Hearing aids have advanced dramatically over the last 10-15 years.
As each year passes by, 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 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 variety of products integrates Bluetooth technology, including smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and televisions.
Have you ever noticed 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 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 incorporate Bluetooth technology directly because, as we mentioned, it would deplete the battery too rapidly. Thankfully, manufacturers solved this problem a while ago by creating an intermediary between the hearing aid and the Bluetooth device (phone, television, computer, 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 transmits the signal to the hearing aid without draining the battery.
So, if you’re looking 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 – several hearing aid models are labeled as “Made for iPhone,” which in essence means that the iPhone acts as the streamer itself, interacting directly with the hearing aid.
Your hearing care expert can help you figure out 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 multiple benefits to going wireless, including:
- Improved music listening experience – think about streaming your favorite music from your iPhone or handheld music player directly to your hearing aids. This way,, 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 sound stream directly to the hearing aids produces better 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.
- Enhanced gym experience – listen to your favorite podcasts or music 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 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.