Why is Television so Hard to Hear?

This question came up during a recent tour at C. Crane with the Fortuna Senior Center. “My brand new television has terrible audio and I have to turn the volume way up and then next thing I know it’s blasting out my eardrums – do you have a fix for this?” There was a Wall Street Journal article on exactly this issue and we were able to share some ideas on possible solutions and some basic info on why this happens. While we’re usually known for radio, we do know a bit about audio as well.

Often it’s assumed that the sound issues are all related to hearing loss, but it turns out while that may be part of the problem, it’s not the whole story. With TVs getting thinner and thinner, speaker size, positioning and sound are often an after thought if even considered at all. This could be a big reason why personal sound systems are making a come back. We offer the AEGO Soundbar system to help combat poor audio. Not ready to make that kind of an investment? Here are a couple things you can try:

  1. Locate the speakers on your TV – depending on where they are (often pointing down on the bottom of the television), move your TV. Setting your TV on a wooden surface could do the trick because the sound needs something to bounce off of. Try out different combinations since even a table runner could muffle the sound by absorbing it.
  2. Play with the settings on your TV’s sound. Depending on the issue you are experiencing – illegible voice, too loud, too soft, etc. – you may be able to find a better audio setting on your television.

If none of those things, work you might want to consider our FM Transmitter that can bring the audio from your TV to your radio. Our CCRadio 2E has amazing sound quality and then the audio is right next to you. This is a pretty inexpensive way to improve the sound. Or if you don’t mind wearing earphones, there are many wireless and Bluetooth® options that might work with your new television.

Have you found this to be an issue for you? Share your solutions in the comments below!

 

Evolution of the CCRadio- Survival of the Fittest

selectatenna

Select-A-Tenna – AM Antenna

C. Crane started in 1983 selling AM antennas. After starting to gain momentum selling mostly antennas and radio accessories, we received our first real technological challenge when customers starting asking for recommendations on the best radio. It was pretty easy to select the Sangean 803A as the first radio we offered to our customers. Tuning was precise and voice audio was sharper and more legible than most other radios on the market. With the Select-A-Tenna that we sold, it turned into one of the best radios made for reception. It was a little complex to use as a regular daily radio but it met many customer’s needs. We also carried the GE Super Radio which was much easier to use but lacked some of the functionality customer’s wanted and supply was erratic. It seemed that there wasn’t a good blend of features, performance and ease of use.

In the background we went about acquiring and testing just about every popular radio made at the time. It turns out that most radios are tuned for music and FM. There are many that have too much bass or filtering which distorts the human voice for talk radio and even voices found in music tracks. It turned out nobody was making a radio that made voices sound realistic and very few had good reception. If they did, they were so complicated that you needed a PhD just to turn it on or they were so expensive you needed a small loan to pay for it. It took 10 years to convince a manufacturer to help us make the radio we knew our customers needed and wanted. Something that had some of the most desired functionality (memory presets, clock, alarm), audio tuned for voice, excellent reception and wasn’t too difficult to use.

ccradio2eWe started the CCRadio by selecting a speaker and an amplifier designed to react well with voice frequencies. Trying to make a sensitive radio that picked up weak stations was the real challenge. The new solid state chips generated their own static noise that masked the weak signal so that is all you heard. It took months to reduce the noise and make the radio quiet so a weak station was above the noise level. The original CCRadio was introduced in July of 1998 and we haven’t looked back. Grandma Faye gave the best compliment; “you can hear the voices with this radio”. It’s gone through a few different iterations based on customer feedback and changes in technology but the idea behind it remains and it continues to be one of the most popular radios we offer. Models based on our design are still popular worldwide. It took several more years but we eventually invented and received a patent for the Twin Coil Ferrite AM antenna. This allowed us to exceed the reception of our original AM antenna and radio.

Our line of CC Radios has expanded to include different types and styles but the focus on reception and audio remains. C. Crane has talked first hand with over one million radio listeners concerned with improving their reception. There is a considerable group of listeners who enjoy or by circumstance choose to use radio as their primary source of news and entertainment.

In honor of our anniversary month, 18 years of CCRadios, you can enter to win, tell us your if you own any of the CCRadio line and which one, how long and your favorite thing to listen to on it in comments on this blog and win the CCRadio of your choice. Drawing will be held July 31st. Only one entry per person.

Congratulations winner SoCalPal! Thank you for participating!

Why the CCRadio-EP Was Built – by Bob Crane

The CCRadio-EP was built for my mother. I asked her one day if she was enjoying her CCRadioPlus digital radio I gave her. With a little prodding she looked at me in a way only a mother can and she said: “I don’t like all the buttons”. About six months later, a customer came in the store in a focused rush and asked for a radio “without all the buttons… just a regular radio”. I knew at that moment we had to build the EP. It would seem like building a simple AM/FM analog radio without all the bells and whistles would be a simple process, but in reality sometimes it’s making something simple that is the most difficult. It was 6+ years and several meetings, revisions and trips to the manufacturers to get this radio right.

