OW and hearing loss

General Discussion
So recently I got spontaneous hearing loss. It is moderate in one ear and mild in the other though we don't know why (yet) and I dont have any solutions (yet). Since it happened I cut back on my gaming a lot because 1. if I join team chat and there is too much noise i have trouble hearing call outs/ where certain sounds are coming from and 2. In trying to adjust I find im playing worse than I was before.

ive seen posts made by people with hearing loss on the past where it was suggested to add more visuals for things like ults, etc but what I am really curious about is how people adapt with the game as it currently is. I really miss playing but I get frusterated with myself and feel bad for my team.

Ive fiddled with the sound controls but most of the time things sound like they are in a tunnel or far away with voices EXTRA hard to hear and certain sounds sort of blend together. So basically I havent figured out what is best in regards to settings but miss OW and would be happy for any suggestions!

Thanks :D
I've seen people asking for text. Blizzard might've even said something at some point.
I'm really sorry to hear about that.

Hopefully Blizzard will be able to create a subtitle feature that helps people like yourself.
Thanks guys :) I figured since ive seen other people post about hearing loss and gaming (even though it was a while ago) I would try and ask. I love playing but hate being bad for the team, you know? So i just sort of stopped playing. Im not sure if I can get more specific controls on sound and what I should even play with. Ive been able to manage in the rest of my life but since OW is a team game I dont wanna ruin it for other people lol
09/08/2017 12:02 AMPosted by Gigglez
So recently I got spontaneous hearing loss. It is moderate in one ear and mild in the other though we don't know why (yet) and I dont have any solutions (yet). Since it happened I cut back on my gaming a lot because 1. if I join team chat and there is too much noise i have trouble hearing call outs/ where certain sounds are coming from and 2. In trying to adjust I find im playing worse than I was before.

ive seen posts made by people with hearing loss on the past where it was suggested to add more visuals for things like ults, etc but what I am really curious about is how people adapt with the game as it currently is. I really miss playing but I get frusterated with myself and feel bad for my team.

Ive fiddled with the sound controls but most of the time things sound like they are in a tunnel or far away with voices EXTRA hard to hear and certain sounds sort of blend together. So basically I havent figured out what is best in regards to settings but miss OW and would be happy for any suggestions!

Thanks :D


I'm deaf in one ear, so I can only hear in mono. One thing I've found helpful is an earbud I found on Amazon that funnels both channels into a single earbud, which also has a mic. This way you can hear flankers coming, while still being able to be in voice comms. Sure, since it's not stereo you can't tell which direction they're coming from, but you will get more adept at using other cues to predict which side they're on.

I hate to say this, but the best cure is time and experience. You'll adapt. I just hit a career high of 2112 SR, and I play support so I get flanked all the damn time. Stick with it man, and don't let discouragement win. You'll adapt and play even better than before.
09/08/2017 12:44 AMPosted by Blimgauss
09/08/2017 12:02 AMPosted by Gigglez
So recently I got spontaneous hearing loss. It is moderate in one ear and mild in the other though we don't know why (yet) and I dont have any solutions (yet). Since it happened I cut back on my gaming a lot because 1. if I join team chat and there is too much noise i have trouble hearing call outs/ where certain sounds are coming from and 2. In trying to adjust I find im playing worse than I was before.

ive seen posts made by people with hearing loss on the past where it was suggested to add more visuals for things like ults, etc but what I am really curious about is how people adapt with the game as it currently is. I really miss playing but I get frusterated with myself and feel bad for my team.

Ive fiddled with the sound controls but most of the time things sound like they are in a tunnel or far away with voices EXTRA hard to hear and certain sounds sort of blend together. So basically I havent figured out what is best in regards to settings but miss OW and would be happy for any suggestions!

Thanks :D


I'm deaf in one ear, so I can only hear in mono. One thing I've found helpful is an earbud I found on Amazon that funnels both channels into a single earbud, which also has a mic. This way you can hear flankers coming, while still being able to be in voice comms. Sure, since it's not stereo you can't tell which direction they're coming from, but you will get more adept at using other cues to predict which side they're on.

I hate to say this, but the best cure is time and experience. You'll adapt. I just hit a career high of 2112 SR, and I play support so I get flanked all the damn time. Stick with it man, and don't let discouragement win. You'll adapt and play even better than before.


Thank you for the suggestion. Could you link the earbud? Also, Im not even sure how to change from stereo to mono.. lol I know I fail.. What sort of cues do you use, if you dont mind me asking?

Also, I was sort of afraid that experience might be best.. I mean Idid alright in placements (gained 200 sr) but im worried about other players and get frusterated because i feel like even my positioning is off... if that makes sense?? Thanks so much for the support, suggestions and feed back!
I'm really sorry to hear about that.
Oh boy
09/08/2017 01:05 AMPosted by ReXaGOn
I'm really sorry to hear about that.
Oh boy


lmfao i totally missed that X) *dies laughing*
On my motherboard I have an application that is called Sonic Radar, which applies an overlay showing where specific sounds come from, maybe that could help you ?
09/08/2017 01:16 AMPosted by Sweyn
On my motherboard I have an application that is called Sonic Radar, which applies an overlay showing where specific sounds come from, maybe that could help you ?


oh that sounds really interesting. id have to figure out how to find it (im on a laptop, btw and not good with computer/ IT stuff \) but thats something Id look into!
Since you're on PC, there may be some kind of audio mixing option in your computer's sound card to collapse both stereo channels into mono. This would negate the need for the earbud; I play on console, and the Xbox doesn't have this function. However, blizzard don't provide an in-game option for manipulating audio channels (at least on console they don't); the earbud just combines the channels automatically.

