Hearing aids have come a long way throughout the last 10-15 years.
As each year goes by, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more efficient at enhancing sound. They also come well equipped with a number of innovative features, including 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 allows devices to interact with each other through radio waves. A wide range of products integrates Bluetooth technology, such as smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and TVs.
Have you ever observed someone talking on their phone using a hands-free headset? Or somebody 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 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 include Bluetooth technology directly because, as we said, it would drain the battery too rapidly. Thankfully, manufacturers solved this problem a while ago by creating an intermediary between the hearing aid and the Bluetooth device (computer, TV, phone, etc.). This intermediary is called 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 hearing aid battery.
So, if you’re in the market for wireless hearing aids, you have two main 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 – 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 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 quite a few 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 results in better sound quality.
- Clearer TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or television results in cleaner sound and elevated 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 – inconspicuously adjust your hearing aid settings and volume by using your wireless remote control or iPhone (with compatible models).
- Connection to hearing loops – hearing aids equipped with telecoils can connect with hearing loop systems in public venues like auditoriums, theaters, and courts.
Interested in upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Contact us today for more information.