Gadgets: TV Clear Kit Solves Long-standing Audio Problems | nation

TV will never be the same again.

At least that’s the headline on the official website for Sennheiser’s brand new TV Clear, a true wireless kit of earbuds and a transmitter to broadcast and deliver clear TV sound.

I usually have to nag my wife to get her help reviewing tech products, but she stepped in on this one. Our television has a significant discrepancy in volume, and their choice often throws me out of the room. Even in separate rooms, their TV volume often drowns out mine.

Hearing loss is part of life, and systems like TV Clear make adjustments seamless to hear a TV. The five speed levels of clarity highlight Sennheiser’s TV Clear and perform well, giving you crystal clear TV sound through the transmitter to Sennheiser’s true wireless earphones. According to Sennheiser, this system offers up to 20 dB of high-frequency amplification.

Each speed brings a different level of clarity based on the user’s needs. In our testing, what’s best for one user wasn’t the case for the other, but it was easy to find sonic clarity for each.

TV Clear was quick to set up and solved years of TV volume problems in homes. A small USB-powered transmitter plugs into your TV’s digital or analog port. The included proprietary Sennheiser earphones connect via Bluetooth. After pairing the earbuds once, future connections will be made automatically after the earbuds are removed from the charging case.

The newer your TV, the more options you have. This includes allowing one person to use the TV Clear while others listen to the TV through the built-in speakers or a connected sound system at independent volume levels. Sennheiser trials with many (modern) TV brands and all (but one) had no problems driving the speaker at the same time. Sennheiser emphasized that the right setup is important and often an optical output is the best connection choice, completely independent of the speaker.

If your TV has an open power USB port (my choice during testing) that works great to power the transmitter. Otherwise, a USB connection to any standard AC outlet will work. Since it is wireless, the actual transmitter can be hidden or attached to the back of a TV or entertainment center with Velcro.

A single charge of the matte black earbuds with 6mm drivers lasts 15 hours with the transmitter and an additional 22 hours of music enjoyment with the portable charging case. Multiple ear tips and fins are included to ensure proper fit.

Even the slightest delay can be annoying when what you’re hearing doesn’t match the lips moving on the screen. I have tested many other wireless TV headphones and transmitters that have lag. This is not the case with the TV Clear system. The words matched who spoke.

The Sennheiser TV Clear companion app lets you customize the earbud’s touch controls, which takes a little getting used to. The app offers one of my favorite features for lost earbuds. Even if they fall into a corner of a room or between furniture cushions, finding them can be a nightmare. Here Find My Earbuds is a lifesaver.

For those who want to watch TV with clear audio without turning on the outside world, Ambient Awareness mode offers just that. It allows you to hear the TV but also lets in ambient outside noise without having to pull out an earbud to hear anything other than listening to the TV.

Another excellent use for the TV Clear is for late night TV viewers (like me). Turn down the actual volume on the TV and use the TV Clear with the earphones so the volume doesn’t disturb other sleepers.

And if you want to use TV Clear with a smartphone, tablet or laptop, it connects via Bluetooth. Then use the true wireless earphones to watch TV on portable devices or make calls on your mobile phone. However, using other Bluetooth earbuds with TV Clear will not work. You can only use Sennheiser’s proprietary earphones with the TV Clear transmitter.

TV Clear’s transmitter is NOT Bluetooth and therefore not compatible with products other than TV Clear, a Sennheiser representative confirmed in a recent email. They added that TV Clear is fully optimized for ultra-low latency (around 20ms) and you can connect an unlimited number of TV Clear Earbuds to 1 transmitter. $399.95

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