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Clarity TL100 TV Listener

Robert Frankel

Clarity Box PicFor couples who suffer from the Goldilocks problem of TV volume — “The sound is too low,” says one; “the sound is too high,” says the other — or for those who wish to view a program without distracting anyone else around, Clarity’s TL100 TV Listener may make TV time less frustrating for everyone.

The TL100 is a wireless headset system for hearing-impaired individuals. A small transmitter relays sound to the headset, allowing the wearer to amplify the headset’s volume without affecting that of the cable’s or TV’s.

Setting up the system was relatively painless. Within minutes of opening the box, I was listening to the evening news on the headset.

Volume controls are located on the headset’s left; nudging a knob will raise or lower the volume. The headset is adjustable and rests on top of the ears, making it compatible with viewers who wear hearing aids. However, after about 50 minutes of viewing time, my ears began to ache from the headset’s pressure.

This is a common problem for me with headsets that rest on top of the ears, as opposed to those that fit over or into the ears. But viewers with similar problems, or sensitive ears, should take note.

The headset sounds great, and the volume controls have enough range to become both too loud and too soft. The words of newscasters and characters were clear and easy to understand; sound effects were punchy without overpowering the actual dialogue. Overall, sound quality and output from the TL100 was excellent.

The TL100 is also equipped to pair with Bluetooth-enabled phones. Additional buttons for these features are equipped on both the left and right sides of the headset (if the TL100 is not paired with a phone, these will have no effect).

Pairing the TL100 with my mobile phone was more difficult than it was to pair with the TV, since the manual Bluetooth pairing mechanism seems capricious, at best. Sound quality on phone calls was as good as it was for television, although I was unable to stream any sound from mobile apps.

At $179.00, the TL100 is pricier than many other wireless listening headsets. However, the unit can be found for less both online and in major retail stores. With its pristine sound quality, good battery life, and multi-functionality, Clarity’s TL100 TV Listener is an effective and reliable product for any viewer with a hearing impairment.

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