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Old 11-29-2009, 12:27 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
A little of both. A small speaker on an end table pointing right at your head makes a big difference.
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As do Head Phones. (I recommend this only for watching TV alone, it seems to really irritate others in the room who may be watching.)
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I don't have any trouble at all in understanding the dialog, even though my hearing is a little dulled compared with what it used to be in my youth.

Do you have a reasonably new and good quality TV? If so, I think you should have your hearing checked by a professional. It seems to me that this sort of problem needs to be looked into and could be a type of hearing loss. Hearing is such a blessing and you shouldn't have to live like that.
Some of my TVs are new, so it is not the hardware, though it makes no difference. I can hear faint noises. I can understand many speakers fine. For example, the talking heads on TV news, the chefs on FoodTV, etc... It's just some movies where the speech was slurred. My wife couldn't understand them either, when I had the problem.

So, it could be me, but I will wait a bit before spending some money. I had gone to a cardiologist before, when I had megacorp's insurance and money was no object, thinking that I had some heart problems. His verdict: I needed to exercise more. Oops...

And by the way, my ears are clean (no ear wax!).
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:38 PM   #22
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Some of my TVs are new, so it is not the hardware, though it makes no difference. I can hear faint noises.
What I am thinking of is that (if my memory is correct? I'm no audiologist) some people who can still hear faint noises can have hearing loss of various types.

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I can understand many speakers fine. For example, the talking heads on TV news, the chefs on FoodTV, etc... It's just some movies where the speech was slurred. My wife couldn't understand them either, when I had the problem.
Now this sounds more hopeful! Are they old movies? Sometimes the sound quality in really old black and white movies is not very good.

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So, it could be me, but I will wait a bit before spending some money. I had gone to a cardiologist before, when I had megacorp's insurance and money was no object, thinking that I had some heart problems. His verdict: I needed to exercise more. Oops...

And by the way, my ears are clean (no ear wax!).
That's always good to know (not! ). Anyway, I have no idea of what it would cost just to have your hearing checked but if it gets worse it might be worth it. You don't want to turn into one of those deaf old men, cupping one hand over an ear and yelling "Eh? Did you say something?"
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:51 PM   #23
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Thanks for your concern. I also have read that speech comprehension difficulties may have a complex cause.

However, I am hopeful it's not me because it is actually newer movies with these youngster actors and actresses that I have problems with. Sometimes, I wonder if they aren't speaking some slang. We usually do not have problems with Audrey Hepburn and the like.

You might ask why I would bother with these movies, but then, well, sometimes you've got to see some that were made in this century.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:59 PM   #24
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I also have a desire to improve the sound system for my TV and music listening. Lack of knowledge about speakers, receivers, wireless, etc., is a frustration. There ought to be a site like "Gear for Geazers." But I fear that even with a high quality system, I would not be able to enjoy TV sound.

I have hearing loss, as does my 92 year old mother. In addition to age, and genetics, I may have damaged my hearing in several employment environments and from operating lawn mowers for the past thirty years without protection.

The loss is in the higher pitches. For instance, I cannot hear the top three keys on the piano. All I hear is a knocking sound. No big deal, since I don't play the piano. I have difficulty hearing soft voices, usually polite young women and children. The blonde gal on Miami Vice is one who I can never understand. (Also no big deal.) Rapid speech on TV, (ever since West Wing,) is also impossible for me to understand.

I have expensive hearing aids that help sharpen the words so I can hear certain letters and combinations, but they also create problems for me when I'm watching TV and my wife speaks at her normal level. She sounds like she is yelling, (and she is not.) Also, when I am listening to the TV, (or radio, in the car,) surrounding noises startle or annoy me when the hearing aids are on. I have been trying to fine tune these aids for over two years, but have not been successful. Consequently, I do not wear them for everyday activities.

Thank God for the Internet and paperback novels!
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:27 PM   #25
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Elderdude, have you tried a set of these?
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:37 PM   #26
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Nah, those would interfere with my beer hat.
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:51 PM   #27
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Bose 3*2*1 is a great simple system. We simpletons really like ours.
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:26 PM   #28
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Elderdude,
Get an SVS sub-woofer. You won't need to hear it you will feel it. Besides if you have problems with kidney stones you can turn it up and sit in front of it. No problem, the stones will be broken up!
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:35 PM   #29
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Well, apparently that's where he has been spending most of his time!

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Old 12-02-2009, 08:29 PM   #30
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I'm wondering if some of the people having trouble hearing the dialog might have their system set up incorrectly?

Do you have a center speaker? If so, you might want to boost the level to it - most of the dialog is sent to that speaker.

IF you don't have a center speaker, you might have the receiver set up expecting one, and then you will drop out a lot of the dialog..

We run our TV in simple stereo. Dialog seems fine, even to my DW's tin ears.

