opn-tv-and-music

The Tech Hearing Bias

If you have hearing problems inventors haven’t been working with you. There is an age bias as they create their products for the younger faster adopters. And if you have hearing impairment the problem is even worse.

The Important Senses

We all have five senses: vision, hearing, touch, smell, and taste Of all senses, vision and hearing are the strongest with research showing that our brains receive the greatest amount of data bits from these senses. Although we depend a lot on our sense of sight, our vision is limited because in a darkened environment the input stops. Second only to a sense of sight, is hearing. Different from vision, our sense of hearing has no limitation since it does not require direct proximity to a sound source.

Although the other three senses play a major role in our lives, their deterioration would not be as heavily felt like the loss of sight or hearing. That said, people who lack the ability to hear scientist believe live a considerably harder life than those that lack the capacity to see often, creating a sense of isolation.

Some Big Differences

Most devices have been developed by the young who constantly crave new and more elaborate technology A recent study conducted by Reuters divided an audience into five distinct age groups: Group 1 (18-24), Group 2 (25-34), Group 3 (35-44), Group 4 (45-54) and Group 5 (55+). According to the study, people in Group 5 (55+) received most of their news from TV, print, and radio while people in Group 1 (18-24) got nearly all of their information from the internet. However, the study also concluded that despite the importance of TV to the elderly, most of the people in this group stated high dissatisfaction with the medium.

Photo by Harry Wood
Photo by Harry Wood

They Can’t Hear It

Reuters found that one of the reasons why older people had difficulties was their inability to hear the TV audio. The people surveyed said one of the reasons was because news anchors spoke too fast. Even though people over 65 watch up to three times more TV than the young, they enjoyed their time considerably less. They also don’t experience the same stress relieving effects of television other people felt. Once again the main reason is that TV is too hard to understand. To compound this issue further, modern television sets are thinner, they value compactness over sound quality. In contrast to the past where TVs had large consoles, today’s sets have little room for manufacturers to add good audio speakers. The situation only worsens when there is a high amount of background noise.

As one ages, you gradually lose your hearing first in the high-frequency range of the audio spectrum. Many people falsely believe that this loss only happens in older people. In fact, men start losing their high-frequency sensitivity as early as 35, and if they have listened to loud music and too loud headphones, this could occur even earlier.

Losing the ability to hear high-frequency sounds is problematic since the spectrum contains consonants which carry pivotal sounds. Conversely, vowels are housed in the lower frequency spectrum and carry less important information.

In order for the elderly to clearly get the news, reporters have to speak slower and have better diction, think of the sound of an old-time announcer. Unfortunately, journalists are more concerned with looking good, not speaking well and thus compounding the problem for their main audience. The trend of the new crop of reporters is also worrying since they seem to be talking faster than ever before.

Looking Good vs Being Understood

Unfortunately, journalists are more concerned with looking good, not speaking well and thus compounding the problem for their main audience. The trend of the new crop of reporters is also worrying since they seem to be talking faster than ever before.How To Adjust Your TV For Better Hearing

One of the biggest day-to-day problems that those with hearing loss experience is the difficulty to understand what’s being said, and not just in face-to-face conversation. Dialogue on your television may be especially hard to hear, with background noise in your home, poor-quality speakers, or just bad sound design within the show itself. Thankfully, modern TVs have a lot of options for you to try and improve your experience.

Some televisions have a preset option to enhance the dialogue, which may be exactly what you’re looking for. Go through your settings and try to find anywhere you can turn up the dialogue audio and turn down the background noise. If your TV doesn’t have this option pre-set, try doing it manually. Turn up the mid and upper range frequencies, and turn down the bass.

Either in addition to or instead of adjusting your audio, there are always closed captions to consider. Your TV should have the option of fairly good closed captions, and especially when it comes to streaming services, these captions have become very accurate and helpful in recent years.

But if you still really want to hear the dialogue, look into some wireless headphones, or consider a more surround-sound speaker system. Bringing the audio output closer to you can help you hear and understand it. Just be sure that if you’re using headphones, you don’t turn up the volume too loud so that it can further damage your hearing.

When trying to understand what’s being said on your TV, turning it up to max volume doesn’t always help you. This may make it even harder to distinguish dialogue from background noise. Try several different technological adjustments, and also try to limit other noises around your home. This way you can focus on understanding the conversations, and not try to comprehend several different types of sound at once.

Things Are Changing

The silver lining to this situation is that new hearing aids have the ability to connect directly to TV through Bluetooth. And as the baby-boomers age and control more and more discriminatory spending there is more hope on the hearing front.

opn-tv-and-music

Turn your hearing aids into wireless stereo headphones so you can enjoy your favorite programs at the volume you choose. The TV Adapter connects to almost any audio device using the cables provided. Stereo sound from the TV streams directly to your hearing aids from a range of up to 45 feet.