How To Buy a TV Listening System

How to Buy a TV Listening System and Hear What You’ve Been Missing on TV!

With hearing loss, simple home activities like watching TV can become a problem, not only for the person who is hearing impaired, but also for the other members of the household.

To cope with hearing loss, many people simply crank up the volume on their TV set. This, in turn, strains the patience of family members and friends, and disturbs the peace and harmony of your home.

TV listening systems restore pleasure to your nightly viewing by boosting volume in a personal headset while everyone else hears the TV at comfortable levels. From inexpensive headphones to wireless solutions, TV listening systems provide a range of features at a variety of price points.

Here are 3 examples of TV listening systems tailored to fit your needs and budget!

1. Turn personal amplifiers & headphones into TV listening systems

Portable personal amplifiers are handy devices that boost environmental sounds with a built-in amplifier and attached microphone. The user of a personal amplifier (like the PockeTalker pictured to the right) wears a headset which feeds sound directly to him or her.

Many of these amplifiers are compatible with audio extension cords that plug into the output jack of a television, allowing them to function as economical TV listening systems.

Active noise-cancelling headphones are another cost-effective TV listening solution for the moderately hearing impaired.

These headphones block extraneous background sounds by creating electronic interference patterns.

Noise-cancelling headphones can improve listening without excessively boosting volume. They’re also great for enjoying music on trains, airplanes, or any other environment where background noise is a problem.

Plugging your personal amplifier or your headphones into the audio output of your TV set is a simple way to create a TV listening system on a budget.

Cumbersome wires or cords, however, may become a nuisance- especially if you need to head to the kitchen for a snack.

If cords are a problem, consider a wireless FM or wireless infrared (IR) TV listening system.

2. Wander without losing the signal with a wireless FM TV listening system

Wireless FM TV listening systems give you freedom of movement without the worry of tripping over wires. Since radio signals travel through walls, they also keep the sound going when you run for the fridge.

These FM systems include portable personal amplifiers with remote transmitters and microphones, as well as stereo FM TV listening systems with neckworn receivers like the Sennheiser Set 820.

Although FM TV listening systems are a cost-effective wireless option for many homes, FM systems have some disadvantages.

One disadvantage is the need to tune your receiver. In order to clarify reception, users may have to switch channels, sometimes in the middle of a broadcast.

Another concern is interference from other FM wireless systems, especially in areas with heavy wireless usage.

FM signals can also “bleed” into other rooms, which can be a problem in locations where security is an issue, or where bleedover might interfere with wireless FM systems operating elsewhere in the house.

3. Listen securely and hassle-free with a wireless IR TV listening system

IR TV listening systems are ideal for living room or home theaters where wires are impractical, or where FM signals bleed into other rooms.

Once limited by size and complexity to large venues such as movie theaters, modern technology has reduced the footprint of IR TV listening systems to fit comfortably into the living room – and shrunk the prices to fit into your budget.

IR systems plug directly into the audio output of a TV set. For older sets with no outputs, most systems feature optional microphones that users may place next to the TV’s speaker.

IR technology has a number of advantages over wireless radio transmitters. High fidelity sound is one. Another is the lack of unwanted intrusions from cell phones, TV, and other electronic transmissions.

Although IR systems may encounter interference from bright light sources, this is seldom a problem in indoor settings- especially dark interior rooms or home theaters where many viewers keep their TV sets.

Since IR systems don’t need to be tuned to a specific frequency, they are compatible with a variety of receivers, and can accommodate any number of listeners.

Many hearing-aid-compatible IR TV listening systems feature receivers designed to connect directly to your hearing aid, or to an installed induction loop. Other IR systems feature neckloops that broadcast a signal directly to telecoil-equipped hearing aids.

Assistive listening devices are not just for TV listening

TV listening systems are only one example of assistive listening devices that allow you to hear sounds you may otherwise miss.

Assistive listening devices (ALDs) also include alerting systems that use flashing lights or vibrations to let you know when someone’s at the door or when it’s time to get out of bed.

These alerting systems are not only help the hearing impaired to regain control of their lives, but also are great solutions for alerting anyone who lives or works in a noisy environment, such as nightclubs or warehouses.

In addition to TV listening systems, AudioLinks offers a complete selection of household devices such as telephone systems, doorbells, alarm clocks, and vibrating wristwatches.

If you still have questions about finding a TV listening system or assistive listening device that’s right for you, email AudioLinks or call our experts at 407-757-3326!