quiet tv wireless headphones interview

Technology Spotlight: QuietTV Wireless Headset. Interview with Sandra Porps, AuD

In this week’s technology spotlight. Dr. Bob Traynor speaks with Sandra Porps, Au.D., Head of Audiology for MDHearing. The pair discuss the company’s new QuietTV wireless headset – a device designed to address a common complaint encountered in the audiology clinic: difficulty hearing television.

The new QuietTV Wireless Headphones are said to utilize MDHearing’s latest technology to enhance speech and reduce background noise – improving the TV listening experience and making it easier to understand the dialogue. 

Full Episode Transcript

Bob Traynor 0:10
Welcome to This Week in Hearing where listeners find the latest information on all things related to hearing care. We are looking at current developments in politics and legislation, innovative technologies, pharmaceuticals, therapeutics, and we’re always looking for the latest developments in practice management. Hello, I’m Bob Traynor and I’m your host for this edition of This Week in Hearing. This time, we’re talking about an innovative technology and innovative technology that’s brought to us by actually MDHearing, which they call the QuietTV. And today, my guest is Dr. Sandra Porps, Director of Audiology at MDHearing. Thanks so much for being with us. Today. Sandra.

Sandra Porps 1:03
Thank you so much for having me.

Bob Traynor 1:05
and so the first thing my my listeners will be interested in is how did you get involved with MDHearing and a little bit about your career, that kind of thing. And then we’ll move on into talking about the quiet TV.

Sandra Porps 1:20
Wonderful, thank you. So I started in audiology in 2005. I’m a Central Michigan University grad. And I worked in a clinic for a number of years. And it got to a point in my career where I had had children, and was looking for a change. So at that point, I was approached by the founder of MD hearing who is an ENT out of Chicago. And he was finding that he recommended hearing aids to a lot of his patients, but they weren’t getting them. And at first he thought it might only be price related. But when he started talking to them, it became very evident that accessibility was a big part of it, so his patients were needing to take time off work to come in, come in and get hearing aids or were needing to take several buses or needed to ask a grandchild. And his goal was to try to get hearing aids to those people in a different model. I thought that was very interesting, and certainly spoke to some challenges I’d seen with my own grandparents. And that’s how I joined the company in 2010.

Bob Traynor 2:27
Cool, well, you know that we all have all these different things. You know, somebody said they’d look at your curriculum vitae and they say, Oh, you did this, and oh, you did this. And oh, you did this? Well, it was well, because I’ve maybe because I had children and I would do something different. Or maybe because the kids got older and you needed to do a little more because they needed more stuff, or whatever it is so. So anyway, well, um, can you tell us a little bit about why MDHearing created this particular product they called the QuietTV?

Sandra Porps 3:00
Yep. So as we know, as hearing healthcare professionals, television is a source of frustration for many of our patients, whether they have hearing loss or not. TV is something that we hear all the time with patients coming in saying, Oh, well, I just I want to watch TV with my spouse. Or maybe they’re not quite ready for hearing aids and TV is really their only source of frustration. So we know that that is a pain point for many of our patients. So being that we have the hearing aid background, we thought we’d look into a different direction and came up with quiet TV, which is a set of, it’s a headset, you attach the base directly to your television, and then the base streams right to the headset.

Bob Traynor 3:44
Dr. Porps is going to show us a little bit about what this QuietTV looks like. And give us maybe a little bit of a demonstration with it. And so sure.

Sandra Porps 3:53
So this is the base, that’s the front of it. And then the back of it, you can see it’s very easily labeled. And you can use a couple different connections, you can use the optical cable if your television has an optical cable, or analog. So you can use an analog connection, or the RCA cords the red and white cords that everyone’s pretty familiar with. So a couple different ways to connect it whatever your TV has. And then the headset itself looks like this. And it comes with a couple different it comes with earbuds but then there’s different kinds you can get as well. So if what comes standard is uncomfortable for you. There’s other options as well. And the base has two spaces for headsets. So you can order one or two depending on what your household needs. And it just sits in like that. So it’s very easy

Bob Traynor 4:50
and recharges as well or does it use battery?

Sandra Porps 4:53
It recharges as well.

Bob Traynor 4:54
Oh cool.

Sandra Porps 4:55
So one charge lasts

Bob Traynor 4:57
like everything else does these days, right?

Sandra Porps 5:00
sYes. Yes,

one charge will last about five to seven hours. So.

Bob Traynor 5:04
So can you tell us? Where did this come from? And what’s the R&D process that went into this particular device,

Sandra Porps 5:11
it was really fun to do the r&d on this because it is such a different product from a hearing aid. So we looked at different frequency responses and try to come up with what we thought would be most beneficial for our customers. And then we got to do r&d out in the field. So we tried it with many different people and people that had hearing loss, people that did not have hearing loss, different types of levels of hearing loss, and asked what of the kind of three samples we had narrowed it down to was the best, the most clear, the one that they liked listening to the longest and a clear winner emerged. So

Bob Traynor 5:49
that’s where it all came from. Yes. And with the tone control, one side seems like it’s more for high frequency losses, and another one’s more for kind of overall hearing losses.

