Five Best Accessories For Hearing Loss When Watching TV

When you have a hearing loss, it can be hard to watch TV with family and friends. Let’s talk about turning down the conflict and turning up the fun. Here are our top five best hearing accessories for TV.

1. Wireless Hearing Aid Streaming

Stream directly from the TV to your hearing device technology

Why we love them:

Newer hearing technology often comes equipped with the ability to stream wirelessly. These devices transmit the sound directly from your television to your hearing aids. Like other wireless devices, these offer range and portability that you can’t get with other devices (or even with healthy hearing!). In other words, you might be able to hear the game when you go into the kitchen to make a sandwich! And they don’t just stream to your TV — some have the ability to connect to your smartphone, tablet, and other devices.

How they work:

There are a variety of ways to connect your hearing aids to the television.

  • Ask your hearing care provider if your technology comes equipped with a special program to help you hear the television better or if they can create one.
  • Hearing aids can also connect to devices wirelessly through separate frequency-modulated (FM) systems or Bluetooth devices. Ask your hearing health care provider for recommendations.

Tips for buying

  • To get the best sound possible, ask about having your technology memory programmed to optimize the sound quality of a direct-audio input (hardwired connection directly to your device).
  • Verify the range of any streaming or Bluetooth device you are considering, and be sure you understand other operative limitations from physical barriers in the environment.
  • Make certain you understand warranty and repair options.
  • Be aware that some products can generate a stronger permanent magnetic field that could cause interference with other devices

 

2. Wireless TV Headphones

Why we love them:

These headphones give you a direct wireless stream from the television to your ears, therefore eliminating distracting outside noise. There is usually a volume control on the headphones that allows you to adjust the volume without affecting TV volume for other listeners. They come in two silhouettes: over-the-ear headphones and earbuds. Wireless capabilities allow you to listen from a space of your choosing without messing with cords. You may have to fend off others in your household for them because of their portability. You can hear the TV in other rooms — for example, while getting up for a drink during a commercial.

How they work:

Your headphones connect or pair to the TV through a radio, Bluetooth, or infrared signal. They do not work with a hearing device.

Tips for buying

  • Consider the primary purpose for use — i.e., whether you’re buying for TV and music or just TV. Device performance may differ depending on the auditory input.
  • Look for wireless headphones.
  • Check to see how long they hold a charge.
  • See if reviewers rate/describe the headphones as “comfortable” and/or “lightweight.”
  • Make sure you can listen to both the TV speakers and your headphones at the same time.
  • Check to see how far your reception reaches.
  • Verify the range of any streaming or Bluetooth device you are considering, and be sure you understand other operative limitations from physical barriers in the environment.
  • Make certain you understand warranty and repair options.
  • Be aware that some products can generate a stronger permanent magnetic field that could
    cause interference with other devices.

 

3. Loop Systems

Connecting you to television, “looped” concert halls, churches, museums, and more

Why we love them:

Looping allows you to greatly reduce ambient noise and provides a better signal-to-noise ratio for auditory input via hearing aids, which act as tiny, personal audio streamers. Bypassing the need to hear the sounds in a wide-open hall removes possible technical difficulties like reverb (echoed speech) and feedback. Looping offers a hearing “shortcut,” making it easier for you to hear specific inputs in larger rooms.

How they work:

Looping systems serve as wireless loudspeakers that deliver sound from a source, such as a microphone, directly to your hearing aids. The looping system works similarly to Bluetooth technology, which can be used to stream phone calls, music, and other audio from sources that are Bluetooth compatible.

Tips for buying:

  • Your technology needs to be compatible with the telecoil in your hearing devices.
  • Check with your hearing health care provider for installation of a loop in your home, church, or office.

 

4. Wireless Streaming Devices

Helping you stream sound from the TV to your technology

Why we love them:

These media streamers transmit the sound directly from your television to your hearing aids. Again, like the wireless headphones, these offer you portability you can’t get with other devices. You will need to choose the system that works best with your specific brand of hearing aid. Be sure to talk to your hearing health care professional to get the correct device for you!

How they work:

There are a variety of ways to connect your hearing aids to the television.

  • Ask your hearing care provider if your technology comes equipped with a special program to help you hear the television better or if they can program one.
  • Hearing aids can also connect to devices wirelessly through frequency-modulated (FM) systems or Bluetooth connections.

Tips for buying:

  • To get the best sound possible, ask about having your technology memory programmed to optimize the sound quality of a direct-audio input (hardwired connection directly to your device).
  • Verify the range of any streaming or Bluetooth device you are considering, and be sure you understand other operative limitations from physical barriers in the environment.
  • Make certain you understand warranty and repair options.
  • Be aware that some products can generate a stronger permanent magnetic field that could cause interference with other devices.

 

5. Home Theater Sound System

Why we love it:

These can give you the coveted theater sound from a single source, plus there are no external speakers or speaker wires. We like them because some units use hearing aid technology for strong dialogue reproduction. It allows you and your fellow viewers to enjoy the same sounds at the same comfortable volume without any extra help. Plus those who join you for a TV marathon or movie night will love that they can hear everything more clearly too (even in those high-intensity, whispering-voices scenes).

How it works:

These systems use an all-channel speaker (or speakers) in the middle of the device. The sound system puts all the audio focus on the dialogue, therefore lessening the effect of distracting sounds. ZVOX single-cabinet home theater explains on their website: “This monaural speaker tends to ‘anchor’ the sound, creating clear, robust audio that is easy to hear. This design is particularly effective in reproducing human voices — announcers, actors, interview subjects.”
With higher-quality speakers and amplifiers comes a higher-quality sound; there is less distortion, offering a more natural sound.

Tips for buying:

  • Always opt for a warranty.
  • Ask us for our opinion!
  • Read the reviews online.
  • See if there’s a trial period.

 
Not sure what option is best for you? Contact our practice today and we’ll help you figure it out.

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