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Can’t hear your TV?

OK, so this isn't a simple subject, but here's a few pointers from customers who make mistakes.

  1. Take it out of the cabinet. Yes it looks neater, but it mangles the audio

  2. Sit closer. Sounds lose intensity at an amazingly fast rate. 80dB to 60dB in just three feet, in the case of an iPad (just tested now!). TV speakers are designed to throw sound further, but they're not great, the direction is often poor and as a rule of thumb, you'll lose more mid/treble the further away you sit, relative to bass. If you have high frequency hearing loss this is even more important.

  3. Switch your TV to Night Mode to remove the vast distance between the quietest and loudest sounds. May also be called Dynamic Range Compression.

  4. Your TV may have a Speech Enhancement setting, which may make things easier for you (or not, just experiment).

  5. Go bigger. You'd be surprised how much lip reading helps, so being able to see the image better will help with front-facing presenter shows. Likewise subtitles, (which are a necessity for severe hearing impairment no matter the age or quality of hearing aids). The older I get, the bigger my TV gets because I'm compensating for my vision 😀

  6. Time for a new TV? If you're happy with the picture, a decent soundbar may be a wiser investment.

  7. If you didn't realise I was going to say "get your hearing tested", this must be the first time we've met. I'm Sally, an audiologist, pleased to meet you! Hearing aids will balance your "internal graphic equaliser" and along with the above tips will transform our favourite TV companion. They will also improve life in ways you never thought possible.

If you're shopping for a new TV, be aware that staff at a large shop will have zero clue about the needs of hard of hearing people. I strongly recommend an independent shop which will have the service levels you need to try out a few before buying, and let you exchange if you make a boo-boo.

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