound from your TV. Many newer options have added voice-enhancement technologies similar to other listening devices for the hearing impaired.
- Radio Aids – These devices can be used with or without hearing aids. Using a transmitter that can be connected directly to the TV (or the microphone can be placed near the TV), the sound is sent to a receiver worn by the listener. Radio aids minimize outside noise that otherwise may make hearing shows and movies more difficult.
- Streaming Devices – Similar to a room loop, these specialized devices use Bluetooth capability to transmit sound, in stereo and with less background noise, directly to your hearing aids.
Specialized accessories like these can make watching TV easier and more enjoyable with hearing loss. Don’t forget that many televisions also come with enhanced capabilities that may also help you hear your shows better. In many cases, audio settings can be adjusted to improve your listening experience. These tips to adjust audio settings to meet your needs can help. Closed captioning is also a great low-cost option to better understand what’s happening in your favorite movie or TV show.
With the right tips and tools, you can have a better TV watching experience with hearing loss!