Listening and enjoying time

Being able to enjoy free time is primarily a privilege of the older generation. Meeting people, traveling, sports, enjoying culture – there are many opportunities for that now. Find out here how you can make the best of this time despite a hearing impairment!


Everything around us is culture. We encounter it in nearly all everyday situations in life. Culture, from the Latin “cultura”, describes how people shape, maintain, mentally configure and change their lives and how they live. So anything that is not produced by nature, is culture. However, when most people think of “culture”, they think of music, painting and art – important aspects of culture that should also be accessible to people with hearing impairments without barriers.

Audio technology

Large event venues often have acoustics which can have a negative effect on the comprehensibility of speech or clarity of music. Listening to voices and music at events like concerts, theatre productions, church services or lectures in large rooms is particularly difficult for users of hearing aids and hearing implant systems. Echoes, background noise or other disruptive sounds can cause the affected person to understanding little or nothing. Help can come through various audio technologies which enable audio signals to be received from audioprocessor without interference.


With the installation of an induction appliance, the useful signal is transferred directly into the hearing system via a magnetic field. These sorts of systems are now available in many public places like cinemas, lecture rooms, churches, bank and ticket counters, in some countries even in taxis or buses for city tours. Of course, simple sysems can also be installed in private homes, e.g. to make the TV sound available via induction.

Technically, an induction loop can be considered as a wire loop that runs around the edges of a room or a defined seating area. The input from a microphone or another signal source is then fed via the amplifier of the induction system into a wire loop, which generates an electro-magnetic field. Audio processors of hearing systems or implants that have an induction coil can pick up the alternating electromagnetic field and transform it into signals in the audio processor. This minimizes external interfering sounds. It is also possible for the user to further adjust signals if necessary through the volume control on their own audio processor

Users who want to receive that signal need to be within the wire loop and put their system into the appropriate reception mode: if you only want to hear those signals within the induction system, the mode is usually designated “T”, where the also common designation “MT” stands for the combination of signals from the induction loop and the microphone of the hearing system equally. The desired operation mode can also be selected by remote control for the cochlea implant systems and some hearing aids.

In public areas, the presence of an induction loop is generally indicated with a corresponding sign pictogram. If you wish to reserve tickets for a theatre production or for the cinema, it is sensible to find out about the availability of inductive hearing in advance.
In Austria, the Austrian Association of the Hearing Impaired has for many years provided lists of the hearing systems installed in public areas that it is aware of on its website as a pdf file at https://www.oesb-dachverband.at/.

Radio systems
Whilst infra-red and radio systems are mostly used in the private area, schools mostly used so-called FM systems.


New technologies now make it even easier for operators of cultural facilities and improve the sound quality for users. In this, the audio signal is transmitted directly to the personal smartphone using WLAN and an app. From there, it can be listened to either with headphones or by being fed into a hearing system via bluetooth or a personal induction loop, depending on what equipment the individual listener is using. Those without such equipment can borrow a mobile telephone with a pre-installed app and portable induction loop from the customer services – provided they have T-reception on their hearing system. You can find more information about this at https://de-at.sennheiser.com/
Since this technology is very recent, it is sensible to ask about the availability at the cultural facility of your choice in advance.

Audio guides
Museums in particular provide audio guides as standard, which function as an electronic museum guides and lead you through the museum or exhibition using sound recordings.

You can find a selection of audio technologies that you can also obtain for yourself, and that are compatible with your hearing implant system can be found here!


Some cultural institutions offer discouts if you show a disability ID. Since there are no uniform rules, it is worth checking the relevant website in advance to avoid any discussions on site.


You can find out about the power of music, whatever kind you like and the importance it has in our lives on the website hoerenbewegt.at, which discusses the subject in detail.

Theatre and cinema

A nice visit to the theatre, an entertaining and exciting evening at the cinema . You don’t have to miss out on that even with hearing impairment. Many theatres provide high quality technical hearing support which can be connected to your hearing system.


Museums offer people tremendously varied insights into the world of pictorial and visual art. There are opportunities all over the world to admire works from the beginning of human history to modern art. If you want to find out more about an exhibition or the individual works, you can join a tour with an art curator or borrow an audio guide, which is provided in several languages in most museums.

The audio guide can usually be linked with the MED-EL AudioLink and so this way make the museum visit a visual and auditory pleasure, also for users of hearing implant systems with SONNET or SONNET 2 audio processors.


“Literature must be fun. It must bring people joy, pleasure and fun and even happiness.”
Spiegel 25/2001

Literature has a range of functions for us – entertainment, education, relaxation or excitement, a journey in time; in short, an adventure in our mind. Literature can be a further facet of hearing training if it is provided in the form of audio books.
If fairy tales help the very young children to process developmental steps and school students in acquiring reading skills and developing their own powers of expression, then upscale literature is also an important component of personal development.

