At Help in Hearing we able to provide a range of TV streamers that work with your hearing aids to improve the quality of sound from the television.
So why do we need streamers and how do they work? Here we are focusing on the latest Bluetooth technology. If your hearing aids do not have Bluetooth and you are interested in a TV streamer, do please get in touch and we will look at the options for your particular hearing aids.
What is a TV Streamer?
A TV Streamer is a small device that connects to your television. It transmits the sound from the TV into your hearing aids either directly – in the latest Bluetooth hearing aids, or via a small device that hangs around your neck – in the older aids. The hearing aid wearer can set the volume of the TV by adjusting the volume control of their aid while family and friends can adjust the TV volume as usual so that everyone achieves a comfortable sound level.
Why Do we Need TV Streamers?
There are a few of factors to think about here. Firstly, we need to consider each client’s overall hearing ability. This includes the degree of hearing loss and their speech discrimination, which is a measure of how much speech you understand when it is at a comfortable volume. Speech discrimination is measured by asking a client to repeat a series of words that they hear via headphones. Each word repeated is scored out of 3 to establish the percentage of words heard correctly e.g. 100% means that all words were heard correctly and speech discrimination is good, 60% means that only 6 out of 10 word were heard correctly and speech discrimination is reduced.
We can correct hearing loss by making sound louder with hearing aids but unfortunately this does not change the speech discrimination score.
For clients with poorer speech discrimination, hearing aids will help by making sounds loud enough for them to hear more easily but additional support in the form of streamers will also be beneficial.
Of course, even with reduced speech discrimination, wearing hearing aids will improve your hearing in all situations compared to not wearing any hearing aids and the latest technology is getting better and better at helping in different listening situations. A hearing aids priority is to ensure that conversation can be heard in relatively quiet situations. It can be more challenging to hear when there is a lot of noise or the source of speech, such as a television, is further away.
Lastly, and this based purely on our experience and comments from clients and their families, modern flat screen TV’s do not seem to have the same sound quality as the older, chunkier styles. Fitting a sound bar can improve the sound quality as can a TV streaming device that works with your hearing aids.
How Does a Streamer Improve My Hearing?
The TV streamer takes the sound directly from the television into your hearing aids. Your Audiologist can set up your hearing aids to allow you to hear only the sound streamed from the television, or to also hear environmental sounds using the microphones of the aids, depending on your requirements. Other environmental sounds could be adjusted to a lower level than usual to prevent them interfering with the sound from the TV.
Having the TV sound streamed directly into your hearing aids is the equivalent of hearing as though you are sitting directly in front of the TV i.e. you do not need to make the TV volume louder to hear it when sitting further away on the sofa.
How Do I Set Up a TV Streamer with My Hearing Aids?
Each hearing aid manufacturer has their own TV Streamer so please contact us and we will advise which device you need to purchase. The device is supplied with a selection of cables, one of which will be suitable for your TV. The manufacturers have created videos that can be found on their websites or on YouTube that demonstrate how to connect the streamer to your television. There is also a clear instruction booklet included with each device.
The device must be initially paired with your hearing aids which we will do in the clinic plus make and programming changes to your aids that may be required.
Once this initial set up is completed, the sound will stream from the TV as and when you need it either automatically or at the touch of a button.
If you would like to try a TV streamer, please call us on 0345 222 0579 or fill in our online contact form.