Hearing aids have come a long way over the last 10-15 years.
As each year passes by, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more reliable at enhancing sound. They also come well equipped with a number of advanced features, such as 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 large variety of products integrates 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 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 requires 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 incorporate Bluetooth technology directly because, as we explained, it would drain the battery too quickly. Thankfully, 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 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 directs the signal to the hearing aid without depleting the battery.
So, if you’re in the market for wireless hearing aids, you have two main options:
- Hearing aids paired with an assistive listening device – as described 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 in essence means that the iPhone acts as the streamer itself, connecting directly with the hearing aid.
Your hearing care expert 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 numerous perks to going wireless, including:
- Improved music listening experience – think about streaming your favorite music from your iPhone or portable music player directly to your hearing aids. This way,, your hearing aids transform into a pair of high-quality earbuds.
- Hands-free phone calls – answering calls with no hands is more convenient and having the sound stream directly to the hearing aids results in enhanced sound quality.
- Crisper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or television results in clearer sound and superior 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.
- Customized control – subtly adjust your hearing aid volume and settings by utilizing 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? Contact us today for additional information.