Hearing aids have advanced considerably over the past 10-15 years.
As each year passes by, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more effective at enhancing sound. They also come well equipped with several state-of-the-art features, including the ability 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 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 witnessed someone talking on their phone using a hands-free 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 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 include Bluetooth technology directly because, as we explained, it would drain the battery too rapidly. Thankfully, manufacturers solved this problem a while ago by creating an intermediary between the hearing aid and the Bluetooth device (phone, TV, computer, 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 sends the signal to the hearing aid without depleting the battery.
So, if you’re shopping around for wireless hearing aids, you have two principal options:
- Hearing aids paired with an assistive listening device – as identified 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 basically means that the iPhone acts as the streamer itself, connecting directly with the hearing aid.
Your hearing care professional can help you figure out which option is right for you.
The advantages of wireless hearing aids
Whether using a Made for iPhone hearing aid or a streamer, there are numerous perks to going wireless, including:
- Better music listening experience – imagine streaming your favorite music from your iPhone or handheld 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 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 television leads to clearer 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.
- Personalized control – subtly 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, theaters, and courts.
Interested in upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Contact us today for more info.