Ever since the first electronic hearing aids were introduced to the market (circa late 1800’s), those individuals wearing them usually had difficulty hearing on the telephone, that is if they could even hear on the phone at all. Actually, if it were not for the invention of the phone, we may not even have electronic hearing aids! Fast forward a few decades and telecoils were introduced and utilized inside the hearing aids.
The telecoil picks up the electromagnetic signal emitting from the telephone receiver and converts it into a signal that is processed by the hearing aid. This technology was helpful but far from perfect.
Presently, with the introduction of Bluetooth technology, hearing aids and phone conversations have never been clearer. Bluetooth is a communication technology that allows any electrical device that is Bluetooth-containing to communicate with another bluetooth-containing device. The applications are virtually limitless, so let’s just focus on its relevance to hearing devices.
Currently a Bluetooth hearing aid is not large enough to house Bluetooth technology on board, so most devices will need a peripheral in the form of a neck loop to facilitate wireless communication.
In most cases, the user’s mobile phone or landline phone, if Bluetooth compatible, will need to be paired to the neck-loop. The phone’s signal will be wirelessly streamed into the neck loop. Then the neck loop will stream that information into one or two hearing aids via a magnetic signal.
The user can then listen to his/her phone conversation through both hearing aids with unprecedented clarity and speak to the individual via a microphone usually placed on the neck loop. Hearing aid users have never been able to carry on phone conversations with as much ease as they can now with the addition of wireless Bluetooth technology coupled with their hearing aids.
Have any of you utilized this technology? Please share your experiences.