Advantages of using Bluetooth for hearing aid wearers
Bluetooth within hearing aids essentially means that your hearing Bluetooth technology has been around for some time in the likes of speakers and headphone. Essentially when coupled together across high-frequency radio channels Bluetooth devices communicate with each other to transfer information. Historically, this function may have relied on relatively large sized batteries (not possible for hearing aids where often the battery is small to fit with desired cosmetic requirements of a hearing aid) but the roll out of Bluetooth 4.0 which consumes less battery meant to the extension of Bluetooth to the hearing aid technology world. Connectivity comes in multiple forms but the overall consensus is that the technology offers great advantages for audio sound quality for hearing aid wearers.
Other Advantages of Bluetooth Hearing aids connect to Apple iphone, Android, laptops or PCs
Bluetooth functionality in your hearing aids enables to you to connect and listen to a whole host of devices such as your phone, mobile, TV and tablet. When paired with manufacturers designed Bluetooth accessories such as TV streamers, remote microphones and table mics the hearing devices’ ability to hear over distance or background noise is boosted, offering extra benefit to wearers when in more complicated listening environments.
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Types of Bluetooth hearing aids
Wireless vs non-wireless
In the private hearing aid world the word “wireless” is responsible for features which allow the hearing aids to communicate together or to hearing aid computer programming devices. It allows for binaural (both ears) features in the aid such as volume control adjustments made to one side but affecting both sides and noise reduction that uses information provide from both aids. This is not to be confused with Bluetooth compatible which talks about the ability for the hearing aid to be control by a user’s device connected via Bluetooth such as a remote, phone or tablet.
Direct vs Indirect
Direct audio streaming is only possible with Bluetooth compatible hearing aids. Prior to the release of directly compatible aids Bluetooth audio required an additional streamer to act as an intermediate device which sends the audio to your hearing aids. These streamers, sold as accessories, were commonly worn around the neck of the hearing aid wearer and often doubled up as remote controls. More recent advancements have cut out the need for the intermediate streamer, allowing the hearing aids themselves to connect directly to the device you want to hear the sound from.
Made for iPhone vs made for All
The very first generations of directly compatible devices where produced for Apple iphone and many of the manufacturers current aids still only offer this functionality. The can stream your mobile telephone calls without the need for an additional streamer. Later some manufacturers have released products which are compatible with both Apple and Android telephones, another few manufacturers then going on to design aids that are compatible with any Bluetooth enabled device such as laptops.
Are Bluetooth hearing aids easy to use? The answer is yes!
Lots of wearers, existing or new, express reservations in our clinics about Bluetooth devices being too complicated to handle. In most cases this isn’t the case. The technology has been designed to make life easier not harder and once shown how to use by your audiologist or hearing specialist, is simple enough for even the most advanced technophobe. Bluetooth use is never compulsory but it does often present a wow factor and we would urge most new users to discuss auditability with their hearing professional.
NHS hearing aids and Bluetooth
The gap between NHS hearing aids and private hearing aids is not as large as is had been previously. A common misconception when being told that the NHS are switching to offer “wireless technology” that this means Bluetooth compatible. Bluetooth streaming hearing aids are still only available on the private market.
How much do Bluetooth hearing aids cost?
Our Bluetooth hearing aids start at £995 per aid. Want to find out more about our Bluetooth hearing aids? Contact us. Why not also learn about our rechargeable hearing aids or our find out more about choosing your hearing aids.