Hearing aids have come a long way throughout 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 equipped with a number of state-of-the-art features, including the ability 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 permits devices to interact with each other through radio waves. A large range of products incorporates Bluetooth technology, such as smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and televisions.
Have you ever watched someone speaking on their phone using a hands-free wireless headset? Or somebody receiving 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 granted 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 explained, it would deplete the battery too rapidly. Fortunately, 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 referred to as 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 draining the battery.
So, if you’re looking for wireless hearing aids, you have two principal options:
- Hearing aids combined 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 essentially 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 option is right for you.
The benefits of wireless hearing aids
Whether using a Made for iPhone hearing aid or a streamer, there are multiple perks to going wireless, including:
- Better music listening experience – imagine streaming your favorite music from your iPhone or portable music player directly to your hearing aids. 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 produces enhanced sound quality.
- Sharper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or TV leads to cleaner sound and superior 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.
- Personalized control – discreetly adjust your hearing aid volume and settings 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 community venues like auditoriums, theaters, and courts.
Considering upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Contact us today for more info.