Serene Innovations has created the Sereonic Portable Wireless TV Speaker for those of us who struggle to hear the dialogue on our tv system. You can bring the speaker right to where you are seated. The speaker has an adjustable tone control for speech clarity which prevents you from blaring your volume, straining to hear, and damaging your family members hearing. At just under $130, this compact and easy-to-use speaker might just be the finishing touch to your TV experience.
Sereonic Portable Wireless Tv Speaker
Serene Innovations specialize in creating assistive technology for seniors and others with hearing, vision, and mobility challenges. They’ve designed the Sereonic to assist the hearing impaired by bringing the audio of your favorite shows straight to you. Booming volume while bothering others and not hearing clear dialogue is a thing of the past.
The speaker uses a charging dock that doubles as the transmitter, improving intelligibility. It offers 2 x 5W speakers with volume control working independently from your TV’s volume. You are able to use headphones with the 3.5mm jack connection on the receiver itself. The Sereonic portable is marketed to seniors that are hard of hearing.
Design and Features
The speaker design makes it convenient to carry around as it weighs 1.7 lb and has a top handle. The front of the speaker has an old-school, simple, and to-the-point look to it with the volume knob and mesh.
When the wireless receiver is not being used, the transmitter serves as a charging dock. A rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery provides 8 hours of use at a medium volume and 100 feet of Bluetooth range. You can pair with up to 10 other receivers using the pairing function.
As for latency issues, it seems that the Tone Controls clears up dialogue for you and gives you the option to switch between HI-MED-LO.
- HI – is a good option for content with a lot of conversation, such as podcasts, dramas, and talk shows. It boosts the top-shelf frequency band for clearer dialogue; boosting here adds intelligibility to the audio. This setting also rolls off some low-end frequencies, which take away frequencies that might mask the dialogue.
- MED – is a good option for music and movies. As you’d expect, it is a mid-shelf boost that gives you more presence.
- LO – it feels like it rolls off a lot of the high-end content and boosts the low-shelf frequency range, and it would be up to the user to determine the situation you would use it in.
On top of the HI-MED-LO, the Sereonic also has a 1-hour sleep timer. Once you click the sleep button on the side of the receiver, the timer starts. As the hour passes, the volume gradually reduces as you fall asleep and will automatically switch off after the hour has passed.
Serene Innovations have made it convenient to connect your TV or other devices to the dock/transmitter via digital and analog connections:
If it seems a bit daunting to connect your TV, take a look at this tutorial:
You will need to purchase the HDMI analog audio converter from Serene Innovations to use HDMI connections. Connect your HDMI output from your TV to the converter. Take another HDMI cable and connect it to the HDMI output on the converter, then back to the TV’s HDMI input.
After you have done this, you simply connect the RCA connections from the converter to the dock/transmitter of your Sereonic portable. For streaming services that output Dolby Digital, you must purchase the Dolby Digital audio converter from Serene Innovations.
The dock/transmitter uses a 5VDC 2.0A power port. The power adapter is included when you purchase the unit.
The receiver itself has a few connections as well:
Considering the application of the unit, the 2 x 5W speakers give you a decent sound.
But what does it mean to have 2 x 5W speakers? 5W relates to 96dB to 99dB, which is as loud as a lawnmower to an MP3 Player on full volume. Concerning the quality of the sound itself, it is not meant for audio enthusiasts with trained ears hence the market mentioned before. But it will definitely get the job done.
Serene Innovations aimed to make the Sereonic portable reduce TV sound needed for the elderly or hearing impaired, so no TV blaring in the house. However, you can use it in a variety of ways. You could use the speaker as you are working around the house, listening to podcasts or music, having plugged in your device directly to the receiver, or using the Bluetooth function. You can also use the headphone output on the receiver while watching TV.
Charging and Battery Life
Once you receive the unit, it is advised to charge it for about 4+ hours before your first use. During charge, the battery LED indicator will blink; once it is fully charged, it becomes a solid light. The battery life is about 8 hours at medium volume.
Sereonic Portable Wireless TV Speakers vs. COBY Wireless Digital Hearing Amplifier
The COBY Amplifier Wireless TV Listening Voice Clarifying Speaker is a similar product aimed at seniors with hearing loss. The COBY speaker has the same range as the Sereonic portable with 100 feet, and the battery life is about 8 hours at medium volume. It has 2 x 5W speakers and Bluetooth connectivity. Both of the products use a charging dock that acts as the transmitter for the speaker, and you can charge the speaker using the power adapter directly instead.
The connections on the transmitter differ slightly. The COBY has a digital optical audio port and stereo mini-jack port (0.14’’), but it does not have RCA ports. Both speakers have a headphone port to use on the receiver itself, and the speaker’s volume works independently of the TV’s volume. The volume knob is on the side instead of the front with the same mesh feel. A convenient feature of the COBY’s receiver is that it has a mute button.
Visually speaking, the difference between the two speakers’ designs is not that big; they both have an old-school look to them. The dimensions differ slightly, with the COBY being a bit heavier and bulkier than the Sereonic at 9″ x 7″ x 3.25” and 2.53 lb. It does not feature an adjustable tone control, and you cannot pair multiple receivers.
What’s in the Box
The Sereonic portable is a great choice for seniors or others with hearing loss. The functions such as the headphone port, sleep timer, and various connection options increase the speaker’s convenience. However, the speaker is not for audio enthusiasts. If you are just looking for a home audio system or a portable Bluetooth speaker, you’d be better off with a soundbar or a quality Bluetooth speaker. The pairing function is a great option to have for senior couples as each of them could have their favorite shows’ audio right next to them and adjust it accordingly.