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Headphones - any other deaf folk out there?

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Robin Graham05/11/2021 00:48:34
947 forum posts
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I am quite deaf and need hearing aids to help with day-to-day verbal communication, but on my own I like to listen to to stuff through wireless headphones. I have a Sony (analogue/FM I assume) set which has served me well, but the inbuilt Li-ion batteries are approaching the end of their life and can't be replaced, so I need to buy a new set.

I have Bluetooth 'phones (Tribit) which are great in the same room as the transmitter, but the feeble and inflexible 2.4Ghz photons can't make the journey from the house to my subterranean workshop unscathed. Almost all of the results of searches for wireless 'phones direct me to Bluetooth devices though.

I'm wondering if anyone else has had this problem and found a solution.

Robin

 

 

Edited By Robin Graham on 05/11/2021 00:56:17

pgk pgk05/11/2021 04:51:11
2563 forum posts
293 photos

There may be several ways of solving this. Much depends on your original audio source. And what Bluetooth variant it uses. If it's bluetooth 4 then matching headsets may reach your lair.

If you're listening to stuff via the internet then you might consider extending your Internet via powerline systems and simply using a smart phone as the player and bluetooth from that. The only problem I find with that idea is that phones in pockets or being jostled about interrupt the stream. Put the phone on a table is fine so long as you remember to take it with you again. I used to use stored talking books on my phone while doing hedging work when I had to keep it in a pocket and the intermittent interruption was a PITA..


Bluetooth 5 is supposed to have a range of 800 feet (unobstructed) so long as you can jack your audio source into a bluetooth 5 transmitter and buy a bluetooth 5 headset. I haven't tried that system.

pgk

David George 105/11/2021 07:33:20
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1840 forum posts
503 photos

Recently I had a fixed soldered in lithium ion battery which was failing and I found a replacement on RS components web site. I replaced it and now back to normal.

https://uk.rs-online.com/mobile/c/batteries-chargers/rechargeable-batteries/rechargeable-battery-packs/?searchTerm=Lithion+ion+battery

David

Clive Foster05/11/2021 09:48:19
3135 forum posts
109 photos

Robin

Realistically you can't beat stringing a wire down to your workshop and using a local Bluetooth transmitter.

That said a Google search turns up a number of range extenders which take the Bluetooth signal in and re-transmit it. Some with sticky up external aerials which, presumably, receive and transmit better than the internal type.

Theoretically best solution would be a receiver unit on one side of the wall or floor and transmitter the other with a cable between running through the major obstruction. Plenty of Bluetooth widgets with switched transmit or receive capability, I have a teeny, 1/4 matchbox size, one on my TV to run my headphones, but I don't see an official pair. I surmise a pair of the boxes I have could be made to work, just a matter of hooking up power via the USB plugs, setting one to transmit, the other to receive and an audio cable between.

Think my box was about £5 off E-Bay. Coupled with a pair of LiDL headphones cheap enough to try without being too far out of pocket if it didn't work. The official unofficial kid sister has just given me a pair of Sony WH-XB900N headphones which are very nice. Comfortable with a good sound and range even from the cheap transmitter. But for £140 I'd have expected better instructions. Large sheet in multiple languages that basically tells you nothing about how to use or set up the headphones. Major gotcha is that you set the volume on the source. No controls beyond and on-off switch and pair/reset button. As ever these days manual is on t'net.

Not Bluetooth but ages ago I bought a range extender for my DECT cordless phone that almost doubles the coverage. My phone line went into the workshop office because thats where I wanted (then) fast internet and the Siemens Gigaset base station only reached the back half of the house reliably. Repeater sits about 6 ft inside the insufficient signal line so I have signal right out to the front gate. From this I conclude the repeater principle is fine. Just a matter of set-up.

Clive

old mart05/11/2021 11:06:31
3775 forum posts
233 photos

I have never tried bluetooth headphones, and wonder if they would work the same way with a smart tv as a wired connection with the 3.5mm jack. That switches off the main speakers when it is plugged in. I believe my Toshiba which is one year old has bluetooth built in and I like to use the headphones late at night when the main speakers set high for my deafness might disturb the neighbours.

