Hearing aids have come a long way throughout 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 state-of-the-art features, including the capability to connect with 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 interact with each other through radio waves. A large variety of products incorporates Bluetooth technology, including smartphones, music players, tablets, computers, and TVs.
Have you ever noticed someone talking on their phone using a hands-free wireless headset? Or somebody taking 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 demands a greater power supply than can be offered 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. Fortunately, 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 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 hearing aid battery.
So, if you’re looking for wireless hearing aids, you have two main options:
- Hearing aids paired 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 – some hearing aid models are labeled as “Made for iPhone,” which basically means that the iPhone acts as the streamer itself, connecting directly with the hearing aid.
Your hearing care professional can help you decide which choice is right for you.
The advantages of wireless hearing aids
Whether using a Made for iPhone hearing aid or a streamer, there are quite a few benefits to going wireless, including:
- Better music listening experience – think about streaming your favorite music from your iPhone or portable music player directly to your hearing aids. In this way, your hearing aids become a pair of high-quality earbuds.
- Hands-free phone calls – answering phone calls with no hands is more convenient and having the audio stream straight to the hearing aids produces enhanced sound quality.
- Clearer TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or TV leads to cleaner sound and superior 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 – 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 to hearing loop systems in community venues like auditoriums, theaters, and courts.
Thinking about upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Call us today for additional information.