Want To Hear Better In Almost Any Situation? Embrace Bluetooth!
Dr. Mandi Solat
Assisted Listening Devices that Seamlessly Interact with Bluetooth-Enabled Hearing Aids Can Re-Open the World to Those with Hearing Loss
People who address and overcome any degree of hearing loss are likely wearing hearing aids that are Bluetooth enabled. And wearing a Bluetooth-enabled device represents a quantum leap from hearing aids of the past.
Newer, Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids can:
· Stream TV sound directly to ears
· Transcribe conversations to text
· Help find lost hearing aids
· Provide tinnitus relief
· Facilitate hands-free phone conversations
· Make listening in noisy places comfortable
· Personalized listening experiences
· Harness connections from multiple sound sources
· Use remote control applications through smartphones or other devices that customize sound discreetly.
Imagine being able to have clear FaceTime or Zoom calls stream directly into your hearing aids: Bluetooth makes that possible!
Bluetooth technology makes it possible for personal electronic devices like mobile phones, music players, or TVs, to stream signals directly to hearing aids. Signals through Bluetooth also help users hear better under specific sound conditions, like in meetings, lecture halls, or rooms with significant background noise.
With Bluetooth technology, audio signals may be set to stream to one or both hearing aids, and those streams can be amplified and shaped to match personalized settings. That helps turn hearing aids into a set of wireless ear buds for streaming music. It can also help direct streams to just one hearing aid while keeping the other aid available to pick up ambient sounds.
Additionally, multiple devices may be paired via Bluetooth so that wearers can easily switch between sound sources. A person can be connected to a mobile phone while a movie is streaming from a tablet. If the phone rings, audio from a tablet can be interrupted or paused, so that the wearer can begin a conversation.
Hearing aid technology has grown while the size of hearing aids has shrunk; that means the surface areas of hearing aids can’t accommodate robust controls for volume, sound adjustments, or programming. But Bluetooth now makes it possible for adjustments to be made remotely, usually via a smartphone app. Users gain the ability to adjust volume, account for additional background noise, or have aids programmed by audiology professionals, in the palm of their hands.
Apple has patented Bluetooth connectivity with hearing aids to allow direct communication with iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. Apple’s Bluetooth adaptation provides devices with a direct connection in stereo without extreme battery power drain. For mobile phones and devices that run on the Android platform, similar connectivity is available on some platforms.
Here are some of the hearing aid accessories that can help make navigating the landscape of hearing loss just a little easier.
Having devices that connect wirelessly from smartphones to hearing aids via Bluetooth has become an essential part of reopening the world to people with hearing loss. Whether it is making phone calls, listening to music, or just having conversations, smartphone connectivity brings a versatility to hearing aids that may even be the envy of people who are not hearing compromised.
One device that is a considered remote microphone, yet Audiology and Hearing Aid Center of Lakewood, CO finds extremely robust and versatile for its Bluetooth connectivity to smartphones and multifaceted functionality, is the ConnectClip from Oticon.
The Connect Clip allows hearing aid users to make hands-free phone calls and stream music from iPhone® or Android™ enabled smartphones. It facilitates hands-free talking while driving, working, or performing other tasks.
When using ConnectClip with a smartphone, it transmits calls directly to both hearing aids in stereo and has built-in microphones to clearly capture speech. It has a noise reduction feature to make sure a user’s voice comes through clearly, even if background noise is present.
With remote microphone functionality, the Connect Clip helps users distinguish speech from a distance or in noisy places. It can be attached to the lapel of a primary speaker a during a lecture or business presentation, or to a friend in a noisy restaurant.
It is capable of making video calls on phones, computers, or tablets with a Bluetooth connectivity on platforms like Zoom, Facetime, Skype, and Microsoft teams. It captures clear sound, and in stereo.
Connect Clip comes with a remote-control app that runs on a phone, tablet, or computer, and acts as a remote control to adjust hearing aids. This means changes can be made discreetly for volume levels, acoustic environments, and to mute microphones.
Landline updated Phone Adapter 2.0 now pairs with ConnectClip and works with your existing home analog landline phone to turn your hearing instruments into a wireless headset. During a call, your hearing aids become the headset, and the ConnectClip, attached near your collar, functions as a microphone. To answer a call, simply press a button on your ConnectClip. The Phone Adapter 2.0 plus ConnectClip supports both incoming and outgoing phone calls.
Stream your favorite programs to your hearing aids and enjoy them at the volume you choose.The TV adapter connects to almost any audio device using the cables provided.Effective from a range of up to 45 feet.
There are other accessories that do not require Bluetooth, but worth the mention:
The Remote Control 2.0 allows users to operate Oticon hearing instruments discreetly without any other devices needed. The Remote Control is a convenient solution for all wireless instruments. It is an excellent option for users whose instruments do not have controls.
Bluetooth-enabled remote microphones and TV that may include similar features are also offered by other manufacturers.
With Oticon SafeLine™ you gain the confidence that your hearing aids will not be lost, fall off or become damaged, no matter how demanding the action gets.
All the manufacturers offer many remote microphones that range in use from one-on-one conversations to table gatherings that include multiple people speaking. They offer TV adapter solutions, remote controls, and many other accessories.