This blog often discusses the many new and innovative changes to hearing aid technology. One of the most important and prevalent advances to hearing aids has been the addition of Bluetooth. This wireless technology now makes hearing aids much more accessible and user-friendly for wearers! Read on to learn more about Bluetooth hearing aids in this blog.
What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth, developed in 1989 and named after a Viking king, is a wireless technology that uses radio waves to communicate data, rather than cables or wires. Bluetooth technology is now in nearly every phone and computer, allowing you to wirelessly connect with the world.
Bluetooth technology has been incorporated into hearing aids for some years now. However, it is important to understand that hearing aids themselves do not have Bluetooth in them—hearing aids are often Bluetooth-enabled, meaning they can connect to any device that does have Bluetooth in it, such as a smartphone, TV, or a tablet.
Recently, Apple created a new connectivity that ensures hearing aids can communicate directly with any device that is running their operating system; so, any Apple device will connect to certain hearing aids (these Bluetooth hearing aids are often labeled “Made for iPhone”).
Bluetooth and Hearing Aids
So what can Bluetooth do for you? Bluetooth allows hearing aid users to listen to the phone in both ears simultaneously, and a phone can even be programmed to ring directly into your hearing aids.
Bluetooth can also help settle those debates over the television volume, as it enables you to hear the TV directly in your hearing aids. When you want to listen to music, your iPod or mp3 player can send the sound signals directly to your hearing aids via Bluetooth—no more need for headphones.
As virtually all computers are now equipped with Bluetooth, you can connect your Bluetooth hearing aids to your computer. This makes using the computer a lot easier, as you can watch Netflix, have video chats or conference calls, and hear YouTube videos through your hearing aids. For volume control, just adjust the volume on your hearing aids, rather than struggling with headphones or computer speakers.
Bluetooth vs Telecoil
If you’re familiar with telecoils and hearing induction loops, you might be wondering how that can incorporate with Bluetooth hearing aids. A telecoil is a type of technology inside many hearing aids that allow users to tune in to a loop—a special type of sound system for people with hearing loss that amplifies sound and cuts out background noise.
One of the advantages of the loop is the range—while Bluetooth users need to be within 30 feet of the transmitter, a loop is transportable and has a much wider range, making it ideal for auditoriums, restaurants, and other large venues. However, Bluetooth technology is everywhere and easily connected to hearing aids, so it is a wise decision to consider hearing aids that are equipped with both Bluetooth and telecoil technology!
By: Elena McPhillips