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 efficient at enhancing sound. They also come equipped with several sophisticated 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 permits devices to interact with each other through radio waves. A large assortment of products incorporates Bluetooth technology, such as smartphones, music players, tablets, computers, and televisions.
Have you ever noticed someone talking on their phone using a hands-free wireless headset? Or someone receiving a call from their cell phone using their car audio system? That’s Bluetooth technology in action.
So can you purchase a Bluetooth hearing aid?
Yes and no. Bluetooth technology requires a greater power supply than can be delivered 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 stated, it would deplete the battery too rapidly. Fortunately, manufacturers solved this problem a while ago by creating an intermediary between the hearing aid and the Bluetooth device (phone, TV, computer, 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 delivers the signal to the hearing aid without depleting the hearing aid 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 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 – some hearing aid models are labeled 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 streamer or a Made for iPhone hearing aid, there are a number of perks to going wireless, including:
- Better 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 sound stream directly to the hearing aids produces enhanced sound quality.
- Crisper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or television results in clearer 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 music or podcasts 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 public venues like auditoriums, movie theaters, and courts.
Thinking about upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Contact us today for additional information.