Discontinued TV Ears Products: What Are Your Options?

Several TV Ears TV listening systems have been or soon will be discontinued with current plans to have some systems, but not necessarily all, eventually replaced with newer, updated TV Ears models.  Based on the most current information issued on August 11, 2011, effectively immediately, both the TV Ears Original Plus and TV Ears Professional Link have been discontinued with no apparent plans for newer TV Ears model replacements although that may change in the future per the discretion of TV Ears.

With regard to the TV Ears Original Plus, a comparable product operating on the same 95 KHz frequency is the Direct Ear Set-100J from Sennheiser.  The Direct Ear Set-100J is a high-quality TV listening system with superior microphone technology designed to work with 95 KHz transmitters typically installed in theaters and other entertainment venues.  Unfortunately, it costs about twice as much and offers a smaller operating range.  If cost is a factor, the Sennheiser Set-50TV is an infrared TV listening system available at essentially the same price point as the TV Ears Original Plus; the only difference is that the Sennheiser Set-50TV operates on the 2.3/2.8 MHz frequency rather than the 95 KHz frequency.

The TV Ears Professional Link has also been discontinued.  This infrared TV listening system was somewhat unique in that it was pre-packaged with one traditional headset (for use without hearing instruments) and a second loop receiver headset (for use with t-coil equipped hearing instruments). By purchasing the Sennhesier Set-830 TV listening system (infrared system for non-hearing aid wearers) and the  Sennheiser Ri-830s (receiver/headset only for t-coil equipped hearing aid wearers), a comparable system to the TV Ears Professional  can easily be recreated although at about twice the price and at a different operating frequency.

Finally, the TV Ears Professional will be discontinued as of September 1, 2011 with limited quantities available thereafter. The company plans on introducing a newer, digital model although it remains unclear as to the actual availability of this udpated product.  The TV Ears Professional comes pre-packaged with two traditional under-the-chin headsets for non-hearing instrument wearers. The Sennheiser Direct Ear Set-100J is the closest alternative to the TV Ears Professional although it comes with only one headset; investing in an additional under-the-chin headset is an option since the transmitter/battery charger allows for recharging two batteries at one time.  Please pass along this information to all your colleagues!

About AU Bankaitis

A.U. Bankaitis, PhD is a clinical Audiologist with extensive clinical, research, and business experience within the hearing industry. Dr. Bankaitis created this blog to educate her colleagues on viable product solutions for their patients and/or clinical practice.
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