Clive Foster05/11/2021 11:17:37
3135 forum posts
109 photos

Old Mart

My Hitachi plasma TV has a menu setting to control whether plugging a cable into the audio output jack also turns off the main speakers or leaves them running. Mine is set to leave the main speakers on as I only use the headphones when other watchers find my comfortable listening volume too loud.

Pretty much the norm for relatively modern TVs I think.

Finding where the setting is in the menus being another matter entirely.

Clive

Peter Greene 🇨🇦05/11/2021 21:41:15
513 forum posts
6 photos

A quick Google suggests that Sony still make regular (not Bluetooth) wireless headphones. The ones I have (admittedly 10-15 years old now) work all over my two storey plus basement house with no problem.

Robin Graham06/11/2021 00:03:13
947 forum posts
296 photos

Thanks. The idea of getting internet connectivity in the cellars by powerline is attractive - but would it work given that the cellar electrics are on different circuits from the rest of the house? I suppose they must meet at some point as all the juice comes in from a single cable to the consumer unit.

At the moment Wi-Fi from the router in the house is too patchy to be usable in the cellars. A wired connection would be great and is something I shall bear in mind for the future, but it's not something I want to take on at the moment because it would involve drilling through 3-4 feet of of stone/brickwork. Probably trivial if you know what you're doing, but I don't.

Old Mart - I use Tribit headphones with a BT transmitter which plugs into the 3.5mm headphone socket on my TV (which doesn't have built-in BT) so the speaker blanking works in the same way as wired 'phones. I don't know how it works with built-in TV BT though. A downside of this arrangement is that there a very noticeable latency between the image and the sound, despite both devices being BT 5 and advertised as low latency. It bugs me because I am partially dependent on lip reading, but YMMV.

Peter - thanks for the nudge towards more focused searching. Sony do indeed still make 'conventional' wireless 'phones - I'd been searching on 'wireless headphones' and everything seemed to be BT. The Sony MDR-RF895RK Home Wireless Headphones, 100 m Range seem to tick all the boxes, so I'll probably go that way for now.

Robin.

 

 

 

Edited By Robin Graham on 06/11/2021 00:16:34

Edited By Robin Graham on 06/11/2021 00:24:30

Edited By Robin Graham on 06/11/2021 00:27:09

Calum Galleitch06/11/2021 22:25:16
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191 forum posts
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Posted by Robin Graham on 06/11/2021 00:03:13:

The idea of getting internet connectivity in the cellars by powerline is attractive - but would it work given that the cellar electrics are on different circuits from the rest of the house?

For what it's worth, my powerline network here runs well from my office through the rather dodgy domestic wiring, through the domestic meter, into the main spike and back out through the three phase meter for the farm, down yet more dodgy three phase wiring that splits out somewhere I haven't even been able to find, and finally into my workshop. I'm lucky I guess that the domestic supply is on the same leg as the one split from the three phase on the other side. Anyway, point being it's a fair old distance and doesn't seem to struggle at all.

Farmboy07/11/2021 00:12:09
169 forum posts
2 photos
Posted by Calum Galleitch on 06/11/2021 22:25:16:
Posted by Robin Graham on 06/11/2021 00:03:13:

The idea of getting internet connectivity in the cellars by powerline is attractive - but would it work given that the cellar electrics are on different circuits from the rest of the house?

For what it's worth, my powerline network here runs well from my office through the rather dodgy domestic wiring, through the domestic meter, into the main spike and back out through the three phase meter for the farm, down yet more dodgy three phase wiring that splits out somewhere I haven't even been able to find, and finally into my workshop. I'm lucky I guess that the domestic supply is on the same leg as the one split from the three phase on the other side. Anyway, point being it's a fair old distance and doesn't seem to struggle at all.

Almost exactly reflects my experience, and I found it didn't seem to make any difference which phase I used at the 3-phase end. I was streaming a live CCTV camera through about 50 metres of overhead mains cable with a similar distance through internal wiring.

