Hearing aids have advanced considerably over the last 10-15 years.
As each year passes by, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more efficient at enhancing sound. They also come well equipped with several sophisticated 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 benefit.
How Bluetooth technology works
Bluetooth is a standardized wireless communication platform that enables devices to interact with each other through radio waves. A wide assortment of products integrates Bluetooth technology, including smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and televisions.
Have you ever witnessed someone talking 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 purchase 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 (phone, television, computer, 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 draining the battery.
So, if you’re shopping around for wireless hearing aids, you have two principal options:
- Hearing aids paired with an assistive listening device – as outlined 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 expert can help you determine which choice is right for you.
The benefits of wireless hearing aids
Whether using a Made for iPhone hearing aid or a streamer, there are a variety of benefits 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. By doing this, 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 enhanced sound quality.
- Clearer TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or TV 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 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 public venues like auditoriums, theaters, and courts.
Thinking about upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Call us today for additional information.