Thanks to Beatrix on the forums for suggesting this gadget.
For the average person, this gadget is totally useless and looks extremely geeky. However, for a very niche market, this thing is great. For those who have absolutely no idea what TV Ears is, it’s a TV hearing aid.
TV Ears allow you to hear what the people on the TV are saying without having the volume cranked up all the way, even for channels you can barely reach with your TV antenna outside.
This background sound elimination is done via the microchip built into the headset. It lowers sound below 100hz (the background sound) and raises sound above 1,000hz (speech).
You can control the volume, tone, and balance controls to better suit whatever hearing condition you have. There’s no special TV you have to own, either. TV Ears work with pretty much all TVs, DVD Players, VCRs (please!), stereos, and game consoles. Sound is transferred by 95 kHz infrared, which means good enough sound quality.
The headset itself is powered by a rechargeable battery, which should last 2 years before needing to be replaced.
For anyone with a hearing condition that has trouble listening to the TV, and doesn’t mind looking terribly geeky while watching it, TV Ears is a good product, although the price tag, $150, is a bit high. But if it works for you, it’s easily justifiable.
Testimonials and information on where to buy can be found on the TV Ears site.