Andy Palmer: How Deezer captions music on demand for beat-loving deaf people (PLUS reader offer!)

Posted on June 22, 2015

If you’re one of those deaf people who enjoy a bit of music but struggle to hear the words clearly, music streaming app Deezer could be the answer you’ve been looking for.

The Deezer app for smartphones now includes lyrics for a huge number of songs and could be the antidote for misheard lyrics or for people who just don’t know what’s being said but love the music.

YouTube, with its thousands of lyric based videos is the current destination of choice for deaf music lovers keen to find out the words to songs but Deezer could soon be taking over with its palm-of-the-hand convenience. It’s also advert-free if you subscribe for £9.99 a month.

Here is the Deezer app in action:

The app is particularly useful for hearing aid or cochlear implant users that can determine the beat, instruments and where lyrics get more intense or fast but can’t fathom what’s being said.

One deaf youngster told the Chicken:

“I’ve used Deezer for a couple of months on my phone and it is good. I’m not a massive music fan but I like to listen and when all my mates at school were singing Uptown Funk, I just didn’t know the words but I still enjoyed the music. When my dad bought me Deezer, I eventually had to ask who Michelle Pfeiffer was.” (She is mentioned in the lyrics)

That Deezer user ended up learning all the words and says he also enjoys the Deezer chart which is a list of the most popular songs based on popularity and now those songs have more meaning and are more interesting.

He continued:

“I listen a few times a week now and feel like I can get into the music more than before because it has more meaning when I know the words. I can also hear the music with headphones because the microphones on my implants pick up the sound.”


The lyrics on the app display in two ways and are available at the touch of a button. The first is like a karaoke machine where the lyrics are automatically highlighted and scroll down in time. The second is as a song sheet so users can just scroll through.

Here’s Deezer’s official advert:

A spokes person for Deezer said: “We introduced Deezer Lyrics for a variety of music fans.

“Some use this on sing-a-long mode to sing their favourite songs and some use it so they can find out lyrics they might not be able to hear out loud. While it can be difficult for many of us to make out the exact words, we appreciate those with hearing difficulties will find it that bit harder, or are unable to hear them at all.

“We’re delighted that this feature is helping people with hearing difficulties to better understand and enjoy lyrics from songs, that may otherwise have been lost. Lyrics and their open interpretation, especially for certain genres, can be the most important part of the song.”

Favorite songs can be saved on to a playlist for easy access later but as Deezer is a streaming service, the subscriber has no ownership of the music. Songs can be downloaded to the device for listening when without an internet connection and the service is also available on personal computers via a browser.

Misheard lyrics are not the preserve of people with some deafness as this video will testify (not work safe or child friendly)

Whether or not Deezer offers good value for money is up to you but it can be purchased on a month-by-month basis so the risk is small. It is also available free of charge with some EE phone contracts.

**Reader Offer**

Every reader that publicly shares the Facebook post for this article from The Limping Chicken page or retweets the original tweet about this article, will be in with a chance of winning a free three-month subscription to Deezer worth £30. There are two to give away! Andy Palmer, Deputy Editor, will choose the winners at random on Friday 26th.

Andy Palmer is the hearing father of a Deaf son, and is also a child of Deaf parents. He is Managing Director of the Cambridgeshire Deaf Association, runs Peterborough United’s deaf football teams and is Chairman of the Peterborough and District Deaf Children’s Society and teaches sign language in primary schools. Contact him on twitter @LC_AndyP

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Posted in: Andy Palmer