Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wireless Television Headphones

It seems like yesterday that I could hear just fine. In late November of last year we took a trip to California, and as has happened before, my ears plugged up when we got down to sea level. This time they stayed plugged up, and I finally saw a doctor about it. It was driving me crazy. I realize that's not a long trip, but I'd rather drive somewhere else.

The doctor put me on steroids, didn't laugh at my joke about no longer being eligible for the Olympics, and sent me on my way. My ears kind of cleared up. They no longer sounded like I was underwater within seven to ten days, but the hearing never quite came back. I talked to the doctor here and he said it was probably a process, and to give it another few months. If it didn't correct, then I should talk to the audiologist. Meanwhile, we had to go back down to sea level again.

Not being able to hear isn't always a bad thing. At night, for instance, John's snoring doesn't really bother me anymore. Let's see. There's bound to be another example of when it's not a bad thing. I can't hear in church. That's not a good thing. I can't hear the TV. That's a problem. Well, you can certainly hear the commercials. You could hear those from the basement. (There ought to be a law...)

Our annual appointments with the audiologist are next week, but if he tells me to buy hearing aids, it's not going to be something I can do immediately, so I'm trying to find a few solutions to tide me through. Also, I have to realize that even if I got hearing aids, John would still refuse to wear his, so if I turned the TV down, I'd have to listen to his complaints.

This week I went online and did some research on wireless stereo headphones that connect to the television and enable people to actually hear what's being said on TV. I wondered if they really worked. One thing I like about shopping online with Amazon is that you can read all the customer reviews. I picked out a set that customers had reviewed very well, and they arrived yesterday.

For the first time since November, I listened to an evening of television programming without ever once having to say, "What did he say?" or rewinding it to see if I could figure out what they said. I was really happy with that. I've been glad to have the DVR so I had that rewind option, but when you rewind three or four times and still can't understand them, even after turning the volume up, it's very frustrating.

For those like me who've lost the edge on their hearing, or others who simply don't want to wake someone up if they watch nighttime television in the bedroom, I highly recommend these. I got the Sony MDR-IF540RK headphones, although there's another pair about $20 less that looks like it would have been just as good, with just a couple of less options. I got the one with the vibrating bass and surround sound function for when you watch stuff like Star Wars. They were just over sixty dollars, are rechargeable, very comfortable, light weight, include the transmitter and work great. If I look like an old lady—that's just too bad.

Now if I could just have figured out how to make them work in the meeting I was in today, where none of the women talked loud enough for me to hear. Try sitting still for four hours while two dozen women take turns saying important things you can't hear and then expect you to respond... intelligently.

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