Finally, Listening Device at the Movies That Worked

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. 

11 comments:

  1. My boyfriend has mixed feelings about those headphones. He likes them, beacause he can keep up with the movie easier, but on the down side (and I believe it depends on the size of the theather) it will pick up other movies or have loud static. He prefers captions. We dont go to movies ofter, because he cant always follow even with the headphones. Thanks for a post on it. Its good to get someone elses opinion. :-)

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  2. I prefer captions or subtitles too. It is too bad there is not at least one movie theater that is devoted to captioning or subtitling all movies at all times. I am really surprised that no one in the past has thought of starting a movie theater business that cater to people who rely on captioning or subtitles.

    (e

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  3. Wow, I just recently had my friend, Michelle, write up a guest post for my blog about this very topic! She has also had bad experiences with listening devices at theaters. I was at the movies last night with her and another friend and before buying a ticket, she asked, "how reliable are your listening devices?" Thankfully, the lady was helpful and the headphones worked! Check out her post here: http://emilyjsimpson.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/guest-post-harry-potter-and-the-captioned-movie-search/

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  4. Emily,

    Oh, great! I would love to hear about your friend's experience. I am hoping to hear from many more about their experiences as well.

    Thanks,

    (e

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  5. I have used headphones a couple of times, but I haven't found them to be very helpful. Louder is not usually the answer all by itself. Too bad the device you were using stopped working! That would be very distracting.

    However, the theater near me offers open captioning on some movies, so I have waited to see Harry Potter with captions. I'm very excited--first time to see a movie with open captions!

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  6. The headphones did not make the movie louder, it made it clearer as the sounds went directly into my ear. I don't know if this makes any sense.

    I would not like it if it made the movie louder than it already was. That would be awful!

    (e

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  7. I think next time I will bring my own head phones. I prefer the ones with the big soft cups. They fit over my hearing aid better. But, I usually take my hearing aid out when listening with head phones anyway.

    Does anyone else bring their own head phones when borrowing listening devices that require head phones?

    Also, does anyone know how exactly these listening devices provided at the movie theaters work? Are they just simply amplifying the sounds coming from the movie? It did not sound super loud or louder than the movie, it just sounded more direct and clearer for me.

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  8. I asked about the listening device at the theater when I went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. It was just headphones only, no box or anything. So I was disappointed. I didn't even give it a try. I was hoping they had a little boxed device, and that I could use my TecEar noizfree musiclink with it, but nope.

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  9. We need something to offset the douches that talk during the movie. This should be made for more fans or maybe a phone app.

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  10. I go to a theater that has equipment for captions and two different headsets, but the closed captions and one of the headsets requires a type of encryption that is provided by the distributor. They can't get most movies with that, so the equipment sits unused.

    ReplyDelete
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