Hearing aids have advanced considerably throughout the last 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 variety of 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 reap the benefits.
How Bluetooth technology works
Bluetooth is a standardized wireless communication platform that enables devices to interact with each other through radio waves. A large assortment of products incorporates Bluetooth technology, including smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and TVs.
Have you ever watched someone speaking on their phone using a hands-free wireless 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 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 mentioned, it would consume 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 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 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 primary options:
- Hearing aids combined with an assistive listening device – as outlined 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 professional can help you determine which choice 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 perks to going wireless, including:
- Improved music listening experience – think about streaming your favorite music from your iPhone or handheld music player directly to your hearing aids. This way,, your hearing aids become a pair of top-quality earbuds.
- Hands-free phone calls – answering calls with no hands is more convenient and having the audio stream directly to the hearing aids results in enhanced sound quality.
- Sharper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or TV leads to cleaner sound and elevated speech comprehension from movies and TV shows. You’ll never struggle to follow dialogue again.
- Better 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 to hearing loop systems in public venues like auditoriums, theaters, and courts.
Thinking about upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Call us today for more info.