Hearing aids have advanced dramatically throughout the past 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 a variety of sophisticated features, such as 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 enables 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 witnessed someone speaking on their phone using a hands-free wireless headset? Or somebody receiving a call from their cell 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 furnished 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 integrate Bluetooth technology directly because, as we said, it would deplete the battery too rapidly. Thankfully, manufacturers solved this problem a while ago by creating an intermediary between the hearing aid and the Bluetooth device (computer, television, phone, 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 directs the signal to the hearing aid without draining the hearing aid battery.
So, if you’re in the market for wireless hearing aids, you have two primary 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 branded as “Made for iPhone,” which essentially means that the iPhone acts as the streamer itself, interacting directly with the hearing aid.
Your hearing care professional can help you figure out which option is right for you.
The benefits of wireless hearing aids
Whether using a streamer or a Made for iPhone hearing aid, there are quite a few perks 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. By doing this, your hearing aids become a pair of high-quality earbuds.
- Hands-free phone calls – answering phone calls with no hands is more convenient and having the sound stream directly to the hearing aids produces enhanced sound quality.
- Sharper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or TV results in sharper sound and superior 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.
- Personalized control – subtly 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 with hearing loop systems in public venues like auditoriums, movie theaters, and courts.
Considering upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Contact us today for additional information.