I saw a movie with my parents a few nights ago. The movie was not captioned or subtitled, unfortunately (surprise, surprise). However, the movie theater did offer assistive listening devices for the hard of hearing, or those with enough hearing to be able to use them. I decided to try it out, even though these types of listening devices never worked for me in the past at other movie theaters. The only good thing about them failing to work for me was getting my money back. I am also wary about wearing used head phones which I doubt are cleaned on a regular basis. It kind of grosses me out. To help me feel better, I wiped them down with anti-bacterial wipes.
The listening device they offered, was a small box like object with a pair of head phones attached. All I had to do was put on the headphones and adjust the volume if necessary.
To my surprise, I was very pleased with how they worked. I heard the actors' voices clearly. It was not too loud and I could adjust the volume to my liking. I could not believe how much more I could understand what was being said, using the device. I was able to follow the dialogue pretty well! I experimented with watching the movie with and without the device. I find that I hear better with it (at least in my right ear, being that my left ear is profoundly deaf). It was neat how I can turn a dial, different from the volume setting, and hear other movies being played in the theater.
The only bad thing that happened was that the device suddenly stopped working towards the end of the movie. This was distracting, as I fiddled with it trying to get it to work. I missed out on an important argument that was taking place in the movie when it went out. I put it away and decided to focus and put my listening skills to use (reading lips, looking for visual cues, etc.).
I told the people who loaned the device about this problem and they were not sure why this would happen.
Has this happened to you or anyone you know who used a similar listening device in the movie theater?
While it was not a perfect experience, I am still glad I decided to use the listening device. It made my movie going experience more tolerable because I did not have to use so much energy trying to focus on what was being said and trying to guess what was going on based on what I see and the few phrases and words I catch here and there.
If you are hard of hearing and can possibly benefit from using these types of listening devices, I suggest that you try them out (that is if the movie theater offers them). Of course if they don't work for you or if they did not help you enjoy the movie, don't forget to ask for your money back.