Sandra Porps 6:02
It is you can control that. So

Bob Traynor 6:05
what’s the technology that that we use that you use with this particular device, Bluetooth, or FM, or this or that, or so

Sandra Porps 6:15
it’s actually radio frequency instead of Bluetooth. So radio frequency is very easy to pair, it’s a more stable connection, you have less drops. So we went with radio frequency for this.

Bob Traynor 6:27
And, and it looks to me like the the connections appear to be even easier than the hearing aid connections for people to do with their hearing aids.

Sandra Porps 6:40
They are they are in addition to all of the r&d and all the subjects that we had in research and development. My personal test is always my dad, my dad and my uncle are 70 plus years old. And if they can do it there, they’re not, there tech… They tell you, they’re tech savvy, but they’re, you know, they’re my testers. So I brought a box to them and said, Okay, guys, ya know. Do this, you know, set this up without any input for me. And they both did it flawlessly, with no problems whatsoever. So, you know,

Bob Traynor 7:18
of course, a lot of the patients that we see even, even dad and so on all people, you know, we didn’t we didn’t get, we didn’t get cell phones, we didn’t get computers, as we were growing up, right had to learn them, and interact with them over a long period of time in a career. So there’s a whole lot of people that are much more tech savvy, then a lot of the customer service people seem to think they

Sandra Porps 7:46
are yes, very definitely, very definitely.

Bob Traynor 7:50
So we can use a couple of different headsets with the same base, then

Sandra Porps 7:54
you can there’s actually an unlimited number of headsets that you can pair to the base. Pairing a headset to the base only takes one second. So we thought in places where maybe there’s an assisted living facility where multiple people might want to watch the same program, they could plug one base, or I’m sorry, one, yeah, one base into the television. But then each person bring their own headsets. And it only takes one second to pair that headset to that base.

Bob Traynor 8:23
So instead of a classroom of deaf kids, as FM systems used to be used for and still hard to many places, now we have a classroom full of old people who don’t hear well and can use all kinds of all kinds of different places with the headset. That’s Yes, absolutely. So now do you need to have a hearing loss to use this device? Because there there are a lot of people I know that are that are part of what I think Sarah Sydlowski calls the ‘Do Nothing’ group. When I did I’m not gonna do anything about my hearing loss. This looks like it’s also made for the Do Nothing group as well as for the Do Something group.

Sandra Porps 9:05
It is absolutely, you definitely do not need to have hearing loss in order to use this in my own household. In the evenings. My spouse likes to watch television, whereas I’m a big reader. And we can sit in the same room and I can read my book and he can use this and watch TV and I don’t have to listen.

Bob Traynor 9:25
But also probably gives you a break from football games that aren’t Central Michigan with something that may or may not be so

Sandra Porps 9:34
correct. And you can control if you have someone that’s using this and then someone that isn’t you can control the volume each independently so the volume of the TV can be in one spot and then the volume of the headset be in a totally different spot.

Bob Traynor 9:48
Oh well now is, is this device setup so that if I if I still had my clinic I could call MDHearing and set up an account and, and get a little bit of a break on the cost and sell that to my patients somehow so that it would be a benefit to my practice. In other words, I’ve always been an advocate of having as many products that are relative to hearing as possible. You should have some OTC you should have some this some headsets, you should have this and that and all these other things around. And and could we order this as a part of our Hearing Center offered to our patients?

Sandra Porps 10:33
We’re not set up for that at this point in time. But that’s definitely something that I think our CEO would be open to. So if someone would like to do that, I would encourage them to contact us, and we could get you in touch with the right person to be able to do that.

Bob Traynor 10:47
Well, Sandra, thanks so much for being with us today to show us what this innovative product can do. And now where do we go if we want to send our patients for this device or if we would like to call up and talk to someone about having this product available in the clinic.

Unknown Speaker 11:08
So it’s mdhearingaid.com/quiet-tv And you can give us a call our phone number’s on the website. Or if you’d like to email you can email support@MDhearingaid.com And we’d be happy to help you get set up with an account

Bob Traynor 11:22
super well. Again, thanks so much for being with us Sandra and we will look forward to seeing a number of these products out in the community as it looks like it’s not only made for the Do Something crowd but also for the Do Nothing crowd.

Sandra Porps 11:40
Thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure.

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About the Panel

Sandra Porps, AuD, is a licensed Audiologist in Illinois and a licensed Audiologist and Hearing Aid Dealer in Michigan. She is certified by the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association. Dr. Porps received her Doctorate of Audiology (Au.D.) in 2005 and has a wide range of experience in the evaluation and treatment of hearing disorders. She has several publications on topics ranging from basic audiology to cochlear implant outcomes. Dr. Porps advises on hearing aid technology and trends along with patient care.


Robert M. Traynor, is a hearing industry consultant, trainer, professor, conference speaker, practice manager and author.  He has decades of experience teaching courses and training clinicians within the field of audiology with specific emphasis in hearing and tinnitus rehabilitation. He serves as Adjunct Faculty in Audiology at the University of Florida, University of Northern Colorado, University of Colorado and The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.


About HHTM

HHTM's mission is to bridge the knowledge gaps in treating hearing loss by providing timely information and lively insights to anyone who cares about hearing loss. Our contributors and readers are drawn from many sectors of the hearing field, including practitioners, researchers, manufacturers, educators, and, importantly, hearing-impaired consumers and those who love them.

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