There are many TV listening devices that can help those of us who are hearing impaired hear the television better. Some of the best products are wireless speakers that act as a kind of hearing aid by transmitting sound from your TV to a speaker that you can place directly beside you. These types of speakers are perfect for people who don’t like to wear headphones and find the headset listening systems to be uncomfortable.
If you are always turning up the volume of your television to the point that you are bothering other members of your family, you will definitely benefit from a television amplifier speaker system.
|TV SoundBox® Wireless TV Speaker|
|#1||Check Pricing||Read the Full Review|
|TV Ears 11290 5.0 Wireless Speaker||#2||Check Pricing||Read the Full Review|
|Audio Fox Wireless TV Speakers||#3||Check Pricing||Read the Full Review|
|Grace Digital GDI-BTTV100 Wireless TV Speaker||#4||Check Pricing|
TV speakers that have voice clarifying software can be a great addition to any house hold that struggles to find a volume that works well for everyone. They are relatively affordable and there are a number of different options to choose from.
Features to Look for
Power Supply – The TV Ears and the Audio Fax use a power supply of 110v for the speakers, so you just plug them into an electrical outlet, without the need to worry about batteries wearing out. The Soundbox speaker uses a lithium rechargeable battery that is built into the receiver that has a battery life of approximately 8 hours. When the battery light indicates that it is running low, you just place the receiver back onto the base to charge.
Radio Frequency of Infrared– Both Radio Frequency and Infrared systems are a popular choice as a TV hearing aid. They are both are relatively inexpensive, easily available and easy to set up and use. Both types of technology generally come with 2 parts: a transmitter that you plug into the back of your TV, and a receiver (the speaker) that will send the sound from the television directly to your receiver. Both types of systems can be used with or without a hearing aid. IR systems need to have line of site (similar to the way a TV remote control works) in order to operate, so they are slightly limiting. Radio Frequency transmits audio from the television wirelessly via FM waves to the speaker near the listener, the receiver DOES NOT need to be in the same room as the transmitter so you are free to take the speaker around the house as long as you stay within the product range.
Compatibility with your TV – All of the devices that we have recommended should work with any TV brand. You will just need to have access to the audio output jacks at the back of the TV. For older sets with no outputs, most systems feature optional microphones that users may place next to the speaker of the TV. If you have a wall mounted television you may have trouble getting to the back to access the ports, or if you have a complex system set up you may run into some trouble with setup.
Range- The TV Ears Speaker and the Soundbox speakers use infrared technology, so they must maintain line of sight with the transmitter in order to function. It works in much the same way as a television remote control. This makes the range somewhat limited, but if you are staying in one room and are not planning on moving around then either of these devices will be fine. If you are looking for a speaker that does not require line of sight and can work in another room, you can try the Serene Innovations TV Sound Box.
Sound Quality– The sound quality for most of these types of speakers is generally pretty good. If you are very particular about sound the Soundbox probably has the best sound quality. Since the speakers close to the listener’s ears, the volume doesn’t have to be cranked up causing it to sound unpleasant.
Design- TV listening speakers for people with hearing issue all have slightly different designs. Generally speakers that are designed to amplify the sounds coming from the TV look and feel like any other type of small speaker with the exception of the Audio Fox which has a very unique design. The big difference between these types of speakers and regular speakers is that they contain some kind of voice clarifying software, to help make hearing voices from the TV more clearly.
Setup-Setup for the most part, the set up for these types of speaker TV listening systems should be pretty straight forward. If you have a complex television set up you may run into some difficulties getting the system to work, but generally you should be able to plug the transmitter easily into the back of your television using the applicable audio port and necessary cables that come with the devices. Once plugged in you turn on the speaker and you should be ready to watch TV.
Ease of Use– None of the listening systems are very complicated to use. There is generally a large knob to adjust the volume and there may be an option to modify tone on the device. There will also on/off /mute options on the products so they are quite simple to operate.
Warranties- The standard warranty for these types of products is a one year limited warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee. TV Ears offer an unusually long 5 year limited warranty.
Infrared vs Radio Frequency
Infrared systems use a small transmitter that converts the sound that is coming from your television into invisible infrared light waves that is transmitted to your receiver (usually a headset ) that turns the light back into high fidelity stereo sound that goes directly into your ears. You can then adjust the sound to your desired volume. You can use this type of system with or without a hearing aid. IR systems plug directly into the audio output of a TV set.
Radio Frequency/FM listening systems transmit sound via radio waves that can go through walls and ceilings, so you can keep listening to the television in any room. The personal FM system consists of a transmitter microphone that is attached to the television and a receiver (the speaker). The receiver transmits the sound directly to your ears or, if you wear a hearing aid, to the hearing aid.
The main difference between Infrared and FM systems is that infrared light is unable to pass through walls so they are particularly good for situations where you want to move the speaker to another room or outside.
There are many options to help hear the TV better and make watching a more pleasant experience for everyone in the family. Wireless TV speakers that can act as a type of hearing aid for television watching are a great product to invest in, not only are they relatively inexpensive, they are also easy to set up and to use. If you find watching TV as a person who has hearing loss or as someone who lives with an individual who has hearing loss these types of speakers are highly recommended.