Hearing aids have advanced considerably over the past 10-15 years.
As each year passes, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more reliable at enhancing sound. They also come well equipped with a variety of advanced features, such as 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 enables devices to interact with each other through radio waves. A wide assortment of products integrates Bluetooth technology, such as smartphones, music players, tablets, computers, and TVs.
Have you ever watched 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 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 integrate Bluetooth technology directly because, as we mentioned, 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 (computer, TV, phone, etc.). This intermediary is referred to as either a “streamer” or an “assistive listening device.”
Here’s how it works: your Bluetooth equipped 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 shopping around for wireless hearing aids, you have two primary 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 – several 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 figure out which option is right for you.
The advantages of wireless hearing aids
Whether using a streamer or a Made for iPhone hearing aid, there are a variety of benefits 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. This way,, your hearing aids transform into a pair of high-quality earbuds.
- Hands-free phone calls – answering phone calls without the use of your hands is more convenient and having the audio stream directly to the hearing aids provides enhanced sound quality.
- Clearer TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or TV leads to sharper sound and superior 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.
- Customized control – discreetly adjust your hearing aid volume and settings 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.
Interested in upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Contact us today for more information.