Hearing aids have been revolutionized with Bluetooth, there is no doubt. Our company is at the forefront of product development for digital hearing aids and can share a lot of insights with our clients. For the last couple of years, advancements in mobile and electronic technology have made it possible for a variety of devices to be connected. As hearing aids evolved at its own rapid pace, so did Bluetooth in recent years. Over time, we have become used to our smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers and other devices having a standard Bluetooth feature. Although Bluetooth has become more important in the modern age, for some time it’s been overlooked by so many consumers. It goes without saying that everything and everyone is connected. A simple thing such as Bluetooth has made it possible for people with hearing problems or severity of high hearing loss to also be more connected.
If we are not overly technical: Bluetooth is a communication technology that offers the chance for a variety of devices (normally two or more) to be connected. In addition to this, Bluetooth technology connects electronic devices within a short range and assists in easy transfer of information. Although it might seem uncanny, Bluetooth allows users to share whatever they want, in a secure and offline way, meaning you don’t require any internet access.
We can now connect several devices and use them as we please. Connecting your phone to your home stereo, allows you to play music and watch videos with better sound quality. Tablets and computers can exchange large documents, without using the internet or limit sharing capacity on e-mail services.
What is Bluetooth Hearing Aids?
Now that we know how Bluetooth works and know that it can be found in different electronic devices, we can combine this communication technology with hearing aids. Bluetooth can only work when it is switched on, or when it receives energy from an electronic device. Bluetooth hearing aids work different, as it needs to use a low amount of energy to ensure the hearing aid can function as normal.
Modern hearing aids that are Bluetooth compatible contain a small wire called a Telecoil. These wires search and locate the necessary Bluetooth connection and connect either manually or automatically. In some new devices like the Kirkland 9.0 from Costco, has no telecoil, which won’t be able to connect to Bluetooth devices.
Bluetooth technology in hearing aids use, BLE or known as Bluetooth Low Energy. This helps maintain a short-range connection between devices and consuming less of the hearing aids battery power. Because Bluetooth uses high-frequency radio waves, a connection at lower power inputs will still deliver the needed requirement. In recent Bluetooth technology advancements, it has become easier for hearing aids to be connected with a variety of devices.
Hearing aids are very compatible with an assistive listening device that is worn around the neck by the user and ensure clearer and crisper speech. Many of these devices also function well on speech recognition and helps the user better identify speech patterns in both real life settings and on television.
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Can I connect my Bluetooth Hearing Aid with my smartphone?
The answer is both, yes and no. Depending on the brand and model you’re using will entail whether or not you’ll be able to connect your smartphone. Consumers have to make sure they purchase the right hearing aid if they want to make use of its Bluetooth connectivity. Your hearing aids must have a 2.4GHz connection, as this will help with stronger connectivity. Smartphones that carry their Bluetooth technology can cover a range from 16ft to 98ft, but this won’t always be the same for your hearing aids. Apple users can now also use their hearing aids, as the company have developed ‘Made for iPhone’ technology that can assist users in streaming sound straight from any Apple device. This can be limited to only an iPhone or iPad, as technology software for the Apple Watch hasn’t been finalized.
Your hearing aids can connect with your smartphone, even if you’re using two hearing aids. This is where BLE helps with the problem and made it possible to use less hearing aid energy and still maintain a clear Bluetooth connection.
Android hasn’t yet made a lot of breakthroughs for users to connect and stream sound directly from their device to their hearing aids, but the Bluetooth technology is already a big step forward.
What other devices can I connect to my Bluetooth Hearing Aids?
Because these hearing aids only use a 2.4GHz frequency it might not always be possible to connect your laptop, computer or television too. The solution is that you simply need to purchase an assistive listening device, which you can use to help you, stream from TV and other electronic devices.
An assistive listening device which will automatically connect with your hearing aids can stream sound from the TV directly to your hearing aids. The small device can also be worn around the neck and can be used in more noisy environments to cancel out background noise. Some people use it in classrooms, restaurants or any other social gathering.
What type of Bluetooth Hearing Aids can you get?
Hearing aid companies have made it easier for users to choose which hearing aid they would require. This is to say if the user had a recent visit to an ENT or audiologist, and received their hearing test results.
Here are some of the latest and newest Bluetooth hearing aids on the market;
Obviously we believe this is the top of the range yet delivered at the best price. One of the latest hearing aids provided by Nano Hearing Aids gives the user the capability to make use of its Bluetooth technology. The wireless connection helps you control a variety of settings on your smartphone device. These hearing aids are quite simple and easy to use, as it helps with noise reduction and can be controlled via the Nano Mobile App. The Nano Sigma is very affordable, coming in at $997,99 per pair.
ReSound Hearing Aids
This company boast about 4 different hearing aids, all with Bluetooth connectivity. Their models are ReSound LiNX Quattro, LiNX 3D, ENZO Q and ENZO 3D. Although all of their models have different features for different users, it does offer this technology at a somewhat higher price. Anything from $1200,00 to around $4900,00 per pair. Their models feature customization options, small and easy to use and can also adapt hearing quality for different environments.
Although manufactured in Germany, their latest Bluetooth model, the Embrace X-920 includes a variety of Bluetooth functionality with the added choice of a rechargeable or size 312 battery models. The Embrace is very simple in its functionality, as it ensures clearer speech recognition to help make speech more clear for the user. Depending on their needs, their models are small and work perfectly for people with mild to severe hearing loss. Prices start at around $899,99 per aid.
Each hearing aid can work for different levels of hearing loss severity. The Widex Beyond Fusion 2 work well with users who suffer from tinnitus relief. This model has a wide variety of different functions and apps that are compatible with the device, making it very user friendly. It features a receiver-in-ear (RIC) telecoil and uses 312 batteries. Widex created relief software which is a Zen tone feature. They also come pre-installed with 15 various channels, and five customizable channels. Prices range can be anything from $1799,99 to around $3598,00.
What are the advantages of Bluetooth Hearing Aids?
These hearing aids do boast a wide variety of different features and advantages to regular aids. Bluetooth connectivity makes it possible for users to have clearer and crisper hearing quality. The connectivity also helps wearers to work on more devices such as computers, tablets, laptops and TV. Although they do come at a higher price and might require more battery power from the hearing aids, they can be deemed valuable in the quality they deliver.
Some companies have different hearing aids for different levels of hearing severity, and each different model can be customized to suit the needs of the user. Bluetooth communication helps the user to also make better use of assistive listening devices. An added advantage is that a lot of these hearing aids are also now compatible with both Android and Apple devices, and can carry the necessary Mobile App which can help with functionality.