I have a friend who struggles to hear the telly. She is not all that
deaf but has a deaf aid. At present she has a newish flatscreen telly
with very poor sound quality. I'm wondering what I can do for her. She
tried a gadget she got from RNID that is supposed to feed the TV sound
into the hearing aid when it is set to T, but it wasn't very successful.
She doesn't want to wear headphones. I'm wondering about a sound bar or
computer speakers or whatever. Ideas anyone?
www.hearingloss.org.uk is one place to visit.
I suspect this is the RNID anyway and they sell hearing
amplifiers and other hearing-related goodies.
Unless she lives in a detached property, a sound bar, AV amp
or whatever at excessive loudness is just going to upset the
OTOH if she has been watching some recent BBC1 series where
the lead actor had decided that whispering huskily is the cool
way to act, then it's the program at fault, and not her hearing.
On most TVs the built-in speakers are on the back facing away from the
viewer. A sound bar faces the right way plus it's probably miles better
quality, so it doesn't necessarily have to be louder to help.
These days, for foreign language programmes (ie anything recorded in the
USA), I use subtitles.
Mum (88) doesn't watch much TV, mainly because she can't hear it ...
or can't hear it completely / easily and doesn't want to upset her
nexdoor neighbours by having the TV very loud.
So, when we go round there and I'm watching TV whilst the Mrs plays
Rummikub with her, if they finish and Mum ends up watching some TV, I
turn the subtitles on and I notice how much more 'involved' she is (to
the point where she seems quite hooked on the program).
What she doesn't seem to do is turn the TV on herself and that's a
shame as I know there are tings she would (has, when I've been there)
actually enjoy (like gardening programs or the news etc).
I'll have to check that she an turn the TV on, use the EPG and can
change the source if it comes up on the DVD / NowTV.
We have some PC external speakers on there all the time (we often
watch films when we are round there house-sitting) but I'm not sure if
they offer much clearer audio (but better bass and image width).
I have a spare soundbar so might take that round there and see how it
Cheers, T i m
This is the sort of system I use myself. It allows me to set the volume in
the earphones as loud as I like without affecting the volume from the
loudspeakers. They are terrific. I bought mine at Lidl’s for about £30 a
year or so ago.
I find worn in the ear deaf aids quite unsuitable for listening to TV or to
Yes, I don't think the ones with microphones are much good. The problem is
it really needs to be right up to the speaker but on these modern tellies
they are at the back.
I suspect a pair of very good computer speakers and mute the internal sound
and maybe a Y splitter on its input to put the audio into the loop might be
better, but I'm not up to speed how these cope with stereo. Often this kind
of tech has not moved with the times since about 1970.
This newsgroup posting comes to you directly from...
OK so you have some degrees of freedom to play with.
This is unclear. She must have lost quite a lot of hearing if she can't
follow the TV with it louder than normal and a hearing aid. Her best bet
might be to go on a lip reading course like my dad did.
The T setting as far as I can tell (apart from in banks and other very
background noise intensive environments) is a waste of time on the
modern digital filtered hearing aids.
Subtitles will help a lot but not all channels offer them.
Her hearing is probably badly frequency limited so "good" sound quality
for her is almost certainly going to sound like a bad phone line to you.
You want speakers and frequency response optimised for her hearing ideally.
As a quick test jerry rig a pair of PC speakers either side of her
favourite chair might be worth a try but don't expect miracles. Even
better if you can run the sound through a PC with a digital filtering
program to let you adjust the response until she finds speech clear.
As I am now reliant on hearing aids, I have experimented with this and
come up with the following:
I tried plugging a small bluetooth tx into the tv powered from its USB
socket (Sony Bravia tv), but even those that claim low latency were
useless as there was still an annoying delay.
I now have a small stereo FM tx powered in the same way with no audio
delay(!), which is received on the FM receiver on my old LG smartphone
(3 years old). The output goes to the audio line input of my hearing aid
remote control which can adjust levels independently.
The smartphone has equalisation settings, but I have an equaliser app -
of which there are many - and this gives fairly reasonable sound. For
music the hearing aids are discarded and replaced with Sennheiser
Some TVs have a "Equaliser" function in the Sound/Audio part of the
If her TV has that you could experiment by increasing and decreasing the
volumes of various frequencies.
My TVs have an Equaliser function with separate volume controls for
100Hz, 300Hz, 1kHz, 3kHz and 10kHz.
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