Soundbar recommendations for clear speech for elderly

Discussion in 'Home Theater & Video' started by Carraway, May 19, 2017.

  1. Carraway

    Carraway AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    376
    Hi,
    Does anyone have a recommendation for a soundbar for my elderly parents? I'm hoping for something which will have very intelligible and clear speech so they do not have to turn televisions up to extremely high levels. It would also need to be very simple to operate; ideally automatically turning on and off with the tv. Budget is flexible. Thanks.
     
  2. davidb1

    davidb1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,244
    Location:
    Sandy Springs GA
  3. orsen

    orsen just another old cheapskate that likes audio Subscriber

    my parents are older too, my father cant hear with out his aids, which he hates to wear.
    he needs it real loud she doesent.
    in the end my brother set them up with his and hers sound bars
    hers is under the tv like normal
    his is on the endtabe beside his chair, he doesnt need it blaring this way
     
    Carraway likes this.
  4. Carraway

    Carraway AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    376
    Thanks. Those are both great ideas.
     
  5. nedseg

    nedseg AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    155
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I've often thought that speakers near(er) the listeners fav chair/listening position (or just that side of the room) would be a better choice than clearer &/or louder ones at the tv itself.
    (I had hard of hearing tenants years ago who drove me nuts trying to pacify their neighbors over blaring TV sound, and got me thinking about it.)

    While not particularly hearing challenged (yet), I did try this out with a mini stereo above and behind my headboard, and it works better than I expected.
    Even with the speakers (mini-brauns) pointed out into the room (above my head), the gains in stereo separation were impressive (duh), and does allow me to watch tv at much lower levels, esp at night. (Also works really well for sleep music, the main reason I did it.)

    This setup is hardwired, but a bluetooth speaker might work well. The signal delay and HF rolloff might not be much of a negative in this situation.
    Pretty cheap & fairly easy to test, too. And there are much pricier non-BT wireless stereo systems out recently...
    Also, I've wondered about the various bone conduction headsets, but that's probably a bit too 'tin-foil cap'-ish.
    Mmmm...wonder what became of that guy in the 70/80s who claimed to have a neurological solution via skin conduction (RF was involved I think)...I have copies of his patents laying around here somewhere......:)
    I'll be curious what you decide to do, and how well it works for your parents.
    Good of you to help them, thanks.
     
    Carraway likes this.
  6. Carraway

    Carraway AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    376
    Thanks nedseg. Those are good ideas, but my dad wouldn't bother much beyond on/off and on the same remote as the TV. I'll have to look into if the TV transmits bluetooth and how simple it would be to operate.
     
  7. luvvinvinyl

    luvvinvinyl Nikki's gone to the Rainbow Bridge. Staff Member Admin Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,264
    Location:
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    So wireless headphones, for Dad, are not an option? Small, on-ear, rather than bulky, over-the-ear?
     
    Carraway likes this.
  8. nedseg

    nedseg AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    155
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I sure hope that their TV has BT...certainly the simplest and cheapest way to go, though I suppose you could add a BT transmitter to any TV sound output (mono only, too)...those aren't very expensive last time I looked...but, another liddle box.

    I was thinking of WISA tech wireless speakers, but they are still pretty new, very pricey, and involve more dang remotes and setups (ugh)...and marketed for wireless home theatre systems. (Klipsh, Bang and Olufsen, Axim)

    Here's a flat plate speaker technology that was demo'd by a technology/futurist at an IT conference I attended a while back .... still have his card somewhere....the thing was absolutely stunning; he just waved it around at the audience, and you heard absolutely nothing until it was pointed pretty much right at you, where it was sparklingly clear.

    I was about 20 feet from him at the time, but those in the back of the hall (50ft?) had the same experience...I keep hoping it'll be commercialized for home audio, but have no idea of how it compares to conventional speakers for 'hifi' ( I did ask him, and he said it was 'just as good'...uh-huh).

    http://hypersoundhearing.com/solutions/
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...be-a-breakthrough-for-those-with-hearing-loss
    (In fact, this is the guy who demo'd it to us....he sure was a very impressive presenter.)

    Pricey, but nice to see they found a hearing impaired market to pursue...hope it's affordable when I'm 90!
    (I think the main use for the tech has been in naval ship defense - ie pirates - though in much powerful form, and crowd control research....oh, I see that's mentioned in the bloomberg bit...)
     
    Carraway likes this.
  9. sberger

    sberger Hard Core Geezer Subscriber

    I use closed captions/subtitles for pretty much any show these days that I care about. The dialogue is often quickly delivers, and the sound is always lacking when it comes to focus on the dialogue. I find it as fool proof as it gets.
     
    Carraway and nedseg like this.
  10. Carraway

    Carraway AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    376
    Thanks, everyone.

    luvvinvinyl - Headphones aren't really an option. He's never used/liked them.

    nedseg - Turns out the TV doesn't have Bluetooth, at least the one my dad watches most of the time. A second, smaller one does. Thanks for the info and links about ultrasonic and new technology. That's very interesting.

    sberger - I often use subtitles as well, especially to keep tv volume low (it's not hooked into my audio system), but neither of my parents want to "read the television."
     
    nedseg likes this.
  11. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Messages:
    23,827
    Location:
    Athens, TN
    Only cure is content remixed for front channel use from the original elements and properly balanced for home use with correct gain.
     
    Carraway likes this.
  12. Carraway

    Carraway AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    376
    As a follow up if anyone's interested, I thought I'd try a ZVOX soundbar. The company says it uses tech from hearing aids to improve voice clarity, although I didn't see it go into detail about what exactly that is.

    In any case, it's far from audiophile sound, but it does reproduce dialogue well, works with the dish remote, and my dad says he can hear it very well, even without his hearing aid. So he seems happy with it (as does my mom, since it seems he won't have it at extreme levels).
     
  13. Chip Chester

    Chip Chester Super Member

    Messages:
    1,615
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Center channel dialogue is the one to put up close to the listener, or into bluetooth... if you can get to it isolated.

    Chip
     
    Carraway likes this.
  14. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Messages:
    23,827
    Location:
    Athens, TN
    I think I will be looking at the ZVox soundbar for Athens use. It would be a good idea.
     
    Carraway likes this.
  15. Bodyblue

    Bodyblue AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,150
    Location:
    Citrus Heights CA
    We have a cheap ($75) Insignia from Best Buy soundbar for the bedroom TV and it works fine. You dont need to spend any more than that really if they just need help with dialog. The one we have even has a mode for dialog that really makes it easy to hear.
     
    Carraway likes this.

Share This Page