Hearing aids have advanced dramatically throughout 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 well equipped with a number of advanced features, such as the capability 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 reap the benefits.
How Bluetooth technology works
Bluetooth is a standardized wireless communication platform that permits devices to communicate with each other through radio waves. A large variety of products incorporates Bluetooth technology, including smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and TVs.
Have you ever seen someone speaking on their phone using a hands-free headset? Or somebody 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 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 include Bluetooth technology directly because, as we explained, it would deplete the battery too quickly. 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 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 transmits the signal to the hearing aid without draining the hearing aid battery.
So, if you’re shopping around for wireless hearing aids, you have two main options:
- Hearing aids paired with an assistive listening device – as explained 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 designated as “Made for iPhone,” which basically 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 several perks to going wireless, including:
- Improved music listening experience – imagine streaming your favorite music from your iPhone or handheld music player directly to your hearing aids. In this way, your hearing aids transform into a pair of top-quality earbuds.
- Hands-free phone calls – answering calls without the use of your hands is more convenient and having the audio stream straight to the hearing aids provides enhanced sound quality.
- Crisper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or television results in sharper sound and superior speech comprehension from movies and TV shows. You’ll never struggle to follow dialogue again.
- Better gym experience – listen to your favorite podcasts or music at the gym without any wires getting in the way.
- Personalized 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 community venues like auditoriums, movie theaters, and courts.
Thinking about upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Contact us today for additional info.