Developers of hearing aids are always looking for new and improved ways to make hearing aids better and more useful in people’s lives. That’s where Bluetooth hearing aids come in. Bluetooth technology makes it easier for hearing aid users to connect their hearing aids to various devices for improved sound quality directly from the sound source.
Bluetooth hearing aids can be wirelessly connected via wireless streaming accessories to devices like televisions, cell phones, FM systems, GPS systems, and PDA. Bluetooth technology works similarly to wireless Internet, where sounds are sent through an invisible electronic signal.
Bluetooth accessories are compatible with most styles of hearing aids, including behind-the-ear (BTE), mini BTE, in-the-ear, and in-the-canal styles, though each manufacturer provides a different array of products and accessories that are Bluetooth-enabled.
What are the benefits of Bluetooth hearing aids?
As with any hearing aid, Bluetooth hearing aids have some benefits and downsides. One benefit is that using Bluetooth 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 but provide high-quality sound.
Many years ago, the telecoil was a new, exciting technology that allowed people with hearing aids to use landline phones. Similarly, Bluetooth is now the exciting new technology that makes connectivity to the everyday world a more widespread and reliable possibility for hearing aid users. Making phone calls, using a tablet or computer, and even watching TV at home can be an enjoyable experience for the tech-savvy user. Bluetooth can also eliminate the annoyances of technology use, such as feedback and static noise interference, associated with traditional hearing aids.
What are the disadvantages of Bluetooth hearing aids?
When Bluetooth streams 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 experience amplification of other environmental sounds around you during use, which you may typically prefer.
Bluetooth hearing aids do require some simple set-up steps before they can work with electronic devices, so you may require some help from your audiologist or even your tech-savvy child. Plus, they require the hearing aid wearer to use a small transmitter accessory. The transmitter converts the Bluetooth signal from the electronic device or mobile phone to a wireless signal that is understood by the hearing aid. If you are out of range of the transmitter, the Bluetooth signal will not reach the hearing aid.
Bluetooth hearing aids and accessories can also be pricey, and they 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 hearing aids, talk to our hearing specialists 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 streaming device and experience a real-time demonstration. Finally, talk to your hearing specialist about how Bluetooth hearing aids could make your daily interactions with your world a better experience.