Improving TV sound for hearing impaired is a very common problem that seniors deal with: Due to hearing loss, they have a hard time watching television. Even with the volume at maximum level, many seniors can’t quite make out the dialogue. I remember my dad in the later years of his life, struggling to understand what was being said on the TV. The TV in his house was always extremely loud and yet he kept complaining that he really couldn’t hear it well.
How to improve my TV sound for hearing impaired? Nowadays there is a lot you can do to optimize your TV experience. You can add some gadgets that are really worth it, such as, sound bar speakers, Wireless Headphones for TV, hearing aids and hearing aid accessories, or home theatre system.
Best ways/gadgets to help seniors with impaired hearing watch TV:
- Hearing Aids
- Wireless Headphones Earbuds for TV Watching
- Loop Systems (Neck and Room Loops)
- Wireless Headphone for TV
- Sound Bar Speakers
- Home Theater Systems (Vocal Clarity Device)
- ChairSpeaker Voice Enhancing TV Speaker Systems
Of course, if you suspect you have hearing issues, it’s always a good idea to get your hearing checked by an audiologist. But, meanwhile, you don’t need to give up on your TV. So I created a list with a few strategies and technologies that may help you to improve your TV sound for hearing impaired.
* Since TV related posts are always so popular on our website, we’ve been writing a lot about this and we even have a whole session dedicated to it. If you want to check our other posts about this subject, click here.
Basic Tips to Help Seniors with Impaired Hearing Watch TV
There are a few ways to improve a TV sound for hearing impaired:
Turn on “Closed Captions”
If you are having trouble to listen to the dialogues from movies and series you are watching, the easiest thing to start with is to turn on the “Closed Captions” function in your TV settings. This way, you can read the dialogue as it scrolls across your screen. No need to be a Tech savvy for it.
This is also a good function if you need to watch TV on “Mute”, in order to not disturb anyone. It also works well for rooms filled with other people talking.
Nonetheless, keep in mind that “Closed Captions” work best if you are watching a program that was pre-recorded, because in live programs, the “Closed Captions” transcription can be misleading and even comical sometimes.
Adjust the TV Audio Settings
Another thing you can set up on your TV is the setting called “Sound” or “Audio”. Most TVs have a number of audio settings specifically designed to enhance dialogue, that can help you with your impaired hearing.
Furthermore, if the TV has a “User” mode, it may have an equalizer that lets you adjust various frequencies. If this is the case, try lowering the bass and lower mid-range and boosting the upper midrange and higher frequencies.
Awesome Gadgets to Help Seniors with Impaired Hearing Watch TV
We’ve created a list of the best gadgets to help seniors with impaired hearing watch TV. They all offer different features and vary in prices, this list goes from the cheapest to the most expensive gadget you can get. This list also goes from solutions to help a particular senior with impaired hearing watch TV (individually) to solutions to improve the overall sound of the TV.
1. Hearing Aids
By using a plain and simple hearing aid, you can improve your understanding of dialogue on TV. Most modern hearing aids have programming options to provide multiple settings. Speak to your hearing care professional about the best setting/program for your personal hearing needs with regard to watching TV.
Many hearing aids also have a volume control button or the capacity to have the volume adjusted by a remote control, which means you can change the level of volume to suit your needs, without disturbing other people watching TV with you.
Check this example of Hearing Aid on Amazon.
2. Wireless Headphones Earbuds for TV Watching
If you have a hearing impairment, wearing hearing aids can help you to hear the television better. But, sometimes hearing aids alone are not enough to make TV completely intelligible. That is when wireless hearing aid accessories that work in conjunction with your current hearing aids are useful.
So if you wear hearing aids, there are a few different ways to connect them to your television. A Wireless Streaming Devices are basically transmiters that attach to the TV and send signals to hearings aids, they can then transmit the sound directly from your television to your hearing aid. And like other wireless options, they also offer range and portability.
Just be sure to choose the system that works with your specific brand of hearing aid.
Check this example of Wireless Headphones Earbuds for TV Watching on Amazon.
3. Loop Systems (Neck and Room Loops)
Another option for those who already use a hearing aid is a loop system. A loop system is a magnetic field that is placed around the room (room loop)or in a personal neckloop worn around the user’s neck. It can connect to the audio output of the television set or pick up the sound coming directly from the television’s speakers. The equipment then distributes electromagnetic TV signals that can be picked up by a tiny receiver built into most hearing aids.
The benefit of this approach is that multiple listeners can tune in, provided they each have a compatible receiver in their hearing aids. And you can also get good reception no matter where you are in the room, so you don’t have to worry about moving around.
Note that before full room loop systems were just common in public buildings and theatres, however nowadays some people are choosing to install these loop systems into their living rooms to avoid having to wear the neckloop portion.
Check this example of Loop System on Amazon.
4. Wireless Headphones for TV
Even if you just have a slight hearing loss, Wireless TV headphones can be used to make the TV volume more comfortable and clear. They can also help to make the TV sound more clear by creating a direct wireless stream from the television to the user’s ears. Plus, it eliminates any interference of background noises in the room.
They consist of two parts, a transmitter base that plugs into the headphone jack of the television and a headphone receiver that wirelessly picks up the signal and is worn by the listener.
There are usually controls on the headphone portion which allow the user to adjust the volume of the TV independent of what is coming out of the TV speakers.
Check this example of Wireless Headphone for TV on Amazon.
5. Sound Bar Speakers
A simpler solution than a whole home theater is a Sound Bar Speaker. Having Sound Bar Speakers are a great way to improve TV sound. In addition, there are some with built-in voice-enhancement technologies, which features Hearing Aid Technology. Powerful speakers such as TaoTronics deliver a round, high-end audio experience with advanced technologies that deliver the clear audio your TV can’t.
Check this example of Sound Bar Speaker on Amazon.
6. Home Theater Systems (Vocal Clarity Device)
Home theater systems can drastically improve sound clarity. It’s as simple as plugging it into your television and activating the technology. With a home theater system, you can take your TV viewing experience to the next level.
Check this item not so expensive and it’s the recommended Home Theater System for beginners (it comes with an Easy Connection Guide Simplifies Setup) on Amazon.
7. ChairSpeaker Voice Enhancing TV Speaker Systems
This is another perfect item for hard of hearing, hearing impaired senior. The ChairSpeaker’s are wireless speakers for tv listening that are designed with “Near-Ear”, a TV speaker system that keeps sound focused directly in front of where they’re facing by using sound reflectors.
Check this ChairSpeaker Voice Enhancing TV Speaker System that lets you hear clearly without blasting annoying loud sound on Amazon.
How can Hearing Impaired Seniors enjoy going to the Cinema?
1. Get an assistive listening headset
You can use an assistive listening device in the Cinema, during a movie, to amplify the audio. This device is very similar to headphones worn for your TV. It allows the user to adjust the volume of the movie independent of what the rest of the audience hears.
Note that assistive listening headsets can be requested at the customer service desk for most major movie theaters.
2. Personal Closed Captioning Systems
Closed captioning systems in the Cinemas are written visual cues relayed to the user in real-time with the movie. The written captions works exactly as “Closed Captions” on your TV, it shows the dialogue, narration, and sound effects during the movie. But in this case, only the user of the device will see the captions displayed on a small screen connected to the chair, or to glasses.
However, note that not all movies and/or movie showtimes are closed captioned. So if you plan on relying on closed captioning, it is best to check with the theater before heading to the movie.
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