Now back to my mother. I know she is smart. She drove safely until she was over 90 and she still continues to watercolor on a limited basis. She did not start painting until she was well into her 80’s. The point is my mother did not want to spend her valuable time learning some sequence of buttons perpetrated by a somewhat insensitive electronics expert (namely me).

We’ve had a great response to this radio. One of the best was a call from a woman in charge of a music department at a university. She said she was prepared to get ripped off with the purchase of the CCRadio-EP but was wildly surprised at the audio quality alone.
If you’re looking for a simple radio with good performance at a reasonable price, the CCRadio-EP is an excellent choice.

Bob Crane

Watercolor painting by Irene Crane

Watercolor painting by Irene Crane

C. Crane’s 30 Year Anniversary- 30 Days of Giveaways, Day 26!

Today’s Blog Topic is: What is your favorite joke?

Today’s giveaways are the CCRadio-EP AM/FM Radio w/ Lighted Needle & Dial, the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb (Warm White) and the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb. To participate all you have to do is leave a comment on today’s blog post. We will select three comments in a random drawing and post the winners Monday morning. Good luck and have fun!

CCRadio-EP AM/FM Radio w/ Lighted Needle & Dial & GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb (Warm White)

CCRadio-EP AM/FM Radio w/ Lighted Needle & Dial & GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb (Warm White)

C. Crane’s 30 Year Anniversary- 30 Days of Giveaways, Day 21!

Happy Monday!

Congratulations to Friday’s winners Dan for winning the Power Vivid® BR30 LED Bulb Bright White – Dimmable, Phillip Ellis for winning the SoftSpeaker™ Pillow Speaker and Bob Wilkins for winning the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb True Color.

Congratulations to Saturday’s winners Elaine Garfield for winning the Senta Ally Bluetooth® Stereo Speaker w/ FM, Greg Altorfer for winning the Power Vivid® A15 LED Bulb (Warm White) and Rick Wiggins for winning the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb.

Congratulations to Sunday’s winners George Hogetvedt for the Sun’s Dusk LED Accent Light Bulb, Hubenak for winning the CC SW Pocket AM/FM/SW Radio and Sona B for winning the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb.

Today’s Blog Topic is: September 23rd is National Great American Pot Pie Day. What does Pot Pie mean to you?

Today’s giveaways are the CC Gozo AM/FM Radio with Hi-Fidelity Audio, the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb (Warm White) and the GeoBulb®-II LED Light Bulb. To participate all you have to do is leave a comment on today’s blog post. We will select two comments in a random drawing and post the winners Tuesday morning. Thank you for participating!

CC Gozo AM/FM Radio & GeoBulb®-2 LED Light Bulb Warm White

CC Gozo AM/FM Radio & GeoBulb®-2 LED Light Bulb Warm White

C. Crane’s 30 Year Anniversary- 30 Days of Giveaways, Day 17!

Congratulations to yesterday’s winners Vimal Senta-40 Wooden Headphones w/ Carry Case & Detachable Fabric Cord and James GeoBulb® Under Cabinet Light Bar II (Cool White)

Today’s Blog Topic is: “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” – Robert H. Schuller — Motivational speaker, author, televangelist and pastor —

Today’s giveaways are the CC Solar Observer AM/FM/Weather Windup Emergency Radio and the GeoBulb®-3 LED Light Bulb (Warm White).To participate all you have to do is leave a comment on today’s blog post. We will select two comments in a random drawing and post the winners on Friday morning. Thank you and good luck!

GeoBulb®-3 LED Light Bulb (Warm White) & CC Solar Observer AM/FM/Weather Windup Emergency Radio

GeoBulb®-3 LED Light Bulb (Warm White) & CC Solar Observer AM/FM/Weather Windup Emergency Radio

C. Crane’s 30 Year Anniversary- 30 Days of Giveaways, Day 15!

Congratulations to yesterday’s winners Land Stclair for winning the CC Gozo AM/FM Radio with Hi-Fidelity Audio and Oberi S for winning the Sun’s Dusk LED Accent Light Bulb!

Today’s Blog Topic is: If you were given the opportunity to take a free trip anywhere in the world or universe, where would you go?

Today’s giveaways are the CCRadio-EP AM/FM Radio w/ Lighted Needle & Dial and the Power Vivid® BR20 LED Light Bulb (Cool White). To participate all you have to do is leave a comment on today’s blog post. We will select two comments in a random drawing and post the winners on Wednesday morning. Thank you for all your participation!

 

cep&br20