Has your work or social life been moving online? It can be hard to hear people speak during group meetings, and even people with normal hearing often have difficulty following what’s being said. If you have a hearing loss, video calls and group chats can be a real challenge. That’s why we want to share these tips for how to get the most out of your video calls.
Check Your Internet Connection
The strength of your internet connection can play a big role in how well you can hear during video calls. Find the spot in your home with the strongest internet connection. Wi-Fi connections can sometimes drop, so if you have a wired connection, use it to strengthen your signal and bring you the best sound quality during the call.
Turn Off Background Noise
People with hearing loss have a harder time hearing in places with a lot of background noise. This will also affect your ability to hear during video calls and group chats. Reduce background noise during your calls. Close the door if there are other people at home and shut the window if you’re facing a noisy street. Turn off the TV or radio, or any other noise in the room.
Turn on Video Captioning
Some video calling platforms, such as Zoom, will allow third-party video captioning. You can turn on your own captioning program to follow conversations online. You can also try using a speech-to-text app on another device to read what’s being said.
Ask for Accommodations
If you’re having a hard time hearing during video calls, you can ask your coworkers or friends for accommodations. They’ll be happy to do what they can to help you hear. Some tips for accommodations during video calls include asking participants to:
- Sit in well-lit rooms so you can see their faces.
- Sit with their faces near the camera.
- Keep group sizes small.
- Take turns speaking so that only one person is speaking at once.
- Mute their mic when they’re not speaking to reduce background noise.
Another great tip is to ask a friend to help by reviewing the meeting afterwards and making sure you heard all the important details.
Use a Headset
Another tip for hearing during video calls is to use a headset. Headsets can be worn over your hearing aids to help you catch all the sounds you’re straining to hear. Some hearing aid wearers find they can hear better if they remove their hearing aids when wearing a headset.
Hearing Aids with Connectivity Features
Do your hearing aids have connectivity features? Made for iPhone hearing aids can be automatically paired with your devices, including your iPhone, tablet, and computer. When you turn on the Bluetooth settings on your hearing aids you can connect them directly to your phone. You can stream any audio from your phone or computer to your hearing aids. This includes music, podcasts, the ding of an email notification, or even driving directions on your way across town.
You can also stream the audio from your video calls and group chats. When you pair your hearing aids with your computer, the computer audio will be streamed to your hearing aids. Your hearing aids will help you hear exactly what’s being said, and you won’t have to strain to follow conversations.
Assistive Listening Device
If you’re having a hard time hearing during work meetings and your hearing aids don’t have connectivity features, you can still pair your hearing aids with your computer. An assistive listening device is an intermediary device that will help you hear. For example, a streaming device can connect to your computer or phone, and wirelessly send the audio directly to your hearing aids. You’ll get a clear signal that helps you hear exactly what’s being said.
An assistive listening device is a great option if you don’t have Bluetooth enabled hearing aids, or if you have an Android device that can’t connect to your Made for iPhone hearing aids.
My Hearing Centers
If you want to find hearing aids with connectivity features, or an assistive listening device to connect your hearing aids to your other devices, visit us at My Hearing Centers. We’ll help you find the perfect hearing aids to make video calls and group chats easier for people with hearing loss.