Hearing aids have come a long way throughout the past 10-15 years.
As each year goes by, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more effective at enhancing sound. They also come well equipped with a number of state-of-the-art features, including the ability to connect to other devices wirelessly, which is what we’ll be reviewing 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 range of products integrates Bluetooth technology, such as smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and TVs.
Have you ever observed someone speaking on their phone using a hands-free 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 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 incorporate Bluetooth technology directly because, as we explained, it would consume the battery too rapidly. Thankfully, manufacturers solved this problem long 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 directs the signal to the hearing aid without draining the hearing aid battery.
So, if you’re looking for wireless hearing aids, you have two main options:
- Hearing aids combined 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 – some hearing aid models are branded 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 professional can help you decide which option is right for you.
The advantages of wireless hearing aids
Whether using a Made for iPhone hearing aid or a streamer, there are numerous benefits to going wireless, including:
- Better 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 with no hands is more convenient and having the sound stream directly to the hearing aids results in enhanced sound quality.
- Crisper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or TV leads to sharper sound and enhanced 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.
- Customized control – inconspicuously 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 with hearing loop systems in community venues like auditoriums, movie theaters, and courts.
Thinking about upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Call us today for additional info.