Hearing aids have advanced dramatically over the past 10-15 years.
As each year goes by, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more efficient at enhancing sound. They also come well equipped with several advanced 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 benefit.
How Bluetooth technology works
Bluetooth is a standardized wireless communication platform that makes it possible for devices to interact with each other through radio waves. A wide range of products incorporates Bluetooth technology, including smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and televisions.
Have you ever noticed someone speaking 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 buy a Bluetooth hearing aid?
Yes and no. Bluetooth technology requires a greater power supply than can be provided 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 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 called 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 transmits the signal to the hearing aid without draining the hearing aid battery.
So, if you’re in the market for wireless hearing aids, you have two primary 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 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 expert can help you decide which option 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 – 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 phone calls without the use of your hands is more convenient and having the sound stream directly to the hearing aids results in enhanced sound quality.
- Sharper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or television 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 to 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.