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Hearing a lot: videos, the phone, movies

Another short update just to say that I’m now able to hear the following things a whole lot better than I could without the implant:

  • High-quality recorded voices.  I’m not understanding movies at the theater, but I am understanding movies at (without the amazing subtitles that site has!) and many other videos that have professional, high-quality audio tracks.
  • My family on the phone.  I called my dad for his birthday and used webcaptel to fill in the holes.  I hardly had to use the captel at all, and generally if I did need it the captionist hadn’t heard him either (i.e. when the phone was breaking up because he moved too far away from it’s base).  I made the phone call using an iPhone and my bilateral (bimodal currently) direct input cables for a headset.  The iPhone makes it easy to use any headset you need to because plugging one in does not disable the phone’s microphone.
  • Mistakes in closed captioning.  I’ve been watching a lot of movies on my computer and adding subtitles from SRT files.  These are grassroots, volunteer created transcript files and sometimes they’re created by non-english or non-American natives.  Many times the subtitles have a phrase that doesn’t quite make sense (“surviving on just toffee is unsatisfying” when it should have been “surviving on tofu” (if you know what movie that is from then you can’t exactly judge me for watching it, can you? :)).  These jump out at me visually, but I can easily confirm by hearing what the phrase should have been.
  • Strangers on the airplane?  I’m not sure if this is easier for me or not because most people on airplanes don’t seem to want to talk.  But regardless, I talked to two different people on two of my last flights for pretty much the whole flight.  One was very easy to hear and the other was tricky as his voice blended into the engine noise.  I may also be understanding more of the loud speaker announcements on the plane, but this varies a lot depending on how bad the sound system is.  It also could be due to the fact that I’ve taken off and landed 18 times in the past 3 months… nothing like repetition to improve comprehension.

I was even hearing some of the french in the foreign film we went to see in the theater.  It had english subtitles, but I could still, on occasion, hear the french (numbers and short phrases).

Time to find another book on tape and see how much I can get just from listening and how tiring it ends up being.  I’ll report back 🙂


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7 replies on “Hearing a lot: videos, the phone, movies”

  1. Share

    Yeah, nothing like repetition to improve comprehension, eh? Good post, glad you’re making a lot of progress. My next test will be in December, so we’ll see how it goes. I hope I do better than 11% LOL 😀

    Do they give you the same HINT sentence set every time?
    .-= Nabeel´s last blog ..Stuck in Neutral? =-.

    1. Share

      Sara says:

      Not the same list every time… but I seem to remember a sentence or two from each list… especially now that I’m understanding them perfectly.

  2. Share

    Steve P says:

    “I’m not understanding movies at the theater”. This is interesting. I wonder why it’s so difficult?

    Personally, I’ve only been to movies a couple of times since activation. One movie (Julie & Julia) was easy to understand. The other (Easy Virtue) was hard to understand but then the plot was complicated and, well, there was a lot of talking!

    Yet TV is no problem unless there’s a annoying music track on top of the voices which always bugs me.

    You would think that with all the $$ the movie theatres spend on sound systems that they would at least deliver the spoken word!

    1. Share

      Sara says:

      Hmmm… I wanted to see Julia & Julia… might try it if it’s still playing here. I wonder if we can tell which theaters have better sound than others. We were talking about going to see the new Christmas Carol but found the french film playing with subtitles. It turned out to be great.

      TV is just so simple. Simple sentences, simple acting… I find it pretty boring actually. 🙂

    2. Share

      MOG says:

      Hi Sara
      Good to hear of your progress. Re the movies. Steve I watched Easy Virtue and found it easier to follow than most which I thought was because all but one actor was English and that’s the accent I am used to hearing in. So maybe thats why you found it harder?

      We havent got round to going to the movie theatre yet apart from when we went to hear/see the Met Opera in HD. I was able to understand every word of the between act interviews.

      TV I find varies considerably, and most annoyingly on our cable the sound is currently out of sync with the lips. So I just can’t do it.

      I have been able to chat to a friend on Skype, but I don’t hear all of that especially when the picture goes fuzzy or pixellated and I miss the lip shapes. So I’m obviously still lipreading a little

      bye for now
      .-= MOG´s last blog ..lucky lucky me – giving thanks =-.

  3. Share

    Hello Sara!! I have been following your blog, it is very interesting!! I am too considering a 2nd CI as an option to hopefully help me hear.
    There is a lot of things I do struggle with that I think would be resolved with the new CI if I am able to get it! Good luck and keep us updated
    .-= Lissa´s last blog ..News! =-.

  4. Share

    CALVIN says:

    Does anyone have experience with a hearing aid geared specifically to improved listening at movie theaters?


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