A variety of hearing aids now come equipped with Bluetooth technology. Many people find Bluetooth hearing aids to be helpful in their daily lives. But is it a necessary addition, or are traditional hearing aids still suitable? Audicus investigates the advantages and drawbacks of Bluetooth hearing aids.
What are Bluetooth Hearing Aids?
At its most basic, 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 and tablets.
Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids have been around for quite a few years, and tech companies are embracing the trend. Apple recently created a new 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”).
Pros of Bluetooth Hearing Aids
There are many advantages to using these hearing aids. WithBluetooth-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 hearing aids—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.
Cons of Bluetooth Hearing Aids
While Bluetooth hearing aids are definitely great for making life easier, there are some drawbacks to this technology. The main issue that users have with them is the need to use a streamer. This is a small remote-like object that is often worn around the neck or in a pocket. This can be a nuisance and you need to have the streamer nearby in order to take advantage of the Bluetooth capability.
Another disadvantage of hearing aids with Bluetooth is the battery drain. Bluetooth capability drains the battery of any device (turn it off on your cell phone to conserve battery!) and hearing aids are no exception. Hearing aid batteries are expensive to begin with, and another source of battery drain is something to be considered.
Do I Need Bluetooth Hearing Aids?
It depends on what you’re looking for with your hearing aids. Bluetooth hearing aids do offer the best sound quality, so if you wear hearing aids full-time it is probably a good idea to go with Bluetooth. If you wear hearing aids sporadically or only in certain environments, you may decide that Bluetooth is not necessary for your needs. Bluetooth hearing aids are more expensive and lose battery more quickly than traditional hearing aids, and require users to carry a separate streaming device. Talk to your audiologist or doctor and consider your hearing needs before deciding whether Bluetooth hearing aids are right for you.
By: Elena McPhillips