Hearing aids have come a long way throughout the last 10-15 years.
As each year passes, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more reliable at enhancing sound. They also come well equipped with several state-of-the-art features, such as the ability to connect with other gadgets wirelessly, which is what we’ll be going over 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 variety of products integrates Bluetooth technology, including smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and televisions.
Have you ever watched someone talking on their phone using a hands-free headset? Or someone receiving a call from their mobile 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 requires a greater power supply than can be supplied 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 stated, it would consume the battery too quickly. Thankfully, manufacturers solved this problem long ago by creating an intermediary between the hearing aid and the Bluetooth device (computer, television, phone, etc.). This intermediary is referred to 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 in the market 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 labeled as “Made for iPhone,” which essentially means that the iPhone acts as the streamer itself, connecting directly with the hearing aid.
Your hearing care professional can help you figure out which option 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:
- Improved music listening experience – think about streaming your favorite music from your iPhone or portable 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 with no hands is more convenient and having the audio stream straight to the hearing aids provides enhanced sound quality.
- Clearer TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or television results in cleaner sound and enhanced speech comprehension from movies and TV shows. You’ll never struggle to understand dialogue again.
- Better gym experience – listen to your favorite music or podcasts at the gym without any wires getting in the way.
- Customized 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 with hearing loop systems in community venues like auditoriums, theaters, and courts.
Interested in upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Call us today for additional information.