Sometimes people do not realize their hearing is declining until those they live with complain about how loud they turn up the television. The design of the TV itself could also be to blame since some small speakers do not produce high sound quality.
Whatever the reason for the ongoing debate, neither the person who wants the TV louder or the one who prefers better TV volume control need to give in and feel resentful towards the other. They also do not need to risk sustaining additional damage to their hearing.
Several products are available on the market today that allow people to hear TV without disturbing others. Some of the existing technology to consider includes:
Start by Adjusting Sound Controls on the TV
A person who turns up the TV volume control does not always have a hearing challenge at all because the problem is with the television itself. Before investing in any technology, it may be worthwhile to check the settings of the TV sound system.
Some TV manufacturers produce models with default sound settings that do not prioritize clearer dialogue. People can easily check the default settings on their TV by using the remote to navigate to them.
Bluetooth Enabled Wireless Headphones for TV
Many recently manufactured TVs support Bluetooth, which allows people to listen to TV using a standard pair of headphones. People will need to remember to charge the headphones and understand that they do not come with the same controls that a dedicated home entertainment system would have.
Another thing to keep in mind is that not all Bluetooth enabled headphones allow one person to hear the TV through the headphones while others in the room hears it at normal volume. Headphones can also be a little bulky and cumbersome, making things awkward when watching TV with others.
Additionally, TV headphones often receive criticism for suffering a gap between audio and video. Even a 1-second delay seriously degrades the TV-watching experience.
In America, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has mandated that all televisions manufactured since 2006 provide consumers with the option to turn on closed captioning. People with hearing loss can then read the words on the bottom of the screen as they watch TV.
Unfortunately, not all closed captioning systems are accurate, and some can lag up to a minute behind the spoken word. This problem persists despite lawsuits from the National Association for the Deaf. Furthermore, closed captioning can at times be comically inaccurate as the example below demonstrates:
deep stammered out of the charm pic.twitter.com/tAG44cd5sq
— MLB Closed Captioning (@mlb_cc) May 15, 2021
Hearing Aid Loop Systems
People who already wear certain types of hearing aids can install an induction loop in their home that enables them to hear sounds from the TV more clearly. Newer hearing aids equipped with Bluetooth technology make it possible to pickup nearby sound from digital devices.
Hearing aid users will need to purchase a small Bluetooth streaming box and connect it to their TV. When the person who wears hearing aids is within the approximate 30-foot range of the streaming box, sounds from the TV play directly into their ears.
This solution to hear TV without disturbing others is a nice one for those already using hearing aids. For those just beginning to address their hearing loss, the thousands of dollars of costs for traditional hearing aids may be prohibitive.
“We surveyed over 2,000 people in 2018 about the prices they paid for hearing aids. The average price of a single hearing aid is $2,372.
Sounds bars plug directly into a television set to provide louder and clear sound. Due to their small size, people can place them discretely if they wish.
Sound bar models that come with their own volume control system allow users to control its sound separate from the sound of the TV. The typical sound bar contains numerous speakers inside of it, and some provide the surround-sound quality of a movie theater.
Television speakers increase the volume of the TV only in the direction of where the person who needs louder volume sits. Others are likely to hear the increased volume but not at the same level.
A Better Solution to Hear the TV Without Disturbing Others
While the solutions detailed above all have merit, people struggling to hear the TV deserve a better solution. Many wish for a single solution to hear TV better that offers the following benefits:
- Independently controlled volume (i.e. the hard-of-hearing listener’s volume does not impact the volume from the TV for others in the room)
- Exceptional sound clarity and quality
- No lag between audio and video feed
Thankfully the ideal solution is now available thanks to the combination of IQbuds² MAX earbuds and the IQstream TV device. IQstream TV is a small, Bluetooth-enabled transmitter that connects to the television via an optical audio cable. Alternatively, the device comes with a 3.5mm and RCA adapter cable for those needing analog connections.
Once paired with your smartphone and the IQbuds app, IQstream TV streams television audio directly to your IQbuds² MAX earbuds. This transmission uses aptX LL (low latency) technology, enabling zero perceptible delay between the audio and video feed.
Through the smartphone application, the user can turn up or down the TV volume coming through their earbuds. This volume control runs independently of the main television volume. Even when the TV is on mute, the IQbuds/IQstream TV user may listen at their desired volume.