When you think of hearing aids, what comes to mind? If you’re like many others, you might imagine a clunky hard plastic unit that sits in the curves of the outer ear. Hearing aid technology has advanced remarkably from the time of these models, and the latest use Bluetooth connectivity to provide a wider array of options than ever before. When you think of a Bluetooth-equipped hearing aid, you might feel hesitant to take the plunge. Sometimes Bluetooth devices have trouble pairing, and your association with the technology might be based on some faulty experiences in the past. The good news is that Bluetooth-equipped hearing aids are an excellent tool to respond to the environment, and they come with a wide range of benefits over analog devices. Let’s look through some of these benefits to keep in mind while you’re considering which aids to buy.
Perhaps the most striking benefit of Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids is the potential connection with your smartphone. In the first place, you can use an app to dial in the settings to a place you prefer. Older models of hearing aids tended to turn up the volume on the entire sonic profile of the environment, meaning that they amplified the sound of background noise right alongside the voices of people in a room. Bluetooth transforms that soundscape into a digital audio signal ready for analysis and transformation. Your smartphone app can modify which types of sound you want to hear ranging from low to high. They can also customize certain settings for the places you frequent. Perhaps you’d like a certain setting for a restaurant, another for a church service, and yet another for your home. The app makes it easy to switch between these different profiles to get the best audio quality possible.
Not only can you use your hearing aids with a smartphone app, but you can often connect with other apps on your device. In the first place, you can connect to the ringer and notifications on your phone, so that you don’t miss a call or a text message. Just like wireless earbuds, your hearing aids can become a vehicle for streaming other types of media, as well. You can add music, podcasts, audiobooks, and the sound for videos through your devices. This ability to synch with media doesn’t compromise your environmental hearing ability. You can switch seamlessly between a song on your smartphone and the song of a bird in a tree!
Hands-free and Wireless
When you are moving between a phone call, a song in your music player, and listening for sound in the world, you might have been frustrated in the past dealing with cords, cables, and changing settings on your smartphone. Just like a Bluetooth headset, your hearing aids can coordinate with voice commands to make it possible to operate hands-free and wireless for all these functions. These features are particularly useful while you are driving. If you’re using your hearing aids to listen for emergency vehicles and the sounds of other cars on the road, you might hear a phone call coming in. If you coordinate with voice activation, you can ask your smartphone to pick up the call without needing to look away from the road. This feature is not only convenient but also an important safety feature provided by Bluetooth.
In addition to all these added features, many people appreciate the superior audio quality of Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids. These devices can give you a different sonic profile in your two ears, enabling “binaural” listening. With improved signal stability across multiple channels, you can trust a consistent and clear audio profile enabled by your aids. If you are ready to take the plunge and get treatment for hearing loss, Bluetooth connectivity is an important feature to consider. As you weigh the options, you can even seek out information or a testimonial from someone who already uses the technology with their aids. Although some of these new features might not sound right for you, you might be surprised how many can become a helpful facet of your daily life if you just give them a try!