Hearing aids have come a long way over the past 10-15 years.
As each year passes, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more reliable at enhancing sound. They also come equipped with several innovative features, including the ability to connect to other gadgets wirelessly, which is what we’ll be reviewing today.
Here’s how wireless technology works and how you can reap the benefits.
How Bluetooth technology works
Bluetooth is a standardized wireless communication platform that permits devices to interact with each other through radio waves. A wide range of products incorporates Bluetooth technology, including smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and TVs.
Have you ever noticed someone speaking on their phone using a hands-free headset? Or someone receiving a call from their cell phone using their car audio system? That’s Bluetooth technology in action.
So can you buy a Bluetooth hearing aid?
Yes and no. Bluetooth technology calls for a greater power supply than can be furnished 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 incorporate Bluetooth technology directly because, as we mentioned, it would deplete the battery too rapidly. Thankfully, manufacturers solved this problem long ago by creating an intermediary between the hearing aid and the Bluetooth device (phone, television, computer, etc.). This intermediary is known as either a “streamer” or an “assistive listening device.”
Here’s how it works: your Bluetooth enabled cell phone communicates wirelessly to the streamer which then directs the signal to the hearing aid without depleting the hearing aid battery.
So, if you’re looking for wireless hearing aids, you have two principal options:
- Hearing aids paired 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 – several hearing aid models are branded as “Made for iPhone,” which basically means that the iPhone acts as the streamer itself, communicating directly with the hearing aid.
Your hearing care professional can help you determine which choice is right for you.
The advantages of wireless hearing aids
Whether using a streamer or a Made for iPhone hearing aid, there are several benefits to going wireless, including:
- Better music listening experience – think about streaming your favorite music from your iPhone or handheld music player directly to your hearing aids. By doing this, your hearing aids become a pair of high-quality earbuds.
- Hands-free phone calls – answering calls without the use of your hands is more convenient and having the audio stream directly to the hearing aids provides enhanced sound quality.
- Sharper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or TV results in cleaner sound and superior speech comprehension from movies and TV shows. You’ll never struggle to understand dialogue again.
- Enhanced gym experience – listen to your favorite podcasts or music at the gym without any wires getting in the way.
- Personalized control – discreetly adjust your hearing aid settings and volume by using 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 public venues like auditoriums, theaters, and courts.
Considering upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Call us today for additional information.