Bluetooth-Enabled Hearing Aids
Developers of hearing aids are always looking for new and improved ways of making hearing aids better and more useful in people’s lives. Wireless connectivity, such as Bluetooth, allows individuals to connect their hearing aids to various devices for improved sound quality directly from the sound source.
Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids can be wirelessly connected via wireless streaming accessory to devices such as televisions, cell phones, tablets and FM systems. Bluetooth technology works similarly to wireless internet, where sounds are sent through an invisible electronic signal.
The Bluetooth feature is compatible in most styles of hearing aids, including behind-the-ear (BTE), mini BTE, in-the-ear (ITE) and in-the-canal (ITC) styles, though each manufacturer provides a different array of products and accessories that are Bluetooth-enabled.
Benefits of Bluetooth hearing aids
As with any hearing aid, Bluetooth-compatible devices have some benefits and downsides. One benefit is that using wireless technology allows you to obtain a better sound quality when using your hearing aids with your favorite electronic devices. Think of them as a wireless pair of headphones: they are convenient and cordless for high-quality sound.
Wireless connectivity makes it easier for hearing aid users to utilize the various technologies in their everyday lives. Making phone calls, using a tablet or computer, listening to music and even watching TV at home can be an enjoyable experience for the tech-savvy user. Bluetooth allows for more custom control when it comes to volumes of different technologies and can be adjusted through hearing aids or an app.
Drawbacks of Bluetooth hearing aids
When Bluetooth-compatible devices are streaming to the hearing aid, the microphone inside the hearing aid may be turned off or turned down, depending on the hearing aid you are using and the way it is set by your hearing specialist. This can have its disadvantages, as you won’t have amplification of other environmental sounds around you during use if you prefer that.
Bluetooth-compatible hearing aids do require some simple set up steps before they can work with electronic devices, so you may require some help from your hearing healthcare professional or technology-savvy child. The transmitter converts the Bluetooth signal from the electronic device or mobile phone to a wireless signal that is understood by the hearing aid. Being out of range of the transmitter means that the Bluetooth signal will not reach the hearing aids.
Bluetooth-compatible hearing aids and accessories do come at a cost and may not be worth it for someone who doesn’t regularly use a cell phone, MP3 player, computer or TV.
If you are interested in Bluetooth-compatible hearing devices, talk to your hearing specialist about all of your options. Let them know of the listening situations you are in each day and the types of devices you use throughout the day. Ask to see a hearing aid and the streaming device, if required, and experience a real-time demonstration. Talk to your hearing specialist about how Bluetooth-compatible hearing aids could make your daily interactions with your world a better experience.
Thanks to modern technology, there are a number of cell phone accessories that work with your hearing aids to provide a more personal and fluid experience. There are several different ways to connect hearing aids to cell phones through the use of Bluetooth technology.
Many cell phones can be used with Bluetooth-enabled devices. Hearing aid accessories that provide a hands-free option may also be helpful.
What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth technology enables your hearing aids to be connected to a variety of different electronics, like your cell phone. Through a setting on your hearing aid, you can be linked to different technologies around you, which allows you to adjust volume settings personally with your devices.
Cell Phone Accessories
More about hearing aid compatible (HAC) cell phone accessories
HAC cell phone accessories are beneficial to hearing aid users for several reasons. They put distance between the hearing aid and the cell phone, which can cut down on any buzzing or feedback, as well as decrease any interference between the two devices.
Some HAC accessories can give you hands-free cell phone usage, which is especially important if you plan on using your cell phone while driving. You may also be able to use the speakerphone function on some devices if you use the microphone mode on your hearing aid.
All major cell phone manufacturers are now required to make HAC cell phones available to hearing aid users and many also have HAC cell phone accessories available as well.
It’s a good idea to talk with your cell phone provider to determine if the operating system works with their hearing aids. Additionally, talk with your hearing care provider to determine if Bluetooth can be utilized with your particular phone. Trying the phone with the device will give you a good idea of how well the accessory will work for you.
Keep in mind that some phones and devices may work differently once you leave the store, so it is also a good idea to find out about any money-back or satisfaction guarantees.