Hearing aids have advanced considerably throughout the last 10-15 years.
As each year goes by, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more effective at enhancing sound. They also come well equipped with several innovative features, such as the ability to connect to other devices wirelessly, which is what we’ll be going over today.
Here’s how wireless technology works and how you can benefit.
How Bluetooth technology works
Bluetooth is a standardized wireless communication platform that permits devices to communicate with each other through radio waves. A large range of products incorporates Bluetooth technology, such as smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and TVs.
Have you ever noticed someone talking on their phone using a hands-free wireless headset? Or somebody taking a call from their cell phone using their car audio system? That’s Bluetooth technology in action.
So can you purchase a Bluetooth hearing aid?
Yes and no. Bluetooth technology calls for a greater power supply than can be provided by hearing aid batteries. But there is a workaround, and in fact, there are two.
Your options for wireless hearing aids
Hearing aids do not integrate Bluetooth technology directly because, as we mentioned, it would consume the battery too quickly. Fortunately, manufacturers solved this problem long ago by creating an intermediary between the hearing aid and the Bluetooth device (phone, TV, computer, etc.). This intermediary is referred to as either a “streamer” or an “assistive listening device.”
Here’s how it works: your Bluetooth equipped cell phone communicates wirelessly to the streamer which then transmits the signal to the hearing aid without depleting the hearing aid battery.
So, if you’re shopping around for wireless hearing aids, you have two primary options:
- Hearing aids combined with an assistive listening device – as identified above, the assistive listening device, or streamer, which is a small hand-held device, acts as an intermediary between the Bluetooth device and the hearing aid.
- Made for iPhone hearing aids – some hearing aid models are branded as “Made for iPhone,” which in essence means that the iPhone acts as the streamer itself, connecting directly with the hearing aid.
Your hearing care expert can help you determine which choice is right for you.
The benefits of wireless hearing aids
Whether using a Made for iPhone hearing aid or a streamer, there are several benefits to going wireless, including:
- Improved music listening experience – think about streaming your favorite music from your iPhone or portable music player directly to your hearing aids. In this way, your hearing aids become a pair of high-quality earbuds.
- Hands-free phone calls – answering phone calls with no hands is more convenient and having the sound stream directly to the hearing aids produces better sound quality.
- Crisper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or TV leads to clearer sound and superior speech comprehension from movies and TV shows. You’ll never struggle to follow dialogue again.
- Enhanced gym experience – listen to your favorite music or podcasts at the gym without any wires getting in the way.
- Personalized control – discreetly adjust your hearing aid settings and volume by utilizing your wireless remote control or iPhone (with compatible models).
- Connection to hearing loops – hearing aids fit with telecoils can connect to hearing loop systems in community venues like auditoriums, theaters, and courts.
Thinking about upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Contact us today for additional info.