Hearing aids have advanced considerably over the last 10-15 years.
As each year passes by, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more reliable at enhancing sound. They also come well equipped with a number of advanced features, such as the capability 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 wide range of products incorporates Bluetooth technology, including smartphones, music players, tablets, computers, and TVs.
Have you ever seen someone talking on their phone using a hands-free headset? Or somebody taking 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 demands 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 drain the battery too quickly. Fortunately, 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 depleting the battery.
So, if you’re shopping around for wireless hearing aids, you have two primary options:
- Hearing aids paired with an assistive listening device – as described 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 in essence means that the iPhone acts as the streamer itself, communicating directly with the hearing aid.
Your hearing care professional 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 – imagine streaming your favorite music from your iPhone or handheld music player directly to your hearing aids. By doing this, 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 sound stream directly to the hearing aids produces enhanced sound quality.
- Clearer TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or television results in sharper sound and superior 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.
- Personalized control – discreetly adjust your hearing aid settings and volume by using your wireless remote control or iPhone (with compatible models).
- Connection to hearing loops – hearing aids fit with telecoils can connect with hearing loop systems in public venues like auditoriums, theaters, and courts.
Interested in upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Call us today for more information.