What is the difference in the TV listening system with personal amplifier vs. just the amplifier?

Using one of the BeHear headsets on its own in Personal Hearing mode will pick up sound from the television and amplify it according to your hearing profile (if you have performed the Hearing Assessment in our W&H BeHear app to personalize the device). This may be sufficient for your needs.

However, the benefit of the HearLink (or HearLink PLUS) transmitter is that it captures the TV audio and transmits it directly to the personalized headset, eliminating distractions (such as room reverberation, and ambient noise).

Additionally, since your headset can pair simultaneously with two Bluetooth devices, if you receive a phone call on your paired mobile phone while watching television the TV audio will be muted automatically, and then resume once you disconnect the call.

What range can I expect with the BeHear headset + HearLink PLUS combination?

The BeHear NOW and BeHear ACCESS headsets are Bluetooth Class II devices, while the HearLink PLUS is a Bluetooth Class I device. As a result, you many wonder what kind of transmission range you can expect with this product combination. Here is a detailed explanation:

  1. A Bluetooth link between two devices is always bi-directional. The actual range depends on radio performance of the transmitter and the receiver on the both sides.
  2. The difference between Class I and Class II Bluetooth devices in radio transmitting power is 16dB (Class I – 20dBm, Class II – 4dBm). Consequently, the power transmitted by a Class I device is ~40 times greater than that of a Class II device (10^(16/10)). The distance is a function of the square root of the power, meaning that the distance can be increased by ~6 times (SQR(40)) from 10m for Class II to 60m for Class I.
  3. In addition, a Class I device has improved receiver sensitivity (by ~4dB), which leads to an increased distance of ~1.5 times. Consequently, typical distance for Class I is 100m vs. 10m for Class II.
  4. When a Class I device is connected to a Class II headset the expected distance is as follows:
    a. From a Class I transmitter to a Class II receiver – up to 60m (see paragraph #2)
    b. From a Class II transmitter to Class I receiver – up to 15m (see paragraph #3)
    c. For a bi-directional it is ~15m, based on the shortest range of #a and #b.
  5. HearLink PLUS as a Class I device provides additional improvements because of its dual-antenna design. The major effect is for the receiving part, since transmitting power is limited according to the standard. For communication with a Class II receiver, like our BeHear headsets, the distance is increased significantly because of this improvement. According to experimental data the operational distance for the HearLink PLUS and a BeHear NOW or BeHear ACCESS: up to ~60m (~200ft).

What kind of range can I expect from a BeHear headset when used with the HearLink PLUS transmitter?

The Bluetooth version in BeHear headsets is v. 4.2 and in the HearLink PLUS it is v. 5. However, the range depends on the class of the Bluetooth device (Class I or Class II) rather than on its version (v. 4.2 or v. 5). BeHear are Class II devices while HearLink PLUS are Class I. Operation range between these two devices is larger than for two Class II devices (10m or 40ft) though less than for two Class I devices (100m or 400ft). We expect that for the BeHear + HearLink PLUS combination you can get a 20m or 80ft range, in open spaces.

There is no TV audio sound in my headset when I use HearLink PLUS.

Try the following:

  1. Check the HearLink PLUS panel and make sure the OPT or AUX indicator is lit. If neither is lit, make sure the power and output cables are connected securely.
  2. Verify that the HearLink PLUS transmitter is in TX mode and that the TX indicator is lit.
  3. Either the A or B indicator on the HearLink PLUS panel should be lit. If it’s not, it’s a sign that the headset is not connected. Press the ON/OFF button once (short press) and check again. If one of the A/B indicators lights up, then the transmitter has connected to the headset successfully. You should now hear sound in the headset.
  4. If you still don’t hear sound, turn up the volume on the TV itself (or by using the BeHear headset’s left-hand side volume control).

If the TV sound is unclear or distorted, try turning ListenThrough mode OFF, or reducing the transparency of ambient sounds via the ListenThrough microphones using the headset’s right-hand volume button.

Connecting the HearLink TV transmitter blocks the television audio for the rest of the viewers.

If you have a set top box you may be able to use it to bypass the television’s audio output jack. Many set top boxes (cable boxes) have an analog audio output jack and/or an optical (digital) audio output jack. If you connect the HearLink/HearLink PLUS TV transmitter directly to the set top box the audio may transmit simultaneously to the BeHear headset and the television speakers.

I cannot find an audio output jack for the HearLink on my television.

If you have a set top box you can use it instead, as many set top boxes (cable boxes) have an analog audio output jack and/or an optical (digital) audio output jack. In this case, connect the HearLink/HearLink PLUS TV transmitter directly to the audio output jack on the set top box.

How is HearLink PLUS different from other audio transmitters?

There are many audio transmitters on the market, but HearLink PLUS has some unique features that set it apart as the transmitter of choice for assistive hearing.

  1. It supports ListenThrough™ technology to allow important ambient sounds (like a conversation with a TV viewing partner, or the doorbell) to pass through on top of the streamed audio.
  2. During incoming phone calls the audio stream will be stopped and then automatically resumed when the call is completed.
  3. It supports up to two BeHear® headsets simultaneously.