Hearing aids have come a long way throughout the last 10-15 years.
As each year goes by, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more efficient at enhancing sound. They also come equipped with a number of advanced features, including the ability to connect with other gadgets 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 variety of products incorporates Bluetooth technology, such as smartphones, music players, tablets, computers, and televisions.
Have you ever seen someone talking on their phone using a hands-free headset? Or somebody taking 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 demands 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 incorporate 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 (phone, TV, computer, etc.). This intermediary is known 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 hearing aid 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 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 – some hearing aid models are designated as “Made for iPhone,” which basically means that the iPhone acts as the streamer itself, connecting directly with the hearing aid.
Your hearing care professional can help you decide 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 quite a few benefits to going wireless, including:
- Improved music listening experience – think about streaming your favorite music from your iPhone or handheld music player directly to your hearing aids. This way,, your hearing aids become a pair of top-quality earbuds.
- Hands-free phone calls – answering calls without the use of your hands is more convenient and having the sound stream directly to the hearing aids produces better sound quality.
- Crisper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or TV leads to cleaner sound and elevated speech comprehension from movies and TV shows. You’ll never struggle to follow 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 to hearing loop systems in public venues like auditoriums, theaters, and courts.
Considering upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Contact us today for additional information.