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TV for hearing loss

TV Settings for Hearing Aids

Have you ever wondered what TV setting would maximize your listening experience for movies and other programs? Find out how to adjust your TV for hearing loss and more in this week’s Audicus blog!


Hearing loss is a condition affecting people of all ages and in many different aspects of their lives. One thing that hearing loss can impact is one’s ability to hear televisions and other devices that utilize audio. In a lot of cases, simply turning up the volume will not be enough.


Hearing Loss and Audio Settings


You can modify the settings for your television by going to the main menu, selecting the “Settings” icon and then selecting an icon labeled “audio” or “sound.” The resulting presets can be especially useful if your hearing loss impacts your ability to hear spoken dialogue.

Sensorineural hearing loss and other kinds of hearing loss could produce this effect.


Presets like “night mode” can actually lead to more discernible dialogue once they are turned off, and there are other presets that enhance dialogue. For televisions with surround-sound, switching to “Stereo” or “Normal” is another recommended option.


For multichannel sound systems like Dolby Digital or DTS you can increase the volume of the center-channel speaker while reducing the volume of the others, leading to even clearer dialogue.


For televisions with a “User” mode, people are able to control the Equalizer (EQ) and control for frequency, a useful tool for people with hearing loss corresponding to a certain set of frequencies.


Bluetooth wireless headphones are a good device for listening in on television shows without being limited by wires or lack of sound control. For televisions that aren’t already outfitted with two-way Bluetooth, users can buy a system that plugs into their television and into headphones with a built-in receiver. Sound Bar speakers including the Sonos Playbar speaker and Sony’s HT-ST7 7.1-channel sound bar speaker are additional items that can maximize your television experience.


Room Loops, or induction loops, are common sound features in theaters but can also be applied at home. By linking an amplifier to your television’s audio output and installing a wire around the television room’s perimeter, you are able to get direct reception by a receiver inside your hearing aid. This feature allows you to hear the television regardless of what location you occupy in the room.


Hearing Loss and Closed Captioning


Severe hearing loss or hearing loss that is specific to certain frequencies may make it especially hard to listen to televisions. For people who don’t want to complicate their TV watching methods, closed captioning is an easy alternative.


Closed captioning, a form of electronic text used to dictate television audio, is normally used in loud environments. Closed captioning was first shown in 1971 at the First National Conference on Television for the Hearing Impaired.


The first closed-caption television show was aired by the National Captioning Institute in 1980. The National Captioning Institute, in alliance with the ITT Corporation, also went on to create the world’s first caption-decoding microchip.


Closed captioning can have a variety of uses in different contexts, and can come in handy when you want a quiet environment while still watching television. Be sure to explore all of the TV settings that may be right for you!


Sources: Consumer Reports, Healthy Hearing, Hearing Loss Association of America
By Aaron Rodriques

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