Bluetooth Technology and Hearing Aids
When you purchase hearing aids or start to look into these devices, it’s worth noting there are a variety of styles and features to choose from. There was a time when hearing aids were less customized to the wearer's experience. Technology has grown and evolved to the point where hearing aids can include a range of different features and technology. One example of this would be simultaneous settings. Hearing aids can be equipped with memory features so that you can set up different levels for individual environments. So, you can set your hearing aid for a quiet room or a loud environment. Another possible technology to consider is Bluetooth. So, let’s look at what this tech is, why it’s important and how it’s relevant to hearing aid wearers.
What is Bluetooth technology?
Do you have a cell phone? Chances are that these days that device is equipped with Bluetooth support. This means that you can use it to connect wirelessly with other Bluetooth devices. By doing so, you can digitally transfer information directly to a device without wires. In the case of hearing aids, the information being transferred is sound. You can input sound directly into the ear through the hearing aid using Bluetooth technology.
The benefit of this is that the sound is more precise and distinct. You don’t have to worry about interference or issues with volume. So, it’s particularly useful in settings where you don’t want to hear other sources of noise
What can you connect to with Bluetooth?
With Bluetooth hearing aids, you will be able to connect to a range of different devices and technology. Basically, you can link to any Bluetooth enabled device and today that’s pretty much anything. Games consoles, music players, phones, TVs, stereos, radios and your car all tend to have Bluetooth support. Once connected, you’ll be able to play sound straight from those devices. So, you can listen to a phone call through your hearing aid rather than using the headpiece. Or, you can watch TV while the sound is on low for other people, so it doesn’t become annoying. The possibilities here are endless.
Are Bluetooth hearing aids more expensive?
You might find that hearing aids with Bluetooth technology are a tad more expensive. However, prices are not unreasonable, and this is not usually seen as an innovative advancement. That means you don’t have to worry about hearing aids with this tech rising above your budget.
Do any hearing aids not have Bluetooth?
Aside from lower value hearing aids, you also need to think about the size of the hearing aid that you are investing in. Smaller hearing aids that are easily hidden tend not to have this type of technology built in. The reason is that they are just not large enough to handle this level of support. They are also not built for this type of capability and example of that would be in the ear canal hearing aids. These hearing aids are designed for mild hearing loss. If you are suffering from this level of hearing difficulty you can ask your audiologist about these devices. But don’t expect the latest tech possibilities like Bluetooth to come as standard.
What are the alternatives?
An alternative to Bluetooth that you might find with some hearing aids would be infrared. Infrared is another way to transmit information over a wireless connection. In this case, though, it’s about linking using a laser. Infrared does have limitations as well. For instance, there are limits on the type of information that can be transmitted and there are limits on the kind of range. Generally speaking, Bluetooth will provide a broader range.
One final point to be aware of is that Bluetooth technology does require a significant level of power. You will usually find that using this capability will run down the batteries on your hearing aids faster than more standard usage. If you understand this, you can avoid accidentally running your batteries flat just before you need your hearing aids the most.
We hope this answers all the questions that you might have about Bluetooth technology and hearing aids. If you have any more questions, make sure that you visit Carolina Hearing Services. Contact one of our offices by calling:
- Charleston: (843) 556-4327
- Daniel Island: (843) 971-4199
- Greenville: (864) 603-2111
- Spartanburg: (864) 606-4884
- Columbia: (803) 788-6688