Hearing the television is probably one of the most important issues for those who are hard of hearing. Between husbands and wives and partners and family members arguments are prone to occur – too loud versus not loud enough. Television viewing should be relaxing for all concerned and never the source of contention.
There is no need for TV martyrs. Sound levels can be adapted to those watching on an individual basis. It is just a matter of setting it up.
For those with hearing loss the ability to enjoy hearing the television is very important! Often there is too much background noise broadcast along with the sound and then subtitles are useful, but leave much to be desired!. My firm advice is to go beyond the hearing aid!
The clarity of sound heard form the TV is not dependent on the volume. Simply turning up the sound helps only very slightly and sometimes not at all. This is because the clarity depends on the distance between the loud speaker on the TV set and the receiver of the hearing aid. The echo of the sound within the room distorts the clarity. Much greater clarity is obtained if the sound receiver is in the form of a listening device and is very close to the TV set. The sound is then received close to the source and transmitted by radio direct to the receiver (worn by the person with hearing loss). This avoids any echo.
Transmission of sound from the set is therefore best using a radio (wireless) transmitter which is received by a receiver which the person (or people) watching wears. This system is well described in the Action on Hearing Loss catalogue.
When using a radio (wireless) system the transmitter is connected to the TV by means of scart or audio leads.
Loop systems can be used. These involve either an individual telecoil loop (similar to those in public places) or a room loop where a wire encircles the whole room so that all those within the area of the loop benefit -hearing aids need to be switched to the T position.
Cheap methods of connecting to the TV is the use of wired link between the set and the listening person. Wires are very easy to forget about and can result in tripping up (Therefore this is not recommended).
More information is available on the Connevans site.
Headphones for individual use are another method of hearing. They can be wired or alternatively wirelessly linked to the TV. The wireless link to the TV is ideal. Headphones can be worn over a hearing aid though this should be tried out because sometimes there might be whistling or possibly discomfort. See www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk or Connevans.
From a personal point of view – and if you read this bear in mind I am seriously hard of hearing – I find a the smart link Phonak and/or the Roger Pen coupled to my ear level receiver to be the best. But my advice is not to go ‘over the top’. Solve the problem without spending loads of money.
From a very personal point of view even with the Roger Pen much of the speech clarity is lost. This is not the fault of the Pen and is the result of my having lost all hearing at the frequencies of speech. Over time my hearing has deteriorated significantly