Help for the Hearing Impaired

Best Hearing aid supplement

Having been in the sound business for 30 years one thing that I came across is people who are having trouble hearing either the TV programs they like or the music which has brought them great joy through the years. I will list some of the easiest and least expensive ways to help those with hearing loss.
For those who have a single TV which they watch with their wife or partner, a good and simple method is to take the audio from the Cable box, Sat. Receiver or DVD/Blu-Ray and run the audio to a simple stereo receiver (not a surround) and allow the receiver to drive either a pair of speakers directly (if this person is alone in room watching TV) or have a set of lightweight inexpensive headphones with a mini stereo extension cable which then allows for private listening with out the TV blaring in the room. The stereo receiver will have its own volume control and have multiple inputs which when hooked up to the different sources as listed above, allows one to change inputs and adjust volume to there preference. One problem which may occur is the TV’s have a built-in delay which can cause the sound from the TV to not match up with the sound from the stereo receiver. This is often the case, so use next example…
Another method is to take the audio directly from the TV. Most new TV’s do not have a analog audio out which makes this a little tricky. In this case, use one of the options listed below.
1) Take digital audio out from TV which is usually optical digital out also know as SPDIF or toslink, using simple optical connector and hook to a simple surround amp (as most stereo receivers do not have a optical input). Now as above hook up a set of stereo speakers (make certain to not use any surround functions, as using a surround function without having a center channel speakers will make the sound of the program very bad with strange loudness variations and almost indistinguishable spoken word) or hook up a set of lightweight headphones and use the receivers volume control to adjust level of sound.
2) Take the digital audio output from the TV and hook up a simple D/A converter (digital to analog) I have used a Geffen unit for about $60 or a FIIO D/A converter using a simple toslink cable. Now you have a set of analog outputs which will be in proper timing with both the picture and the TV’s own sound, connect that analog sound to a simple stereo receiver as above or connect to a long set of RCA cables run them around the edge of the room if possible and connect to a table top radio like the Sagean WR-11 which has both a front speaker with a simple rotary volume control and a headphone output also controlled by the front volume control. I put this together for my Father who uses it both as a close by speaker, when he is using his hearing aids and plugs in the headphones without using his hearing aids
3) Use the Digital converter as in example 2. Instead of plugging in a long cable which runs around the room instead plug in a Channel Vision 2 part wireless Transmitter/receiver which works great, they are the WA-320 and WA-360 I also used these units for my Father on his bedroom TV where running a cable across the room was difficult due to doorways. Simply plug in the WA-320 either into analog audio outputs if you have them available or into a D/A converter as described above, plug the WA-360 into a amp or a simple headphone only amp or a table top radio or a stereo receiver which ever makes the most sense given the space ( headphone only amps are very small) I used a Pile headphone amp and ran the sound into the MIC input (because the output of the WA-360 did not have enough voltage to drive the Pile headphone amp loud enough through the standard audio input, this is not exactly correct but it works just fine and you have plenty of volume available to the headphones) there is a rotary volume control on the Pile amp, plug in the lightweight headphones and it works very well. What is nice is that all of these are powered by wall plug in transformers so it does not matter if you leave it run all the time, if you fall asleep with it on-no problem. You can also use small ear buds in place of the lightweight headphones.