Hearing aids have advanced considerably throughout the past 10-15 years.
As each year passes, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more reliable at enhancing sound. They also come equipped with several innovative features, such as the capability to connect with other gadgets wirelessly, which is what we’ll be going over today.
Here’s how wireless technology works and how you can benefit.
How Bluetooth technology works
Bluetooth is a standardized wireless communication platform that allows devices to interact with each other through radio waves. A large variety of products integrates Bluetooth technology, including smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and televisions.
Have you ever witnessed someone talking on their phone using a hands-free wireless headset? Or someone 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 calls for 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 integrate Bluetooth technology directly because, as we mentioned, it would drain the battery too rapidly. Fortunately, manufacturers solved this problem long ago by creating an intermediary between the hearing aid and the Bluetooth device (phone, television, computer, 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 sends 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 combined 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 – several hearing aid models are designated as “Made for iPhone,” which basically means that the iPhone acts as the streamer itself, communicating directly with the hearing aid.
Your hearing care professional can help you figure out 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 several benefits 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 without the use of your hands is more convenient and having the sound stream straight to the hearing aids produces better sound quality.
- Crisper 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 understand dialogue again.
- Better gym experience – listen to your favorite podcasts or music at the gym without any wires getting in the way.
- Customized 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 with hearing loop systems in public venues like auditoriums, theaters, and courts.
Thinking about upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Call us today for more info.