(Last updated Mar 20, 2020)

Can’t Hear the TV?

One of the most common complaints that my clients have is they simply cannot hear the TV. This problem seems to be universal to everyone that has hearing loss, and the I almost always hear the same things: “He turns the TV up so loud we’re all going deaf.” “I can hear the TV just fine, I just like to listen to it loud.” “I just can’t hear the TV because the sound quality is poor.” There may be some truth to all of these, but if you or a loved one is saying these things on a regular basis, chances are there is a real hearing loss there, and there are a number of options to make watching the TV more enjoyable for everyone.

The first and most obvious answer is to simply turn the TV up, but this can be problematic as it is very annoying to other people in the house, and sometimes even neighbors. In addition, having the TV at such a loud volume may contribute to further hearing loss- it definitely isn’t helping it! There are a number of products on the market today which are designed to allow a hearing impaired individual listen to the TV at their preferred volume, without bothering other people. One of these products is TV Ears (that links to a review I’ve written on it). TV Ears is a headset which transmits sound wirelessly from the TV to the end user. It is very well reviewed, and is a great solution.

Aside from purchasing TV Ears, one of the cheapest things you can try, which works with almost all TV’s is to go in to the audio settings on the TV and turn the bass down and the treble up. In many movies and TV shows today, the bass in the background (whether it’s music or other sounds), really drowns out the speech noise and makes it super hard to hear. When you turn that bass down and the treble up, the speech from the actors gets much more clear and easy to understand, though the sound quality will be reduced a bit. This is a good option that is certainly worth a try. In addition, consider how the sound is coming out of your TV. If you are using a new, flatscreen TV, chances are the speakers are actually in the back of the TV. In most cases, the sound comes out of the speakers and bounces directly into a wall, and then sound then dissipates and travels across the room with a poor quality and reduced intensity. Consider investing in a surround sound system for your TV, so you can get the sound to actually face the viewers, and the quality of sound and clarity in speech will be much improved.

Lastly, if your hearing loss is bad all around and it’s hard to hear in all environments (and not just the TV), consider trying hearing aids. Almost all of today’s hearing aids have what’s called “television mode.” This is a feature in the hearing aid which will make the TV more clear, and is usually activated through the simple push of a button on the hearing aid. In addition, many hearing aids today come with actual streaming devices which connect to the TV, so you can get sound channeled directly into your ears via your hearing aids. For more on hearing aids that are able to do this, check out this post by the guys at YourHearing.

Listening to the TV loud is annoying for everyone, but there are a number of ways to relieve the problem. Try out some of the options above, and if you have any other tips or tricks please mention them in the comments below.

If you’d like a free phone consultation with a licensed hearing provider, please feel free to call us at 800-731-6794.

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