DESIGNER'S NOTE: JR to supply MH with typical questions that might be asked for those interested in the topic.
Best if these are supplied withing sub-categories to help user navigation.

Will hearing improve the closer I get to source?

The clarity of sound from a source is better the closer you are to that source.   As one moves further away so the sound is rapidly dissipated from the source in all directions (through 360 degrees).  The further the microphone distance from the source the more interference there will be from other noises in the room with the sound bouncing off walls back to the microphone.   This is the reason why it is difficult to hear a speaker in a large room is one is near the back.  There is plenty of sound but the clarity has gone.

So always place the microphone as close to the sound source as possible.  This does not mean actually on top of the speaker, but close by to avoid the distortion which is inevitable if placed too close.  It is often not easy to know exactly where the speakers are situated on many TV sets.  One has to hunt for them – possibly even get someone with good hearing to help.  The search will be rewarded.

Do I need a hearing aid?

When faced with the decision – spending money – would it be good value or a waste?  Consider these points:

  • Telecoil setting on the hearing aid.  Many people are not aware either of having one or not.  Should this be the case one should contact the hearing aid supplier to enquire.  The telecoil is a very useful addition to the hearing aid.  It can be used in a variety of settings.
  • Is the communication problem in a single setting?  Might there be multiple settings where it would be of use?  For single setting use go for something designed to solve that particular problem – that would be less expensive and could be equally productive.
  • Horses for courses as they say.  Don’t get something that is overcomplicated to use.
  • Be aware that the manufacturers claims are often exaggerated.  For instance the directional capacity of microphones is weak.  The ability to cut out background noise is very limited.  The ability to transmit the sound signal over long distances is often not as good as it is made out to be – particularly if walls or other obstructions are present.
  • Think about the severity of your hearing loss.  Sometimes an understanding of your 0wn audiogram can be helpful.  This particularly applies for those with a more serious loss.
  • Above all keep in communication with the outside world.  Avoid the depression and shutting down one’s life by being unable to communicate with those around.

Television Listening – any advice?

Just two important points

  • The first and most important is that there is no need for anyone to be a martyr to an uncomfortably loud (or soft) TV volume.  There is no need to suffer.  With simple advice the sound can be adjusted to a satisfactory level for all concerned.  There is no need for family arguments.

The answer is to use one of the well stated methods for better TV hearing.  The volume control is then adapted individually for each person.  There is no need to spend huge sums of money.  There is a plethora of devices to solve the individual problem.  Just look in the AoHL catalogue to see what is available.  The cheapest connect by wire to the TV but there are radio (wireless) linkages and infra-red links which rely on a direct line of sight between the TV and the listener. Bluetooth is also available.  Most require the telecoil setting on the hearing aid.  (For non-HA users a stethoset is sometimes offered.)  Most modern devices use the audio plug on the TV or a scart socket.  It is best to check on the set if in doubt.

Always get the supplier to agree to take it back if it does not meet the requirements.  My advice is to research the products available, make your choice and then try it out for a week or two before making your decision.  Music, magazine programs, news, etc all require different sound volumes.

  •  If you use a listening device which works for a microphone then make sure that the microphone is placed very near to the loud-speaker.  Loud-speakers on TVs are not always very obvious and one has to explore them carefully to find out exactly where they are.   A person with good hearing might be needed for this, but It is well worth it.  Often there is a lot of background noise in the room with the TV.  This makes it all the more important that the microphone is placed as close as possible to the sound source.  Most TVs have either an audio plug or a scart socket or are Bluetooth compatible. On some of the older TVs use of the audio/scart socket cuts all sound from the speakers.  Check this point if in doubt.

What is an Audiogram?

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