For the 48 million Americans who experience hearing loss, watching TV can be one of the biggest listening challenges. The background music and sound effects in TV shows and movies play over dialogue, making it hard to follow the on-screen conversations. Many with hearing loss crank up the volume while watching TV, but this can distort the audio (and annoy your family).

Here are some tips for better TV watching when you have hearing loss.

Sound Bars

Sound bars are sleek horizontal speakers that amplify sound better than the built-in TV speakers. The multiple speakers inside provide a listening experience similar to surround-sound, but without the financial cost or space required.

Wireless Headphones or Bluetooth® Compatible Hearing Aids

If you’re watching TV by yourself, you can connect your wireless headphones to your TV using Bluetooth, radio-frequency (RF) or infrared (IR). Many of today’s hearing aids are Bluetooth-enabled and stream sound directly from the TV, so no additional accessories are required.

Closed Captioning

Onscreen text has been legally required since 2006. Closed captioning must be accurate, matching the spoken words and background noises as closely as possible; synchronous, corresponding with the timing of dialogue and sound effects; complete, running from the beginning to the end of the program; and properly placed, not blocking other important visual information or running off the edge of the screen.

For more listening strategies or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, call Arizona Hearing Specialists at 520-448-2895.