Sennheiser, Old Lyme, Conn, introduces its new line of wireless TV listening systems, which allow listeners to enjoy a volume that suits their hearing ability, regardless of how the TV’s volume is set.
Soft, lightweight, pliable ear cushions foster comfort, and the S versions of each system—Set 900, Set 840, and Set 830—are compatible with hearing aids and standard headphones.
All three systems feature high-quality sound, large volume dials, automatic on/off functionality, and they automatically find an open frequency, helping to ensure interference-free wireless performance, says the company.
The balance between the right and left ear can be individually adjusted according to the listener’s hearing. A switchable compression function balances out sudden and drastic differences in volume, such as the transition between quiet shows and loud commercials. Three special audio settings enhance dialogue.
Eric Stubbert, industry team manager for audiology products at Sennheiser’s US headquarters says speech intelligibility is very important, and that is largely determined by the high frequencies. “When the volume of these frequencies is raised, people with impaired hearing find that speech becomes much clearer and easier to understand,” he says.
The Set 900 infrared wireless system, the top model of the new line, can be used at home with the TV, at at a theater or concert hall equipped with infrared transmission, or as a temporary hearing aid in noisy environments such as restaurants. Two tiny built-in microphones gently amplify voices and also help increase awareness of surrounding sounds. It operates on all commonly available frequency ranges—2.3 MHz, 2.8 MHz and 95 kHz. Frequency ranges can be set to the range used in a public or private venue.
It includes a carrying case with space for a battery pack, a spare set of ear cushions, and a wrist strap. A lithium-ion battery guarantees up to 12 hours of sound. Set. 900 was recently awarded two international design quality accreditations: the iF product design award and the reddot design award. The system has also been nominated for the German Design Prize, due to be awarded in November by the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Set 840’s wireless RF technology can transmit its sound through walls up to 100 feet from the transmitter. The system automatically locates an open wireless frequency, but users can also manually select a frequency by moving a sliding control on the transmitter. A lithium polymer accupack guarantees up to 9 hours of uninterrupted operation. The system is suited for use with plasma screens, as no transmission interference is caused by infrared radiation from the television.
The Set 830 assistive-listening system is similar to the Set 840; however, it operates using infrared wireless transmission rather than RF. Infrared technology lets users listen up to a distance of approximately 33 feet from the set’s transmitter. The transmitter connects to an audio source, such as a TV or stereo system, and the signal is transmitted to the earphones via infrared light. A rechargeable lithium-polymer battery guarantees up to 12 hours of undisturbed and uninterrupted listening.
The S versions of both systems connect to a hearing aid, induction coupler, or standard headphones. The main difference is that the sound is transmitted from the receiver to a hearing aid via an induction neckloop, which is included in the set. Alternatively, induction couplers or standard headphones can also be connected to the lightweight receiver.