There are many things you can do to help deal with the effects of hearing loss, such as getting a prescription for a hearing aid or buying a Personal Sound Amplifier Product (PSAP).
But when it comes to accurately hearing the TV, there is no better solution than upgrading your TV speaker to be fit for your hearing loss issues. In this article, you’ll learn more about how TV speakers for the hard of hearing work, and see the 6 best TV speakers for the hard of hearing.
Let’s get started!
What are TV Speakers for the Hard of Hearing?
Modern TVs are designed with a primary emphasis on the screen; in the past, the TV’s built-in speakers were much more important because most people didn’t use external speakers. Today, however, sound systems, speakers, and soundbars are very common, which means TV manufacturers often put very weak speakers into their televisions.
What does this have to do with people who are hard of hearing? First, weak speakers make it hard for people to hear some things clearly, even if they don’t have any issues with hearing loss. If you do have a hearing loss issue, hearing the news or catching a quiet scene in a movie can feel nearly impossible with the built-in speakers on your TV.
Speakers for the hard of hearing are designed to help people with hearing loss watch TV and understand the dialogue without having to turn the volume all the way up or use closed captioning. They can be plugged straight into the TV, used wirelessly, and they also come in many shapes/sizes. Some are little more than headphones that connect to your TV; others are full-sized speakers that resemble surround-sound systems.
If you have a hearing loss issue, you already know how difficult it is to use the TV at a normal volume, and your family members likely know how distracting it is for them when you have the TV turned all the way up. Closed captions are an excellent way to catch important dialogue without increasing the volume, but they often distract from your actual watching experience.
How Do TV Speakers for the Hard of Hearing Work?
TV speakers for the hard of hearing work in one of two ways: they either (1) make sounds louder and clearer, or (2) they make sounds closer to your ears. These speakers can be placed either next to the TV or next to the watcher. If they’re placed next to the TV, they play the audio louder and clearer than the TV’s built-in speakers. If they’re placed near the watcher, they bring the sound closer to the person’s ears without necessarily being louder.
Some speakers will sit right next to your ears by attaching to the headrest of your chair or couch, playing the volume almost directly into your ears. Other TV speakers are essentially sound systems that make the volume louder, clearer, and use multiple speakers to help every sound be easy to understand.
Best TV Speakers for the Hard of Hearing
1. Best TV Speakers for Hard of Hearing (Overall): Chair Speakers
The original Chair Speaker is one of the best inventions for people who are hard of hearing, of any kind. This unique device sits on your chair’s headrest and puts a small, clear speaker within about 15 inches of each ear. The speakers are designed to project sound in one direction- directly at your ear- so that you can hear clearly without projecting loud sounds throughout the room.
If you’re willing to do a bit of research for adapters, you can even send your TV audio through the built-in speakers and the Chair Speakers at the same time- that way, you can hear the TV clearly without taking audio away from others. It’s a true win-win product for anyone with hearing loss who lives with others and wants to watch TV without disturbing them.
The Chair Speaker uses a wireless receiver that plugs into your TV to broadcast sound to the speaker device. It has a range of 33 feet, more than enough for even the largest living rooms or home theaters. If you have trouble hearing the TV, this speaker is the best way for you to stay engaged and involved without projecting loud, distracting sounds throughout your entire house.
2. Best Wireless TV Speakers for Hard of Hearing: Serene Innovations TV-SB Wireless Speaker
This speaker connects to your TV with a wireless transmitter, allowing you to set the speaker wherever works best for you and still be able to hear the TV. This speaker has a rechargeable base, and the internal batteries can run for up to 8 hours without needing to be charged again.
There are many different wireless speakers that use this same design. So, what makes this one special? The best feature of the Serene Innovations TV-SB is that you can control the sound tones to highlight people’s voices and de-emphasize background noise. If you have trouble understanding dialogue and human voices when watching TV, even if the volume is turned all the way up, this is the speaker for you.
3. Best Remote TV Speaker for Hard of Hearing: Coby Wireless Digital Amplifier
This sleek and retro-looking speaker will connect to your TV, phone, laptop, or tablet through Bluetooth, wirelessly playing sound wherever you need it most. If you have hearing problems and the TV is just too soft at a normal volume, this affordable speaker puts the sound right next to you. It is also small enough that you can sit just about anywhere and still find a way to arrange the speaker so you can hear.
