Hearing loss can be a limiting condition as it can affect basic activities like watching the TV. Sometimes, the human voices sound muffled while other times, it’s just difficult hearing speech clearly because of the background noise.
All thanks to technology, you can now watch TV and have an enjoyable viewing experience by using hearing devices. They can help amplify sound while also reducing the background noise to make for clarity.
Best Hearing Devices for TV: Our Top 5 Picks
Find below the best hearing devices on the market right now.
1. Sennheiser Flex 5000
The Sennheiser Flex 5000 is the latest release from the manufacturer and comes with features that aim to make TV viewing a delight.
The design of the Flex 5000 is a little different from its forebears but not something to worry about. It uses wireless technology so you can use your headphones to listen to the TV. How does it work?
There’s a transmitter for you to plug to your TV and then it will connect to the wireless receiver which has a 3.5mm jack for you to plug your headphones. You might want to move around while watching the TV or use your hands for other stuff, so there’s a clip on the back side so you can attach it to your clothes.
One of the reasons why anyone will want hearing devices for TV is the audio quality and the Flex 500 doesn’t disappoint. The new feature to improve sound is called the speech intelligibility enhancement, which is a button on the receiver that cancels background noise and makes the speech clearer. With this, you don’t have to strain your ears when dialogue is being drowned out by background noise.
The Flex 500 comes with its own MX 475 in-ear style earphones which are similar to what you can easily get anywhere. Some users prefer something more comfortable and that they can use for hours at a stretch, so if you feel you don’t like the design of the earphones, feel free to attach yours. Thankfully, the receiver is lightweight so you won’t even feel that you’re carrying it on you.
The battery life of the Flex 5000 is quite good, delivering up to 12 hours of usage and takes just about 3 hours to charge to 100 percent. It also comes with fast charging tech that can give you 2 hours of usage with just about 30 minutes charge.
There is no array of features on the Flex 5000 but the existing ones are quite impressive. For example, you can customize the sound that suits you per time, meaning you can choose different profiles for TV, movies, and music. It also comes with volume, balance and a wireless range of 70 meters.
If you have a hearing loss, the Flex 5000 can provide a remedy that can last a few years. For a piece of technology that plays such a crucial role and with such durability, the earphones don’t cost more than $250 on most stores. However, if you don’t like the earphone, you might have to invest in one that’s right for you. Additionally, the Flex 5000 comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty for parts and labor.
- Easy to setup
- Allows for movement
- Earbuds might be uncomfortable
- Can only be used by one person per-time
2. Sennheiser SET840
The Sennheiser brand is known for its quality TV hearing devices and the Sennheiser SET840 is another winner that comes with impressive capabilities.
The receiver of the Sennheiser SET840 takes on the shape of a drop-down headset and is lightweight to make for easy use. Most headsets with this type of design tend to be weak at the stem and easily break but the SET840 has no issues of such because it is overlaid with metal. The headset is wireless and has no attachment so you can move freely while the volume controls is a large dial below the chin.
This device is specially made for people who are hard of hearing, and so the audio quality isn’t the aim. That doesn’t mean it is entirely bad because the sound is really good – just not enough to wow. It comes with a sound enhancement that reduces background noise so you can listen to speech while watching the TV. You can even go into another room and still get clear sound output, showing that RF sound isn’t as horrible as some try to make it.
Since the headset is styled in a drop-down headset style, the first thing that calls for concern is how tiring it must be to use it for some time. Interestingly, the headset is lightweight and with very comfy earbuds. However, if you want to watch a movie that will take several hours, it’s better to use soundbars which can also give good sound quality.
The SET840 is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery which is attached to the receiver. It can deliver up to 9 hours of use on a single charge while the charging time is estimated to last about 3 hours. If you sit for long in front of the TV or you’re worried you might not remember to charge it, you might want to invest in some extra batteries.
The SET840 is encased in a metal body and should last for a couple of years before packing up. This is unlike some of its rivals which are prone to damage easily. Then there’s the volume dial which has a perfect size for adjusting the volume of the sound and balancing the sound on both ears. It also gives off an alert when the battery is being drained so you won’t be caught off-guard when it drains completely.
The Sennheiser SET840 is moderately priced and you can own a unit for about $200 to $300. Going by the value they offer, they’re not pricey for people with loss of hearing who want to enjoy watching the TV again or people who want a durable TV hearing device.
- Can listen even if not in the line of sight of the transmitter
- Can cause discomfort if worn for too long
- Can only be used by one person per-time
3. ZVOX AccuVoice AV200 Soundbar TV Speaker
The AccuVoice AV200 was designed to clarify dialog and reduce background noise when watching the TV.
The AV200 comes in a compact style which makes it a portable device you can carry around with you in the house. But you might not need to do that since it was designed by the manufacturer to function just like a home theatre system. The soundbar comes with a remote control which is also compact, and it allows you to personalize the sound of the speaker to your favorite preference.
The sound quality of the AV200 is simply superb as it gives a clear output like other soundbars but it does even more. It comes equipped with algorithms that can lift voices out of the soundtrack so you can hear dialogue clearly. This can be especially helpful for people who have troubles hearing the speech on TV or with hearing loss. With the remote control, you can adjust the bass or treble for better sound quality. For a soundbar of its size, the volume is also fairly decent and should be able to give some amount of loudness. It is ideal for people with and without hearing aids.