It is helpful as hearing training if the work is available in audio and unabridged form and in a verbatim identical printed version, that is as a download version or CD and also as a pdf or a book. This means that what is being heard can always be read at the same time. To make it easier, what is being heard can also be read in sections in advance to become familiar with the text and especially with the proper nouns. Listening to the audio book without reading along is still recommended, with appropriate practice.

It is of course important to ensure adequate speech quality in an audio book; musical or sound accompaniment can be evocative, but often make understanding more difficult.
If all of this is taken into account, there is nothing else standing in the way of enjoying literature and having adventures in your head, and your new hearing is being trained in a pleasant manner.


Traveling is probably one of the most beautiful leisure activities. Seeing the world through different eyes, from new perspectives, hearing the world in all its variety – the enchanting noises of nature, foreign languages, exotic musical sounds. However, there are some obstacles for people with hearing impairments which can sometimes make a holiday challenging.

Even the departure for the dream destination can prove difficult for some people, if, for example, there are unexpected important airport announcements. The guide in the favorite city always speaks too quietly and is hard to see because of the large group. A jump into the cool water has to be carefully considered so that the audio processor of your implant system does not disappear into the depths forever. The wind on the top of the mountain can blow so strongly that you can no longer really enjoy the beautiful sounds of nature.
These, and probably many other situations, can make a holiday less than pure pleasure for affected persons.

So, if you wish to travel with your hearing implant system, there are a few things you should keep in mind, so that your vacation is carefree and unforgettable:

  • Remember to take out holiday insurance for your hearing implant system so that a replacement is covered in the event of loss. You can find the contact addresses of the two insurance companies familiar with covering hearing implant systems here! On-line insurance form
  • If you plan to travel to a remote area where the nearest service facility for your hearing aid is too far away, we recommend ordering a so-called vacation kit in good time before departure, so that you have spare parts and various accessories with you in case anything breaks on your system or so that your system is protected against the wet. In this case, the contact partner is ZENTRUM HÖREN
  • Travelling together with your partner, family or friends does not just mean sharing the experience. The company could also provide support in difficult hearing situations and give confidence when far away from home.

Basically though: with your hearing implant system and some practice, future travel are guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience and can once again be enjoyed more than they were in the past without sufficient hearing provision.


Staying active, even at an advanced age, greatly increases quality of life as well as hearing.
So that your sporting enthusiasm is not dampened even with hearing implants, a few things need to be considered:

  • You can enjoy swimming fun without barriers with MED-EL WaterWear protective covers, which are available for all audio processor types. You can find information about that at medel.com/waterwear
  • You can order WaterWear protective covers at at.shop.medel.com
  • You should try to avoid kicks around your implant. Constant head hits in football, for example, can have a negative impact on the durability of your system.
  • Wearing a helmet when skiing, cycling, mountaineering or climbing is definitely recommended, and this applies to everyone, even without hearing implants. When choosing a helmet, make sure that the audio processor does not squeeze and that hearing is not restricted by the helmet shell or lining.
  • Sweating is of course a part of successful physical activity, but can sometimes be unpleasant for users of hearing systems. The current MED-EL audio processors have a spray-proof housing to protect against rain, sweat and moisture. So you no longer have to be worried about sweating and you can give full vent to your sporting enthusiasm.
  • There are additional attachment possibilities for particularly active sportspeople so that your audio processor will not slip or get lost. You can find information about this at medel.com/befestigung
  • You can order these attachment options at at.shop.medel.com
  • Would you like to liven up your sport with your favorite music? No problem, all the audio technologies named above allow unrestricted enjoyment of music. Many users of hearing implant systems are very happy with so-called over-ear headphones. Along with the individual sound quality, the shape of the part surrounding the ear is also important to consider when purchasing. The oval version, which in most cases does not press on the audio-processor, has proved its worth here.

Tips for everyday life

You can find some useful tips here that can make hearing in everyday life and at home easier!

  • Textiles like curtains, carpets etc. absorb sound and reduce the reverberation of what has been heard.
  • Good and sufficient light, makes it easier to see the person you are talking to, which also facilitates communication
  • The right seating position at the dining table also makes it easier to understand all the family members at the table.
  • In general, it is of great advantage to maintain direct view of the speaker’s face, so that what is said can be better understood. This is because facial expression also plays an important role in grasping what has been said; this applies to everyone, including normal-hearing people!
  • Consideration of some conversation strategies like visual contact, distance, clarification, repetition, writing down etc can contribute to better understanding.
  • You can find a selection of additional technical devices such as alarm clock systems, doorbell systems or house alarm systems here!
  • Do not demand a constant consideration from hearing people
  • Be accepting and patient with yourself.


Persönlicher Kontakt zu Betroffenen

Die Möglichkeit, mit anderen NutzerInnen direkt in Kontakt zu treten, ist gerade am Anfang dieser besonderen Reise unermesslich wichtig für Betroffene. Hier finden Sie persönliche Kontakte, die sich gerne für unsere Website als BeraterInnen und zum Erfahrungsaustausch zur Verfügung gestellt haben – denn Hören verbindet!