One of the best parts about this speaker is that it analyzes the sound frequencies that come from your TV and highlights the frequencies that correspond to the human voice. What does that mean? Simply put, it makes people’s voices clearer and louder than background noise. For example, if you are watching an action movie or a sports game, the speaker will make the dialogue and commentary clearer than explosions or other loud noises. That makes it much easier to understand what is going on and hear clearly than it is by simply turning the volume up higher.
4. Best Personal TV Speaker for Hard of Hearing: TV Ears Dual Digital Headset
TV Ears is one of the simplest and most convenient solutions for watching TV with hearing loss. This product gives you two sets of wireless earbuds that connect to your TV, allowing you and your spouse or a friend to independently use and control the sound to a volume that works for them. Furthermore, you can use the TV Ears without diverting the sound from your TV speakers, so multiple people can all watch TV together.
The TV Ears will connect to any type of TV and are registered with the FDA as an assisted listening device, meaning they are twice as loud at max volume than standard headphones. Just like other assisted listening devices, people with up to 95% hearing loss can use the TV Ears to hear everything clear as can be! These TV speaker/earbuds are very similar to PSAPs, which are known to be nearly as effective as prescription hearing aids.
If you’re looking for a device that will not subject anyone else to your individual audio needs, this is it. The TV Ears go directly into your ears, so no one else will hear how loud you have the TV; everyone gets the level of volume that works for them, regardless of their hearing issues.
5. Best Chair Speaker for Hard of Hearing: Audio Fox Wireless TV Speakers
These chair speakers are very slim and unassuming, laying gently over your couch or recliner and nearly blending into the furniture- they’re even available in four different colors. All you have to do is send an e-mail to the manufacturer after you order and let them know whether you’d like grey, tan, black, or brown.
Just like the Chair Speakers (#1 on our list), these speakers are designed to help individuals with hearing loss control their TV audio in their own way without becoming a distraction to others. You can adjust the volume by turning a knob on the speakers, controlling your TV experience without changing the volume on the TV. These speakers are a great choice for anyone who wants to watch TV at a louder volume without becoming a “volume dictator” in their family.
Though these speakers do look a bit cheap (and can break easily if dropped), the sound quality they produce is very high, better than most TV Speakers and even better than many soundbars. If you or a loved one is looking for a way to enjoy watching TV again, the Audio Fox Wireless TV speakers are a great investment.
6. Best Soundbar for Hearing Impaired: ZVOX Accuvoice AV257 Soundbar TV Speaker with Hearing Aid Technology
ZVOX may not be a household name, but they have garnered a lot of respect over the years for making high-quality, affordable speakers and sound systems. Their “Accuvoice” line of soundbars are designed for people who are hard of hearing, isolating and amplifying the sounds of human voices to make them louder than background noise.
This technology isn’t groundbreaking, but it is hard to find in other soundbars, making the Accuvoice AV257 a must-have for those who want to get a soundbar instead of a personal TV speaker. It will boost the level and quality of all the sound from your TV while simultaneously making it easier to hear conversations and news reports.
Buying Guide: How to Choose a TV Speaker
How Much Do TV Speakers for the Hard of Hearing Cost?
The cheapest TV Speakers will cost about $50-75, while more expensive models will set you back over $200. These prices are comparable to other personal sound amplifiers, like sound amplifier earbuds. The cost of a TV Speaker is also much cheaper than that of a hearing aid, a prescription device that can cost up to $5,000.
Where to Buy TV Speakers for Hard of Hearing
With thousands of different speakers available, fast shipping, and easy returns, there is no better place to shop for TV speakers online than Amazon. You can search, research, and compare as much as you need to to find the speaker that is right for your needs. Then, when you purchase, you can take advantage of the return window to test out your choice and make sure it’s a fit for your home, your TV, and your ears. If it isn’t a good fit, you can return it and try another speaker- with very few hassles!
Conclusion: TV Speakers for Hearing Loss
Getting a specialized TV speaker is the ideal way for people with hearing loss to be able to listen to their favorite programs, news, and sports without turning the volume all the way up or using closed captioning. Which TV speaker from our list did you find the most interesting? Do you have any questions about the models we looked at? Leave your comments and questions below!