Posted February 2, 2015
When you have a big event, like a tailgate and party for the big game, or getting together to watch your favorite show, do you consider the family member or friend who has hearing issues? Should you:
- Not invite the person with hearing issues?
- Pass out earplugs to the other guests when they arrive?
- Check out a new TV sound system designed for those with hearing impairment?
(Hopefully you chose option 3.)
New personal loudspeaker system
It’s not uncommon for family and friends to argue over sound levels when watching TV. In fact, hearing experts claim that such disputes affect 1 in 10 households, often because some members have problems hearing.
Recently a researcher at the University of Southampton in England created a new loudspeaker system for the hearing impaired. It’s designed to allow people with hearing problems to listen to TV at the sound level they need to hear effectively without creating an uncomfortable experience for everyone else.
Using loudspeaker arrays, or acoustical radiators, the system raises the audio signal in the area of the room where the hearing impaired person sits, while maintaining normal sound levels everywhere else.
Hearing aid avoidance
Researchers estimate that only 20 percent of individuals with hearing problems actually wear hearing aids, which can lead to continuous conflicts over volume levels.
The array system is particularly designed for individuals in their 70s, because people at this age often experience hearing loss. Sometimes they’re unwilling to admit hearing difficulties and withdraw from conversations and activities. The array system is designed to meet the sound needs of these individuals so they don’t miss out on life, and can continue to participate in watching the big game on TV with their family and friends.
Hearing loss may occur when the auditory nerve or to hair cells inside the ear are damaged. Learn more about hearing loss and new research in the works for treating it.