DVDs can be played in 5.1 or some other settings, and we have a center speaker (and surrounds) for that. Never played with it too much, but dialof always seemed fine to me.

I seem to *hear* pretty well, but I do think I have some issues processing voice. It's hard for me to pick conversations out of noise, but not for lack of hearing them, but it seems I can't distinguish the sounds. Always been that way for me. But not much problem with TV/movie dialog for me. But I can hear a pin drop, or a noise on the other side of the house when I'm in serious listen mode on my stereo.

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Elderdude, have you tried a set of these?

Actually..... when I was seriously auditioning stereo speakers, and playing with the set-up in my living room, I found that even a slight cupping of ears (just putting fingers behind the ear to make my ears protrude a bit) had very significant effects on the 'directness' and clarity of the sound. I read that there are some "hi-fi" chairs, with high backs that provide a balance of absorbing and reflecting the sound (no speakers in the chair - the back just helps provide the acoustic environment). Lots of crazy audio snake-oil out there, but I really think there is something to that one.

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Old 12-02-2009, 08:49 PM   #31
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Well, my hearing loss isn't age related (yet). I can trace it directly to the Who concert at the Capital Center way back on my 24th birthday. I was standing in front of John Entwistle's bass stack, and my ears rung loudly for 5 days. When I got a hearing test a couple years later for a job physical and they told me I had lost the bottom of the range in my left ear, I knew exactly what had happened.

I'm doing research to find a good 5.1 system with A/V receiver. But I did get a set of Sennheiser RS-120 Wireless Headphones, which I use after DW has gone to bed. They work great, and I hear dialog very clearly, which isn't always the case with just the TV speaker. I recommend them. They even work fairly well when I go around the corner to get a snack.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:56 PM   #32
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Nah, those would interfere with my beer hat.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:33 AM   #33
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I may have missed it in this thread, if you set up speakers, the phasing is important.

Meaning that the speaker cones of both (all) speakers must move in the same direction on a given input.
Most if not all systems have polarization markings, as do speakers. The trick is to make sure the wiring is not flipping the polarity.

If the system is not properly phased, the sounds will be hollow or weird. Since on the same input one speaker cone is moving backwards while tho other(s) forward.

Internal speakers of units are rarely a problem, but can happen.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:06 AM   #34
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I may have missed it in this thread, if you set up speakers, the phasing is important.

Meaning that the speaker cones of both (all) speakers must move in the same direction on a given input.
Most if not all systems have polarization markings, as do speakers. The trick is to make sure the wiring is not flipping the polarity.

If the system is not properly phased, the sounds will be hollow or weird. Since on the same input one speaker cone is moving backwards while tho other(s) forward.

Internal speakers of units are rarely a problem, but can happen.
While one should have their speakers correctly polarized (phased), this really is only noticeable in the deep bass.

For higher frequencies, like those in the vocal range, the effect of opposite polarities would be less than you having one ear a few inches closer to one speaker than another.

All has to do with some fraction of the wavelength, the speed of sound in air, and π gets thrown in for good measure

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Old 12-03-2009, 02:46 PM   #35
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Bose 3*2*1 is a great simple system. We simpletons really like ours.
I purchased an expensive Bose system over 15 years ago, pre HDMI, never did get it to work worth a damn with a TV, music was fine. It did not come with a receiver nor a powered woofer. While I have seen the Bose 321 in stores, I just have trouble trusting it.

Audrey slammed. "Well, apparently that's where he has been spending most of his time!"
Urp! What?

Rustic -"Get an SVS sub-woofer."
Oh! One of those "SVS" thingies? My bass perception is great - as are my kidneys. Urp!

"speakers correctly polarized (phased),"
Not the problem, but thanks for the input, Erd.

Harley says, "Sennheiser RS-120 Wireless Headphones..."
Might be a solution, but I've always had problems with headphones.
see "beerhat."
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:08 PM   #36
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looking back, i got the harmon kardon receiver refurbished from the factory, thru ebay, username harmonaudio...check em out
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:46 PM   #37
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I don't see him/her. Must have moved on.
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:58 PM   #38
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thats because i spelled it wrong...harmanaudio
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:13 AM   #39
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I posted earlier that I had SVS speakers and sub-woofer. While they are not cheap, they are very good. The sub-woofer is outstanding, but you will need some room for even the 'small' one i.e. 10". It stands about two fee tall 18" wide fee deep. Surround speakers are on the small side and well matched to and two the system.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:37 AM   #40
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Here's an example. I recorded The Holiday from TV recently. I hadn't turned on the extra speakers, and when I watch the scene corresponding to the first 45 seconds of the video below, I could barely tell that there was dialog going on. The music was much louder.

I then connected the speakers and the dialog was understandable, but with a struggle.

Listening to this clip, it's pretty easy to hear the dialog.


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