Hearing aids have come a long way 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 equipped with a variety of 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 makes it possible for devices to interact with each other through radio waves. A wide assortment of products integrates Bluetooth technology, including smartphones, music players, tablets, computers, and televisions.
Have you ever observed someone speaking on their phone using a hands-free wireless headset? Or someone receiving a call from their mobile 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 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 include Bluetooth technology directly because, as we explained, it would drain 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 referred to 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 delivers the signal to the hearing aid without depleting the hearing aid battery.
So, if you’re shopping around for wireless hearing aids, you have two principal options:
- Hearing aids combined 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 – several hearing aid models are designated as “Made for iPhone,” which essentially means that the iPhone acts as the streamer itself, communicating directly with the hearing aid.
Your hearing care expert can help you decide which option is right for you.
The benefits of wireless hearing aids
Whether using a streamer or a Made for iPhone hearing aid, there are quite a few 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 transform into a pair of top-quality earbuds.
- Hands-free phone calls – answering calls with no hands is more convenient and having the audio stream straight to the hearing aids provides enhanced sound quality.
- Crisper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or TV leads to 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 podcasts or music at the gym without any wires getting in the way.
- Personalized control – inconspicuously adjust your hearing aid volume and settings by using your wireless remote control or iPhone (with compatible models).
- Connection to hearing loops – hearing aids fit with telecoils can connect with hearing loop systems in community venues like auditoriums, theaters, and courts.
Considering upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Contact us today for more information.