Ever notice the windows rattling when you’re watching a movie at home? Are your kids or housemates constantly nagging you to ‘turn it down’? Does your cat evacuate the premises every time you reach for the remote? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, you’ve probably got the volume too loud. The first thing you need to do is book yourself in for a free hearing test. And after that, you might want to explore the range of Assisted Listening Devices (ALDs) to help you get the sound boost you need, without ticking off your neighbours.
Wireless TV headphones: bypass background noise.
From a transmitter plugged into your TV, wireless streaming devices send crystal clear audio signals straight to your ears. Forget bulky headsets, tangled cables and irritating earbuds – headphone technology has come a long way in recent years. And as well as being super comfortable, modern wireless headsets are also super practical, with personal volume adjustment meaning you don’t interfere with the audio in the room. Transmission types differ – they’re available via infrared, Bluetooth or radio frequencies – so it pays to shop around for the most compatible system for your telly.
Hearing aid streaming: maximise the technology you’ve already got.
Already wearing hearing aids and wanting to get more out of your viewing experience? There are a bunch of hearing aid features and accessories to maximise sound clarity at minimum volumes. Common streaming systems run through Bluetooth and FM, so you need to talk with a hearing professional about hearing aid compatibility. But once you’re up and running, streaming devices have the added advantage of functioning like a remote control. So not only can you tweak the volume and EQ, but also channel-surf as you go.
Induction loops: analogue technology that’s standing the test of time.
If you’re happy with your older-model hearing aids but also looking for a home-cinema audio boost, induction loops could be for you. Loops can be worn around your neck or installed in your loungeroom, creating a magnetic field that’s picked up by the telecoil in your hearing aid. A big advantage is that sound is filtered through your existing personalised settings. They’re also widely used in public spaces like cinemas, churches and shopping malls. You choose when to tune in or out. So, if blaring supermarket radio isn’t your thing, or you want to skip the ad breaks, you can just as easily switch off.
Check your TV settings: solutions at your fingertips.
If none of the above feels right for your needs or budget, your TV might already have the technology you need. Check the sound settings. It could be that changing the pre-set audio balance and setting your speakers to stereo will bring clarity to dialogue. If you’ve got surround sound, try increasing the middle speaker while turning down the others. If nothing’s working, you might find closed captioning is the best solution. In Australia, all commercial and national stations are required to caption programs between 6am and 12pm, so an added plus is you can skip the late-night infomercials.
To find out more about your hearing health, book a free hearing test.
NHC blog is our place to explore ideas and themes of interest. For professional audiology advice, please contact your local clinic for a consultation.