In case that's not an option, however, here's the link: https://www.amazon.com/Single-Stereo-Headphone-Aluminum-Rubberized/dp/B01L2SW38U
It's a good product; good sound quality and build quality.

As far as cues, visual cues are more important now. Even when it seems there's nothing going on, I'm constantly looking around for any sign of enemy flankers, and just enemy players in general. When I see an enemy move, I try to take note of their movement and really make sure to remember where I last saw them (may sound obvious, I know), then ask myself, based on their movement abilities, available flanking routes, and elapsed time, is there any way they could be behind me now, or about to flank me? Stuff like that.

I've dealt with this my whole life, so I'm used to it. I can't imagine how frustrating and scary it must be to have this happen all of a sudden. But the truth is, a lot of it is intuitive, and that intuition just develops over time and with experience. You'll get a sense for when, if you hear clunky reaper footsteps behind you, which side to check. I know that assurance may not seem helpful, but just trust me, keep playing and it'll come. Don't give up!
09/08/2017 12:32 AMPosted by JeanFrancois
I've seen people asking for text. Blizzard might've even said something at some point.


If I recall correctly, they said they're interested in adding subtitles to the game but they said with how the game is designed its apparently not set up for it so its no quick easy task, but they're interested in making it happen sometime.

Take this with a grain of salt since this is just going off my vague memory, but I believe they said they want to do text/subtitles sometime
09/08/2017 01:17 AMPosted by Blimgauss
Since you're on PC, there may be some kind of audio mixing option in your computer's sound card to collapse both stereo channels into mono. This would negate the need for the earbud; I play on console, and the Xbox doesn't have this function. However, blizzard don't provide an in-game option for manipulating audio channels (at least on console they don't); the earbud just combines the channels automatically.

In case that's not an option, however, here's the link: https://www.amazon.com/Single-Stereo-Headphone-Aluminum-Rubberized/dp/B01L2SW38U
It's a good product; good sound quality and build quality.

As far as cues, visual cues are more important now. Even when it seems there's nothing going on, I'm constantly looking around for any sign of enemy flankers, and just enemy players in general. When I see an enemy move, I try to take note of their movement and really make sure to remember where I last saw them (may sound obvious, I know), then ask myself, based on their movement abilities, available flanking routes, and elapsed time, is there any way they could be behind me now, or about to flank me? Stuff like that.

I've dealt with this my whole life, so I'm used to it. I can't imagine how frustrating and scary it must be to have this happen all of a sudden. But the truth is, a lot of it is intuitive, and that intuition just develops over time and with experience. You'll get a sense for when, if you hear clunky reaper footsteps behind you, which side to check. I know that assurance may not seem helpful, but just trust me, keep playing and it'll come. Don't give up!


Yeah I am going to try and look into what my laptop itself can do because that seems to be a good option (from another poster too). In reality, it isnt all that scary for me. Ive been around people my whole life that have had trouble hearing (deaf to hard of hearing) and so its more of an inconvience for me than scary (worst case scenerio, if its permanent I might be able to have surgery orjust get hearing aids).

However, ive never been good at predicting movements so thatll be something I definitely try and pay more attention to now. If I dont see certain characters for too long I DO start to look for them though (sombra, tracer, gengi, doom, reaper, etc). It seems like Ill just have to develop additional play styles, from what youre saying which will only make me a better play anyway. I just need to be more aware of my positioning, I think.. and my teams.

I really do appreciate the encouragement. It means a lot :) I know that other people (like yourself) manage to do this so Illjust have to be more patient with myself. I let my team knowwhen im bad at a hero so I might just let them know about the hearing too andhope they are understanding.
09/08/2017 01:19 AMPosted by Meowcenary
09/08/2017 12:32 AMPosted by JeanFrancois
I've seen people asking for text. Blizzard might've even said something at some point.


If I recall correctly, they said they're interested in adding subtitles to the game but they said with how the game is designed its apparently not set up for it so its no quick easy task, but they're interested in making it happen sometime.

Take this with a grain of salt since this is just going off my vague memory, but I believe they said they want to do text/subtitles sometime


Thats good to know too, that they would even consider it. Id rather have something be considered than not at all :D Thank you!
Have you turned off the music yet? I have no hearing problems but I remove the music because I'm a sound-!@#$% (countless of times I hear enemy foot-steps and wonder why nobody else in the team did). The music is great in the lobby and while waiting for the match to start and everything, but it's bothering when the jungle music starts when the time is running out etc. that's when you should be able to hear people making their moves.

I hope that makes a difference for you, the less unnecessary noise, the better.
09/08/2017 02:11 AMPosted by Hangover
Have you turned off the music yet? I have no hearing problems but I remove the music because I'm a sound-!@#$% (countless of times I hear enemy foot-steps and wonder why nobody else in the team did). The music is great in the lobby and while waiting for the match to start and everything, but it's bothering when the jungle music starts when the time is running out etc. that's when you should be able to hear people making their moves.

I hope that makes a difference for you, the less unnecessary noise, the better.


I turned it down to 4... I hadnt considered turning it off all the way and upping the game soundsa little.. thank you. lol thats totally logical and common sense but i hadnt considered it. This is why the forums are great haha

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