A Chattanooga-based maker of phone amplification equipment unveiled Tuesday a new type of wireless headphones to help hard-of-hearing viewers watch and hear their favorite television shows.
The new TV Listener from Clarity, a division of wearable technology leader Plantronics, has been designed so users can watch television at the volume they need without disturbing others.
Clarity's newest invention, which will be produced by Plantronics, is priced at $179.95. That is more than such TV listening devices now on the market such as TV Ears sell for.
But the TV Listener is designed to be lighter weight, more stylish and better suited for the senior market. The wireless headphones pair with TV and other Bluetooth devices, including tablets and smartphones, so others can watch their favorite show, listen to music or even take a phone call. It's designed with built-in smart sensors that automatically mute the TV or pause music when the headphones are removed.
Voice alerts provide updates on battery life and connection status while also alerting the user to incoming phone calls.
"Maybe it's you or a loved one, but we've all likely had that experience where someone has the TV volume cranked up to a painful level," Clarity President Jamie van den Bergh said. "With the TV Listener, those days are a thing of the past."
Van den Bergh said the pillow-soft memory foam ear pads conform to the ear to improve sound, and the adjustable headband fits naturally so users can wear them longer. Two Bluetooth devices also can be paired at the same time to make it easy to transition between the TV and smartphone.
"While our focus is on helping people with hearing loss, the TV Listener is for anyone who wants a personal listening experience," van den Bergh said.
The TV Listener is now available at www.claritytvlistener.com.
Clarity was formed in 1969 by BellSouth engineer Wesley Walker in Ringgold, Ga., and, after relocating to Chattanooga, was acquired by Plantronics in 1986. The company is one of the largest sellers of amplified telephone and other telecommunications equipment targeted at seniors.