Hearing Less: Dealing With Bad Audio Recordings in the Classroom

Taking example on Meryl who has started sharing similar stories on Facebook, here’s a little testimonial of my “somewhat deaf” life.

With my hearing aids, I’m fine for conversations with people (masks make it harder but not impossible unless people are very soft speakers), even in somewhat difficult settings.

But one disastrous context is non-professional recordings played through loudspeakers in echoey classrooms. I honestly can’t understand half of what is being said.

As this is often played through the teacher/trainer’s computer, I’ve come up with a workaround. I’ve bought a mini-jack split cable and an extension cord, so that I can listen to the audio through my headphones while the audio also goes to the classroom loudspeakers.

Note 12.01.2022: sometimes computers have VGA and audio on different sides. Worth having an extra VGA or mini-jack extension for these baffling situations.

This of course requires explaining the situation to the trainer (so far, everybody has been lovely about it), pointing out that I depend on the volume setting on the computer (keep it at maximum), and so they need to use the controls for the room loudspeakers to make it less loud for the class if needed.

Soundcheck recommended! I once forgot, and hadn’t realised the sound was going out through the HDMI cable, and not the mini-jack port!

One annoying situation that arises nonetheless is when trainers interrupt the recording to make a comment. I remove my hearing aids to put my earbuds in, so when the recording is stopped, I fiddle to get my hearing aids back in, and by the time I’m done, sometimes the comment the teacher was making is over! Worse: speaking over the audio of the recording… I miss everything.

But globally it’s a very good solution for me.

I use another workaround in my German class. We have an application which allows us to listen to the audio tracks at home. So when one is played in class, the teacher tells me which number it is and I play it on my phone with the earbuds. My comprehension score for German has gone way up this way! 😁

So there you are, a glimpse into my “less-hearing” life!

Initially published on 15.10.2021 on Facebook

Originally published at Climb to the Stars.

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Stephanie Booth

Anglo-Swiss. Digital communications and strategy. Lausanne. Feline Diabetes. Other random stuff.