Hearing aids have come a long way throughout the past 10-15 years.
As each year goes by, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more effective at enhancing sound. They also come equipped with a variety of sophisticated features, such as the ability to connect to 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 enables devices to interact with each other through radio waves. A large assortment of products integrates Bluetooth technology, such as smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and televisions.
Have you ever watched someone talking on their phone using a hands-free headset? Or somebody receiving a call from their cell 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 calls for a greater power supply than can be provided 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 said, it would consume the battery too rapidly. 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 called 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 delivers the signal to the hearing aid without depleting the battery.
So, if you’re looking for wireless hearing aids, you have two primary 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 – some hearing aid models are labeled as “Made for iPhone,” which essentially means that the iPhone acts as the streamer itself, interacting directly with the hearing aid.
Your hearing care expert can help you determine which choice is right for you.
The advantages of wireless hearing aids
Whether using a streamer or a Made for iPhone hearing aid, there are numerous perks to going wireless, including:
- Better 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 become a pair of top-quality earbuds.
- Hands-free phone calls – answering calls with no hands is more convenient and having the sound stream straight to the hearing aids provides better sound quality.
- Crisper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or television results in clearer sound and enhanced speech comprehension from movies and TV shows. You’ll never struggle to understand dialogue again.
- Enhanced gym experience – listen to your favorite music or podcasts at the gym without any wires getting in the way.
- Personalized control – inconspicuously 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? Contact us today for more information.