6 Hacks to Hear Better at Oscar-Winning Movies
The Oscars are approaching this Sunday. The event highlights the film industry's efforts over the past year with awards honoring achievements in cinematic excellence. Whether you are rooting for the musical cast of La La Land, searching for your past through Lion or getting your math skills on with Hidden Figures, we hope you enjoy watching these movies using the "hacks" below.
1.) Some movies are too loud! Make sure your hearing aids are not!
Various studies have measured the volume at action movies and have shown that they are just too loud! With that being said - we need to make sure that your hearing aids are set at a safe yet appropriate level. Visit your Audiologist to make sure that they used this special piece of equipment to complete Real-Ear Verification to make sure that the hearing aids are set safely for your ears.
2.) Wear your hearing aids and know how to adjust the volume and program
If you enjoy action-packed movies, chances are the movies may seem too loud during the chaotic scenes where car chases end in massive explosions. Unfortunately, you might miss many of the scenes with whispered dialogue if you choose not to wear your hearing aids. A good solution is to wear your hearing aids but adjust the volume as necessary. Some people may find it helpful to listen to movies in the "Noise Reduction" or "Restaurant" mode. Others may find listening in their "Music" mode enjoyable. Each person is unique in their listening experience. If you familiarize yourself with your program and volume beforehand in the light, you will not be struggling last minute in the dark to get the sound you want and need. The goal is to hear all of those Oscar-worthy moments.
3.) Speaking of programs - use your telecoil
Some theaters use neck loops that can send the movie sound to your hearing aid. Your hearing aid must have a telecoil program that you can use to get access. Cochlear Implant users can benefit from this as all devices have telecoils. Unsure how to do this? Ask your Audiologist. To learn more about those options or to find a theater in your area, visit www.aldlocator.com
4.) Master the art of Assistive Listening Devices
Did you know that many movie theaters and performance halls have some type of assistive listening device (ALD) or Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT)? You do not have to have hearing aids to take advantage of these devices as many of them will simply use earbuds to help give you the full range of sounds to hear your favorite movies. They can do this via FM or infrared ALDs. Make your way to the Customer Service desk of your movie theater to ask about the options they have. As an aside, some theaters are now providing descriptive audio for the vision impaired. Have patience, though, as each theater's ALD selection will vary.
5.) Use the theater's Closed Captioning glasses
Studies show that even people with normal hearing comprehend more when they listen and read at the same time. It is a fact that the Markway household keeps Closed Captioning on at all times. How else would you know what is being said when it truly is too soft to hear?
Here you can see me testing the Closed Captioning glasses at Edwards Houston Marq'E 23 IMAX & RPX at I-10 and Silber Dr. These expensive glasses are new to the theater and are preferred by movie goers compared to previous personal Closed Captioning devices, which were bulky and sat in the cup holder. This particular theater has about 8 glasses and are first come first serve - simply provide your drivers license.
6.) Know your favorite theater's Closed Captioning schedule
Don't feel like wearing glasses or requesting a personal captioning device? No worries! Some theaters have accommodating schedules that allow for Closed Captioned showtimes. This is not offered at every theater and can have limited viewings per movie. If your theater offers Closed Captioned shows, a good rule of thumb is to get your tickets early so that you are sure to get a spot.
There it is. Now you have some tools to help you watch, listen, enjoy and weigh in on all the Oscar-nominated movies this year!