Mike

pgk pgk07/11/2021 05:40:05
2563 forum posts
293 photos
Posted by old mart on 05/11/2021 11:06:31:

I have never tried Bluetooth headphones, and wonder if they would work the same way with a smart tv as a wired connection with the 3.5mm jack. That switches off the main speakers when it is plugged in. I believe my Toshiba which is one year old has Bluetooth built in and I like to use the headphones late at night when the main speakers set high for my deafness might disturb the neighbours.

Likely a case of suck it and see. I use a 12+ year old Bluetooth headset that hangs around neck with wired ear buds for entertainment while using rowing machines, There is no lag when used with either a mobile phone streaming video or when I use it at home via PC which uses a similar age large TV as a monitor. However, when I use the phone as a vid source but Bluetooth the audio through car speakers there is a definite lag.

Powerline systems have proven similarly impressive to others experience. Again I have one 12yr old pair going 50+ metres to the hobby shed and another 2 yr old pair going 60 metres to the barn. Neither gives me any bandwidth issues for 'common' internet stuff. The newer systems advertise much greater bit-rates. Admittedly I haven't set them up to be 'seamless' extensions of the domestic wireless router - hobby-shed goes to another router but the newer barn version has its own transmitter built in and apparently can be arranged as a seamless extension (but is only there as a link to the car for software updates)

pgk

Farmboy07/11/2021 09:12:51
169 forum posts
2 photos

I'm not actually deaf, my hearing is quite good but I do have tinnitus which makes it hard to discriminate particular individual voices or sounds. For reasons I don't fully understand, if I use 'proper' headphones (not the little earbuds) the music seems to be inside my head, bypassing the noises in my ears, and I can even pick out individual instruments in an orchestra.

I'm sure my condition is largely due to working with noisy machinery in the days before ear defenders were readily available, but the worst ear is the one I used for many years to listen to radio 4 through an earbud while working.

Mike.

Clive Hartland07/11/2021 09:52:16
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2820 forum posts
40 photos

farmboy, that is an interesting fact. In the army radio operatrores would use one ear to use the radio and the other to receive verbal orders from command.

Then, tank crew had a similar problem where the earphones were on one side but the other subject to the tank surondings.

In both cases one sided deafness results.

I joined the army at 14 and then progressed through training into using The Enfield No4 rifle. Then in the early 60's to the SLR. being a crackshot I was then exposed with no warnings to a lot of gunfire. Eventually being told I was 40% deaf and later posted to an Arty. Regt. with the armys biggest guns!

Now the progressive deafness has left me deaf 100% in the left ear and about 85Db in the right ear.

This is the point, any prolonged noise will cause deafness and I pity all the young people who have now attended all these music festivals where music is played at a very high volume and they will slowly get deafer and deafer as they age!

I cannot hear music or radio or tv sound and live on screen text, Nor use a telphone, any contact with medics and the like is a written note!

old mart07/11/2021 13:15:09
3775 forum posts
233 photos

I mentioned earlier that I was thinking about bluetooth headphones to use with my tv late at night, and this thread has pushed me into getting some. For convenience, I bought some Sennheiser HD 350BT headphones at the nearby Argos. They cost £65 ane since then, I have found that you can get them cheaper by shopping around. They don't have any other connection than bluetooth, so I was committed. One reason for wanting to give up on a wired connection is the poor quality of the 3.5mm socket in the tv, a problem I had with the previous Sony as well as the current Toshiba 55UL5S63DB. I had to fiddle about with the plug nearly every time that I made connection to get the sound to come through. It took me about an hour to figure out just how to access the menus in the Toshiba, as the instructions are vague, but as soon as I had understood how, I had the headphones working. The tv speakers go off by default and the volume control is only working on the headphones, not the tv remote, either the Toshiba or the Virgin one. When the tv is switched onto standby, it goes back to normal speakers when being switched back on, but it is then quicker to set up the bluetooth if required than to couple up the cable for the old headphones. At this price range, being higher than I would normally pay, but well below the high end products, the build quality and sound are the best I have ever experienced, and the 30 hours battery life seems plenty to me also.

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