Battery life & Ease of use
The battery life of the remote is dependent on the type of batteries you fit into it but the soundbar is quite easy to set up, and even comes with a guide for those who might feel lost. People with a home theatre or a TV with a complex setup might experience difficulties getting it ready to use. Apart from these, just fit in the cables into their appropriate places and put the batteries into the remote, and everything should be set.
However, if you experience issues with setting it up, get in touch with their support via any of their handles on social media as they’re quite responsive there.
The AV200 was specially made for people who have difficulty hearing speech on the TV either due to hearing problems or background noise. The soundbar has an enhancement that gives preference to the speech by amplifying the voices and reducing the background noise. It also comes with a remote from which you can make all the changes you want.
The AV200 offers good value for money to people who are tired of trying to listen to the speech on TV and want a better viewing experience regarding sound output. It is generally inexpensive and has a one-year limited part and labor warranty if only it is bought from an authorized dealer.
- Can be used by everyone in the room
- Noise elimination and fantastic sound
- Isn’t the best for people with hearing loss
4. TV Ears 11290 5.0 Wireless Speaker
The TV Ears 11290 5.0 is a wireless speaker that’s particularly designed for people who have a hard time hearing TV dialogue.
The design of the TV Ears is pretty basic and can pass for any random portable speaker. It is a rectangular box with ports behind for connecting cables while the speaker is positioned at the front. There is a receiver (which uses infrared technology) embedded at the front of the speaker which means you have to position the speaker to maintain a line of sight with the transmitter. And if you want to use your headphone, you can simply plug it into the 3.5mm jack at the front of the unit where there’s a knob for adjusting the volume.
TV Ears is highly beneficial compared to amplifiers in terms of sound quality. Most amplifiers do what their name indicates – amplify all sounds, making it difficult to differentiate the noise from the dialogue. TV Ears filters the background noise and boosts the speech using what is called Clarification Circuitry. With this, you will able to clearly hear what people are saying irrespective of your hearing loss needs. The hearing device can provide up to 90dB of volume which can cover up to 600 sq. Ft.
Ease of use
TV Ears has a compatibility with a wide range of TVs and you’re unlikely to have issues with the setup. You will need to have the transmitter and receiver plugged into a wall socket while the speaker must be placed on a shelf or side table near the person with the hearing loss. This means you cannot move around with it like other hearing devices. Setting up the entire device (especially putting the cords in the right inputs) shouldn’t be a complicated process as everything is clearly presented in the manual.
Unboxing the package, you will find everything you need to set it up with any TV and these include a transmitter, speaker, AC adapters as well as digital and analog audio cables to connect to your TV. Its major selling point is that it lowers the background noise so you can hear the human voices clearly.
The manufacturer of the TV Ears must have some high levels of confidence as they have a 30-day money back guarantee should you be displeased with the product. That’s not all, they also offer a 5-year limited warranty that covers product failures to manufacturer’s defects, with the option of repairs or getting it replaced with the same or newer model of equal value.
- Drowns background noise via Clarification Circuitry technology
- Can be used with earphones
- Speaker must be in direct line of sight of the transmitter
5. TV Soundbox Wireless TV Speaker Model TV-SB
The TV Soundbox Wireless TV Speaker is an incredible hearing device from Serene Innovations. Like other hearing devices on the list, it helps people to understand dialogue on their TV better.
The TV SB was designed in the shape of a portable lamp and it is indeed portable as you can pick it up and move it around the house with you. It is lightweight and doesn’t have to be positioned in the line of sight of the transmitter as it is wireless. The ports on the receiver are located at the bottom while the control buttons have clear labels. The volume dial is easy to spot and you can even use more than one receiver for a single base as a TV SB base can handle as many as 50 receivers at a time.
The Soundbox was launched to boost sound coming from the TV using sound enhancing technology so people won’t have to be lost when the background noise drains out human voices. The device does exactly as it was advertised – produces clear human voices while lowering the noise for pleasurable viewing. It also comes with room for you to customize the sound that’s ideal for you using the Hi-Med-Low tone control switch.
The TV SB battery can run for about 8 hours and has a battery light to indicate when the battery is running low. The battery is non-replaceable and you will need to constantly charge it to be able to use it.
Ease of use
Anyone can set up the Soundbox, provided they read the manual which provides visual guidance on how to connect the cables and get everything working. And when you’re done with the setup, you can then determine which option works best for you: only TV speaker, only Soundbox or Soundbox and TV speaker. You can even use your earbuds by plugging it into the 3.5mm headphone jack so you can benefit from the sound enhancement while other members of the family can watch the TV at their level.
The TV SB comes with two essential features with the first being the boosting of the volume of the sound produced by the TV so people with hearing loss can hear what’s going on. It can also help modify the sound by bringing clarity to muffled voices as well as clear speech recognition. The speaker can work from a range of 100 ft.
The Soundbox costs less than $200 but can help make sure no one in the family is left out when it comes to catching up on favorite shows. The product also comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty and is expected to last a few years, all other things being equal.
- Can use earpiece and speaker at the same time
- Tends to interfere with wireless connections operating on the 2.4GHz frequency
Hearing aids and amplifiers might be able to help you hear clearly during one-on-one conversations but they cannot help 100 percent with watching the TV. If you’re looking for hearing devices for your TV enjoyment, go for any of the devices listed above and rest assured that you will find the experience to be truly enjoyable.