One of the complaints that Audiologists get about new hearing aids is that they do not help with the TV. A lot of the time this has to do with the sound being processed too much – being sent out from a speaker in the phone or at the TV, picked up by the hearing aids’ microphones, being processed again, and being released by another speaker in your hearing aid, causing the sound to become distorted and unclear. Is it possible to hear better when using hearing aids and the television?
Many factors contribute to poor TV Hearing, and the biggest of all is accents. Listening to anyone with an accent that is different from your home accent, especially with a hearing aid, increases the understanding difficulty substantially. This is made even more difficult by the very common inclusion of background music, multiple speakers, rapid delivery of speech, and the very popular mumble, made famous by Marlon Brando. Another huge frustration is that certain programs or adverts are louder than others. So how do we try to overcome all of these challenges?
Control the Volume:
Of course, there is always the option to turn the volume up on the television. This sometimes works but can create a lot of extra stress and conflict in the household and even in the neighborhood if the TV is loud enough! The better option would be to control the volume on your hearing aids, either with buttons on the aids or by using a remote control or Smartphone App. You can also have a special program written into your hearing aids that adjusts the sound to be more suited to hearing the television. Talk to your audiologist about making sure that you have the facility to adjust the volume of your hearing aids if you need to, and about whether a television program could work for you.
Manage the Distance:
When we watch the TV, we rarely sit right on top of the screen or the speaker! Creating distance between the sound source and the hearing aids will always increase the difficulty. There is a way to reduce the distance without moving the TV or your seat- using a TV listener, headphones, or a Bluetooth Streamer will cause the sound to be transmitted directly to your ears. For those using hearing aids, it is always best to consult with an audiologist before purchasing a device like this, to make sure that it will be suitable for your hearing loss and your hearing aids.
With the development of new technology, it is possible to hear better when watching the TV- speak to your Audiologist about the possibilities for your unique needs. To find out more, contact us, or comment below.