Tips & Tricks

Assistive Listening Devices for Watching TV

Here’s the second in our four-part miniseries about choosing the right Assistive Listening Device (ALD) depending on what situation you’re in. Our first post covered listening to music, and now we’ll sit down and watch TV.

With so many different Assistive Listening Devices out there, how can you choose the best ALD for watching TV?

Assistive Listening Devices for Watching TV

An Assistive Listening Device can make it easier to watch your favorite TV shows or movies at home, because it connects you closer to the TV’s sound. This way you get all the words, all the action, and the soundtrack right to your ears without having to listen to the TV’s speakers—which might be all the way across the room.

There are a few assistive listening devices we recommend to use when watching TV:

  • Neckloop or streamer
  • Headphones
  • FM systems
  • Hearing loops

Neckloop or Streamer

Neckloops are assistive listening devices that act like a wireless middle man between your TV and audio processor.

If your neckloop has an audio transmitter, this transmitter can be plugged into your TV to and sends the sounds wirelessly to your neckloop. Some TVs and neckloops are Bluetooth enabled, so you can connect them directly via Bluetooth without needing a separate transmitter. Once the sound reaches your neckloop, it’s forwarded on to your audio processor through a telecoil.

There are many different neckloops out there, including the ClearSounds Quattro or Artone 3. Not all neckloops or streamers are available in all areas so talk with your audiologist or MED-EL representative to find the right one for you.

Here’s how to connect your neckloop or streamer to your TV:

  1. Connect the sound source with your neckloop or streamer:
    1. For Bluetooth, activate the TV’s Bluetooth function and pair it with the neckloop or streamer.
    2. Without Bluetooth, connect the transmitter to your TV.
  2. Connect your neckloop and audio processor:
    1. For cochlear implants, you can do this by activating your processor’s telecoil. Just click “T” or “M/T” on your FineTuner.
  3. Turn on your TV and enjoy the show!

FM Systems

FM systems are assistive listening devices that you can use to wirelessly connect with your TV.

An FM system has two parts: a transmitter, and a receiver. When the transmitter is connected to your TV and the receiver to your audio processor, it will send sound from your TV to your audio processor. There’s no need to change any programs on your audio processor, all you have to do is plug it in and turn it on.

Here’s how to use an FM system:

  1. Plug the transmitter into your TV
  2. Attach the receiver to your audio processor
    1. For SONNET and OPUS 2, this can be done by using the FM Battery Pack.
    2. For RONDO, connect the receiver to the external Mini Battery Pack.
  3. Turn on your TV and enjoy the show!


You can also use standard, over-the-ear, headphones as assistive listening devices: an easy solution that still gives good sound quality. Headphones work best for behind-the-ear audio processors like OPUS 2 or SONNET.

Like a neckloop or streamer, you can either connect headphones directly to your TV or with Bluetooth when available. When you wear your headphones, their speakers will send sound to your audio processor’s microphone.

Here’s how to use headphones:

  1. Connect your headphones to your TV
    1. If the headphones and TV are Bluetooth enabled, connect them through your TV’s menu.
    2. If the headphones have a cable, connect it to your TV’s headphone-out jack.
  2. Put on your headphones so that they cover your audio processor’s microphone(s).
  3. Turn on your TV and enjoy the show!

Hearing Loops

Another option for assistive listening devices is to install a hearing loop in your living room. If a hearing loop is installed and turned on, it creates a signal that can be picked up by any telecoil-enabled audio processor or neckloop. This means that you’ll be able to wirelessly hear the TV no matter where you are in the room—and if there’s more than one cochlear implant or hearing aid user in the room they can all tune in at the same time.

If you’re already installed a hearing loop and connected it to your TV, here’s what you do:

  1. Activate your audio processor’s telecoil. Just click “T” or “M/T” on your FineTuner.
  2. Turn on your TV and enjoy the show!


Subscribe to the MED-EL blog to follow our miniseries on ALDs, because we’ll continue next month with tips for how to use ALDs when at school, work, or the office.

Thanks for your message. We will reply as soon as possible.

Send us a message

Field is required

John Doe

Field is required

Field is required

What do you think?

Send Message

Processing Comment

Sorry. There was an error. Please try again.

Thanks for your feedback. Your comment will be published after approval.

Leave your comment