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Hearing aid technology is developing at a rapid rate. Along with the development of earbuds and other devices for streaming audio, it is becoming more and more important to have access to sound from our smartphones, computers, and media players when we need it. Whether videoconferencing, listening to the audio for a training video, or simply enjoying music during the working day, our ability to stream audio from devices is an important part of technology-assisted life.
However, how can these functions be available for a person with hearing loss? Those who use hearing aids would need to toggle between the devices with cumbersome insertion and removal of devices again and again. The good news is that Bluetooth technology has made it possible to combine these functions into a single unit. The benefits of Bluetooth hearing aids go far beyond the ability to stream media directly to the units.
Let’s take a look at a few of the new affordances of Bluetooth technology for those with hearing loss.
What is Bluetooth technology?
Through a collaboration between multiple tech companies, Bluetooth technology was an innovation to connect multiple devices and to digitally transmit data between them. By using radio waves at a very high frequency, these devices are able to communicate without disturbance from other sounds and with a high degree of privacy maintained. As opposed to other wireless technology, Bluetooth is compatible with multiple devices and types of audio information, making it perfectly suited to hearing aids.
How does Bluetooth apply to hearing aids?
Although hearing aids of the past were hardware units existing exclusively in the context of the ears, Bluetooth technology has made it possible for hearing aids to “communicate” with other devices, media services, and types of audio. This wireless connection makes hearing aids compatible with smartphone, computer, telephone, television, and a wide array of other technologies. Not only can Bluetooth send audio to hearing aids, but it can also make it possible for hearing aids to integrate environmental sound in new ways.
The benefits of Bluetooth technology when it comes to hearing aids works in two distinct ways. In the first case, hearing aids are able to better function due to compatibility with apps that connect through Bluetooth. Consider the past models of hearing aids. In order to turn up or down the volume of the units, you had to manually manipulate the settings. Particularly for those with dexterity issues or arthritis, it was difficult to handle these small devices.
Now, Bluetooth makes it possible to control hearing aid settings through the use of apps. By wirelessly sending information to hearing aids, you are able to change the volume, reduce a certain type of sound, and eliminate feedback. Remarkably these apps can automatically respond to changing conditions in environmental sound, as well.
In addition to making hearing aids work better without manually adjusting them, Bluetooth technology also makes it possible for these devices to pick up audio from other functions, such as a phone call, music player, or television. The ability to fluidly move between different sound applications is incredibly useful, particularly for those who have trouble hearing on the phone.
Rather than trying to deal with using hearing aids while talking on the phone, a common source of struggle and feedback, Bluetooth makes it possible to send the audio from the call directly to the hearing aid units. The sound of the ringer or notification can be sent directly to the devices, as well. Not only can calls be picked up by hearing aids, but you can send the audio for television or movies just as you would use headphones or earbuds. For those who find themselves turning up the television to a loud volume that frustrates others, this Bluetooth function can be helpful for everyone in the household!
Hearing Aid Technology
With these many benefits of Bluetooth technology when it comes to hearing aids, why not inquire about the new technological possibilities available to you? Beyond these functional offerings, Bluetooth is said to improve audio quality, the ability to coordinate two units into one “binaural” sound, and to improve signal stability. Particularly for those whose hearing aids do not have a wireless function, it may be time to pursue an upgrade that offers these benefits. Contact us today to learn more!