Hearing aids have advanced dramatically 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 equipped with several innovative features, such as the ability to connect with 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 makes it possible for devices to communicate with each other through radio waves. A large range of products integrates Bluetooth technology, such as smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and TVs.
Have you ever watched someone speaking on their phone using a hands-free wireless 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 said, it would deplete the battery too quickly. Fortunately, manufacturers solved this problem a while 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 sends the signal to the hearing aid without draining the battery.
So, if you’re shopping around for wireless hearing aids, you have two principal options:
- Hearing aids combined with an assistive listening device – as described 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 professional can help you figure out 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 – imagine streaming your favorite music from your iPhone or portable music player directly to your hearing aids. This way,, your hearing aids transform into a pair of high-quality earbuds.
- Hands-free phone calls – answering phone calls with no hands is more convenient and having the sound stream straight to the hearing aids provides enhanced sound quality.
- Crisper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or television leads to sharper sound and enhanced speech comprehension from movies and TV shows. You’ll never struggle to follow 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 volume and settings by using your wireless remote control or iPhone (with compatible models).
- Connection to hearing loops – hearing aids equipped with telecoils can connect to hearing loop systems in community venues like auditoriums, movie theaters, and courts.
Considering upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Call us today for more information.