Buying Bluetooth Hearing Aids: Are They Right For You?
While many find Bluetooth hearing aids to be helpful in their daily lives it’s not right for everyone. Here’s what you need to know when making your decision.
What Are Bluetooth Hearing Aids?
Bluetooth is a wireless communication technology that allows devices to connect remotely to other devices. In terms of hearing aid technology, Bluetooth capability allows hearing aids to connect wirelessly to cell phones, televisions, and computers or tablets.
Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids have been around for quite a few years, and tech companies are embracing the trend. Apple created a connection that ensures hearing aids can work with any device that is running the iOS operating system (look for hearing aids labeled “Made for iPhone”).
The Pros of Bluetooth Hearing Aids
There are many advantages to using these hearing aids. With Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids, you can take phone calls directly through your hearing aids. You can connect to your television and adjust the volume of your stream to your ears—no more fighting with your spouse or children about how loud the TV should be!
Bluetooth hearing aids can also connect directly to your laptop or tablet. You can watch Netflix, conduct video chats, and laugh at Youtube videos all through your hearing aids. You control the volume through a separate remote, rather than struggling with computer speakers.
Why Some Choose Not to Get Bluetooth Hearing Aids
While Bluetooth hearing aids are definitely great for making life easier for some, this technology is not for everyone. Especially for those who’d rather not deal with additional tech and want to keep their hearing aids simple. They require a streaming device, typically a remote, worn on the neck or in a pocket. If you’re not into gadgets, this may feel burdensome.
Another consideration with Bluetooth hearing aids is battery drain. Bluetooth capability drains the battery faster for any device (turn it off on your cell phone to conserve battery!) and hearing aids are no exception.
Do I Need Bluetooth Hearing Aids?
It depends on what you’re looking for. Bluetooth hearing aids do offer better sound quality and allow you to stream sound from any device with Bluetooth output. If you’re a tech-savvy hearing aid user who enjoys music, conversations on the phone, or TV and movies, they’re a great fit. If you’re worried about battery drain or figuring out additional technology then the upgrade might not be best for you.
As Bluetooth becomes more commonly used, the demand for this feature continues to grow as well as user comfort with it. But if you want to keep things simple, high-quality hearing aids, programmed to your hearing test will work just fine without.
By: Elena McPhillips, Update by Kim Smith in 2021