Hearing aids have advanced considerably 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 well equipped with several innovative 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 allows devices to communicate with each other through radio waves. A large variety of products integrates Bluetooth technology, such as smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and televisions.
Have you ever witnessed someone speaking on their phone using a hands-free headset? Or somebody 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 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 include Bluetooth technology directly because, as we mentioned, it would deplete the battery too quickly. Thankfully, 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 called 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 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 branded 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 advantages of wireless hearing aids
Whether using a streamer or a Made for iPhone hearing aid, there are several benefits to going wireless, including:
- Improved 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 top-quality earbuds.
- Hands-free phone calls – answering calls with no hands is more convenient and having the sound stream directly to the hearing aids provides better sound quality.
- Sharper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or television results in sharper 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 music or podcasts at the gym without any wires getting in the way.
- Personalized control – inconspicuously adjust your hearing aid settings and volume by using your wireless remote control or iPhone (with compatible models).
- Connection to hearing loops – hearing aids fit with telecoils can connect to hearing loop systems in community venues like auditoriums, movie theaters, and courts.
Interested in upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Contact us today for more information.