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Listen better - live better

H rakustiker J rgen Rombkowsky from Hamburg makes the hearing with Herbert Kistler, which he has supplied with a modern high-tech system
Photo: Olaf Ballnus for tv listening and seeing


Good hearing is quality of life. As a bridge to other people. As a gateway to the world of music. As a stimulant of all senses. That's why we've done a listening test of tv listening and seeing. And two of us now wear hearing aids - here are their testimonials.

The constant conflict poisoned the evenings. "Make it louder, please." "Think about the neighbors." "But I do not understand anything, goddamn it!" Common TV just was not fun anymore.

Couple therapists know that relationships can fail in the dispute over remote control. So far I did not want to let it come - and went unnerved to the listening test. Although I was firmly convinced that it could not be up to me. But to actors who can not speak properly. Or to sound engineers who have not learned their trade. Crime was especially bad. If the Cologne "crime scene" - Investigators mumbled by the evidence - underlaid with disturbing music - I understood only "Currywurst".

The test result at the ear doctor was depressing: significantly reduced hearing on both sides, especially at high pitch. Then I dreamed of Uropa's earphones and the embarrassing whistling of my "sound ray catcher" at senior bingo. The Hamburg audiologist Jürgen Rombkowsky quickly dispelled these fears. Behind my ears are now, barely visible, two 25-millimeter-long marvels with pinhead-small speakers on hair-fine wires, programmed by computer to my specific deficits and claims; easy in handling and care.

The mini-devices are not cheap, but I now understand my interlocutor again - even if in pubs or conferences all confused. Music is no longer a noise mum for me, but pure sound harmony. And at the evening of the television there is peace again. Also with the neighbors. (Chief reporter Herbert Kistler)

"Where, then?" Probably the 100 times this sentence has fallen in the last 14 days. Family, friends, colleagues - nobody noticed my hearing system. Not that I had any clever comments or stupid sayings particularly interested, after all, I wear a pair of glasses quite naturally. But that nobody really noticed ... No difference for the others - for me! And what one: The TV is "only half as loud" (says my wife); In any case, I no longer curse these TV sound mixer, the voices too quiet and background noise too loud. I now understand the mumbling colleagues at the other end of the conference table - and the constant "Please ...?" (which probably got on my nerves more than the others) is barely noticeable.

A good 30 minutes had the hearing test lasted. The result: "recognizable hearing loss in the frequency range from 1500 hertz". Was to be expected, in a 47-year-old who played 25 years of electric guitar, ever had a hearing loss and has been riding a motorcycle for almost 30 years. However, it was astonishing how quickly the Hamburg-based audiologist Jürgen Rombkowsky found a suitable one for the first "test phase" after the exact analysis of the audiogram among hundreds of hearing instruments. After a short time, the right systems were adjusted in both ears - and programmed by computer specifically for me. No coincidence: "The sooner people with hearing loss come to us, the easier it is to adapt a hearing system, and the easier it is for customers to get used to it, " says Jürgen Rombkowsky.

The final tuning of the hearing system will probably require three or four more visits to the audiologist. But that does not matter, on the contrary: At the second appointment, I already got a suitable remote control for the hearing system, can now for example select an extra program for listening to music or even louder and quieter. And then there is still the possibility of pairing my iPhone phone or an MP3 player via radio ("Bluetooth") to the hearing system - I will definitely try it, I like high-tech toys. The "knighthood" my hearing system recently received from Henning, the son (16) of a friend, "Crass, that thing!", He commented admiringly, after he had inspected the two tiny parts for several minutes. Whatever that means - for me it's my invisible high-tech wonder. (Dirk Simon, senior editor)

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