Hearing Loss & Television Audio

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Photo by Harry Wood

Many people with hearing loss share a common difficulty when trying to watch the TV. Even with the volume on high, it can be difficult to understand conversations in movies and TV shows because the background noise is too loud and distracting. If you find yourself struggling with this problems, there are a few ways that modern technology can help.

Although it might seem cumbersome and annoying, wireless headphones and headsets are a great way to deliver sound directly to your ears. You can achieve this with Bluetooth or a transmitter than can pass on the sound to your headphones. If you want a higher quality listening experience, Sennheiser’s RS 195 has a speech-enhancement mode that brings down the background noise so that the dialogue is easier to hear and understand. You can also use TV Ears, a manufacturer that sells a different type of headphone called a stethoscope-style headphone.

Another option is a room loop, or induction loop, which works by creating a ring of wire around the room that distributes electromagnetic TV signals. These signals can be picked up by the T coil found in most hearing aids. By using this method, many people can benefit from the loop at once and produces a sound quality that is consistent regardless of where you are in the room.

Audio settings are an easy way to make the dialogue louder without having to buy headphones or set up a room loop. By turning off the “night mode” in your TV’s settings or switching from surround-sound to Stereo, you can make it much easier to understand your shows and movies. Some TVs even have a special setting for enhancing dialogue.

If you are unable to purchase wireless headphones, set up a room loop, or adjust the settings on your TV to enhance the dialogue, closed captions are always an option. Test out these different options and see which one works best for you.

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