Hearing aids have advanced considerably throughout the past 10-15 years.
As each year goes by, hearing aids become smaller, more discreet, and more reliable at enhancing sound. They also come well equipped with a number of state-of-the-art 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 wide variety of products incorporates Bluetooth technology, such as smartphones, portable music players, tablets, computers, and TVs.
Have you ever seen someone talking on their phone using a hands-free wireless 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 calls for a greater power supply than can be supplied 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 said, it would deplete the battery too quickly. 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 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 transmits the signal to the hearing aid without draining the hearing aid battery.
So, if you’re looking for wireless hearing aids, you have two principal options:
- Hearing aids combined with an assistive listening device – as described 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 in essence means that the iPhone acts as the streamer itself, interacting directly with the hearing aid.
Your hearing care professional can help you determine 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 a number of 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. In this way, your hearing aids become a pair of high-quality earbuds.
- Hands-free phone calls – answering calls with no hands is more convenient and having the audio stream straight to the hearing aids produces better sound quality.
- Sharper TV sound – streaming the audio from your computer, tablet, or TV results in cleaner sound and elevated speech comprehension from movies and TV shows. You’ll never struggle to understand dialogue again.
- Better gym experience – listen to your favorite music or podcasts at the gym without any wires getting in the way.
- Customized 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 public venues like auditoriums, movie theaters, and courts.
Interested in upgrading to wireless hearing aids? Call us today for additional info.