Hearing aids have advanced considerably over the past 10-15 years.
As each year passes, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more reliable at enhancing sound. They also come equipped with a number of advanced features, including the capability to connect with other gadgets wirelessly, which is what we’ll be going over today.
Here’s how wireless technology works and how you can benefit.
How Bluetooth technology works
Bluetooth is a standardized wireless communication platform that makes it possible for devices to interact with each other through radio waves. A wide variety of products integrates Bluetooth technology, such as smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and TVs.
Have you ever observed someone speaking on their phone using a hands-free headset? Or someone 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 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 incorporate Bluetooth technology directly because, as we explained, it would consume the battery too quickly. Fortunately, manufacturers solved this problem long ago by creating an intermediary between the hearing aid and the Bluetooth device (phone, TV, computer, etc.). This intermediary is called 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 depleting the hearing aid battery.
So, if you’re in the market for wireless hearing aids, you have two principal options:
- Hearing aids combined 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 – several hearing aid models are branded 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 decide which option is right for you.
The advantages of wireless hearing aids
Whether using a Made for iPhone hearing aid or a streamer, there are quite a few benefits to going wireless, including:
- Better music listening experience – think about streaming your favorite music from your iPhone or handheld music player directly to your hearing aids. In this way, your hearing aids transform into a pair of top-quality earbuds.
- Hands-free phone calls – answering phone calls without the use of your hands is more convenient and having the audio stream straight to the hearing aids produces enhanced sound quality.
- Crisper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or TV results in clearer sound and enhanced 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.
- Customized control – inconspicuously adjust your hearing aid settings and volume by utilizing 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, movie theaters, and courts.
Thinking about upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Call us today for more info.