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Types Of TV Hearing Aids

Video Transcript For The Hard Of Hearing:

At HearingDirect.com one of the most frequently asked questions we get is with regards to TV listeners, in particular how to connect one to the television, why you should choose one particular type of headset over another, and I thought this might be a useful time to explain why you would choose one over the other, how to connect to the televisions, etc.

One of the first things I’d mention with regards to TV listeners is that there are two main types of TV listener, and it divides by the type of broadcast system that is used between the base units and the headset. Those two systems are either via infrared or by a wireless radio transmission. In terms of why you would choose one versus the other, unquestionably infrared is a more affordable technology, and certainly should be factor with regards to anyone looking for a slightly more affordable TV listener or in a budget. The disadvantage of infrared over the radio transmission is that infrared requires a direct line of sight from the base unit to the headset. So were you to for example, raise you hand to adjust your glasses or perhaps to drink from a glass or if somebody were to walk in front of you. The sound to the headset would be cut in this and the connection lost, and only reconnected when line of sight is regained.

Therefore, we often suggest to people that are potentially looking at the radio transmission, if affordable can offer a better quality connection to the particular audio source, whether it’s the television or indeed a music system or any other item that these headsets are designed to work with. In terms of then looking at the style that are available, as you can see here, we have a set here that is designed to go over-the-ears, and we have several other sets here that are designed to go under the chin. And the reason again why you might choose one over the other is that the under-the-chin variety provide perhaps a more direct input straight into the ears, whereas the over-the-head are considered probably slightly more comfortable, but do have the negative effects of potentially cutting any other sound source around you off. So you wouldn’t necessarily pick up on someone talking to you, for example, watching television.

In addition to the under-the-chin style, we also have this one here, for example, that whilst it hangs below your neck through, from this point here, the little ear buds are designed to fit inside your ear so that the weight of the unit is not hanging from your ears. It is fair to say that the others that you see here are fairly lightweight in any case, so that isn’t particularly an issue, but that is of particular comfort for those that perhaps do have an issue with regards to, it’s hanging out beneath their chin.

In addition I talked about the connectivity issues that some people have. I can show you on the back of this unit, for example, you can see down here at the bottom, the red and white connecting points. That is one of the most traditional ways of connecting these TV units to the television, and you will see where you have the red and white connection point there, there is normally an equivalent on your television on the side or on the rear of the television. It’s important to note, however, that this connection should be an audio-out and not an audio-in. An audio-in is designed for use with things like a video camera where you already have a sound source and you want that to be played through the television. The audio-out option clearly enables you to take what the television is playing to its speakers and also to play that to the headset.

So having talked about how one connects to the television via the red and white audio out, and in particular making sure that that is an audio-out from the television and not an audio-in. There are other connectivity options that most of the headsets that you see here provide, and that is through the SCART socket of your television. So these will connect either through the red and white audio-in or the SCART socket on your television, or most of them again will also go into the headphone jack on the front of your television, which is the little green 3.5 mm jack point normally on the front or again on the side of the television.

One thing to bear in mind is that one of the great advantages of all of these TV listeners is that they are designed to enable somebody with a hearing loss to watch television whilst the TV remains at the same or an acceptable volume for those around – and perhaps do not have the same volume requirements. If you do decide to connect via the headphone jack on the frontal side of the television, often many televisions have the setting that will then cut the sound to the speakers, which clearly would be disadvantageous if there are others watching the television. Although that may be a feature to take advantage of if you’re concerned or you’re concerned or you’re concerned with someone who is disturbing neighbors or having television too loud for others that aren’t necessary trying to watch it. In that case that connection option might be worth pursuing. A small point to make is that also some television even do have an option for independent volume control to the speakers and to the headphone jack quite so, some televisions the cutting the sounds from speakers won’t be an issue.

One final point to make, we have one here, this one is called the TV 150, and this has a very unique connection, in fact the only one in the market to offer is, and that is that it connects or can connect to the digital audio-out or optical audio-out on some of the more very recent digital televisions. And again this is an issue for some people with, say for example, these types of connections which are designed to go with traditional televisions over the last 15 or 20 years, some very new televisions only have a digital audio-out option, in which case the CL7150 from Geemarc would be the one to go for.

In addition, one other thing I’d mention about this particular connection through the digital audio-out, many very recent televisions have three options with regards to audio connection, it’s through with an HDMI port; through the digital audio-out, which is this cable that we are showing here; and the final connection that’s available is through a USB. Now the USB digital audio-out and HDMI are all a digital connection and a digital option, whereas all of the TV listeners that you see here and indeed most headsets or headphones are all using analog technology. Not to say that it is bad technology, it’s just not required to provide connection in the fashion that these are designed to do so. But the great news is that we now have a TV listener that has that connection cable available to connect to the latest digital televisions via that digital audio-out.

One other feature that I would mention here, and this is with regards to this model which is the Amplicomms TV 2400, I was talking just now about the connection or rather the over-the-head style versus in the ear in the sense of not being disconnected from the world around you when watching the television. This model has a very interesting little button here, which is located on the front, this one here. And when you press it, it will actually change to pick up sound coming from this microphone on the side rather than the sound coming from the television, so that makes it really useful to be able to hear somebody around you even though you’ve got the headset in. And it is a unique feature that doesn’t exist in any of the other TV listeners that we offer.

So all-in-all, hopefully that would have given you a flavor of the different types of TV listener, why to buy one over the other, but we do have a great team here, people that can help you in terms of a decision whether you’re buying for yourself or for others. So I’d strongly recommend within the hours of 9 to 5 during the working week, give us a call on 0800-032-1301, or alternatively if it is out-of-hours or over the weekend, please do drop us an email to customerservices@hearingdirect.com and we’ll respond to you on the next working day and one of our team will come back to you.

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