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Best Speakers and Headphones for Movie and TV Dialog

2718 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  moocher
I'm a senior citizen with a hearing problem. I have Tinnitus (a constant buzzing sound in my ears) and probably also have some overall hearing loss. I especially have a very difficult time understanding dialog on TV shows, as well as on DVDs. To compensate, I turn the volume up very high to try and make out any spoken words (this still doesn't always help). Naturally, the high volume doesn't sit well with my wife. My main speakers are 17-year old Infinity Kappa 6s and my center is an equally old Infinity Kappa center channel. These were considered pretty good speakers in their day.

I was thinking of getting headphones and wondering which would be best to help me hear spoken dialog on TV and DVDs. I'd like wireless phones, but if a wired model will be better for hearing spoken words, I have no problem getting a wired product.

Any suggestions?


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I'm no expert on speakers so I can't really recommend any brands, but if you are suffering hearing loss that makes it difficult to understand speech, then my guess is that you've lost the ability to make out higher frequencies. Do vowels sound clearer than consonants? You'll probably want speakers that favor higher frequencies, or "brighter" sounding speakers. Alternatively you can experiment with a multiband EQ (I'm sorry if you've already done this). If your receiver allows you to adjust the gain of various frequency bands try turning up the 1kHz and higher frequencies (probably getting higher the higher you go) and turning down the lower frequencies. This might serve to compensate some of your hearing loss. The TV might sound a little harsh to other people, but you might be able to get by with a quieter total volume.
Take a look at the headphone forum: www.head-fi.org

They are a great bunch and will probably ask you to be a bit more specific about your hearing, your source (amp/receiver, tv, etc.) before going into recommendations.

My quick recommendations are that if your receiver has a headphone out then you have lots of possibilities. If you are not concerned about audiophile quality but just want to hear the tv, I'd recommend something super-comfortable like the Audio Technica ATH AD700 (open and others in the same room may hear what you hear) or the A500 (closed - others will hear less or nothing and you will hear less room sound). These two are known to be both good to excellent quality and very very comfortable for long-term wear. Check amazon or www.audiocubes.com .

If you want to go very cheap, check out radio shack. They carry Koss KSC 75s and Koss Portapros which have a lifetime warranty and are in the $15-45 range.

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