Hearing aids have come a long way over the last 10-15 years.
As each year passes, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more efficient at enhancing sound. They also come well equipped with several advanced features, including the capability to connect to other devices wirelessly, which is what we’ll be going over 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 makes it possible for devices to interact 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 witnessed someone talking on their phone using a hands-free wireless headset? Or somebody 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 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 said, it would consume the battery too quickly. Thankfully, manufacturers solved this problem a while ago by creating an intermediary between the hearing aid and the Bluetooth device (computer, television, phone, etc.). This intermediary is called 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 depleting the battery.
So, if you’re looking for wireless hearing aids, you have two main 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 – some hearing aid models are designated as “Made for iPhone,” which essentially 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 benefits of wireless hearing aids
Whether using a Made for iPhone hearing aid or a streamer, there are numerous benefits 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. In this way, your hearing aids transform into a pair of high-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.
- Clearer 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 understand dialogue again.
- Better gym experience – listen to your favorite podcasts or music at the gym without any wires getting in the way.
- Personalized control – subtly adjust your hearing aid settings and volume 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 community venues like auditoriums, movie theaters, and courts.
Interested in upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Call us today for additional info.