What are Bluetooth hearing aids and how do they work with my smartphone?

Like so many other areas of our lives, technology has driven some serious advances in hearing aids in recent years. People experiencing hearing loss now have more options than ever before to ensure their hearing aids are comfortable, effective and discrete.

As hearing aids have quickly become more technically-advanced, it’s become possible to  connect them with other devices such as smartphones and tablets using Bluetooth technology.

Connecting your hearing aids with other devices ensures a seamless and easily-controlled experience for the wearer, and gives you the ability to adjust your hearing aids quickly using an app on your smartphone.

If you’re researching Bluetooth hearing aids to work out if they’re the right choice for you, we break down some of the advantages below.

Why Bluetooth?

Historically, wearers of hearing aids have sometimes reported feeling frustrated at the limitations of their devices when it came to wanting to do simple things that other people took for granted. Their hearing aids needed regular adjustments, which involved removing the devices, and they were often not compatible with other technology.

For example, people who’ve worn hearing aids for years will be well aware of their previous limitations when it came to wanting to listen to music through a set of headphones, or wanting to quickly adjust sound levels for changes in your surroundings.

Bluetooth hearing aids have come to the forefront in recent years thanks to the way they allow wearers to seamlessly incorporate their hearing aids into their lives – not fit their lives around their hearing aids.

What are bluetooth hearing aids?

Bluetooth is a leading wireless connectivity technology, designed to connect two pieces of equipment over short distances using radio waves.

You may have used it to connect your smartphone to your car or other portable speakers, or seen it used in wireless headphones.

A Bluetooth hearing aid can recognise bluetooth signals and wirelessly communicates with them, using a Bluetooth subset called Bluetooth Low Energy.

A Bluetooth hearing aid can quickly pair with your smartphone, smartwatch or tablet to allow you to listen to music, podcasts or just conduct handsfree phone conversations more easily.

By connecting your hearing aids to the source – for example, your iPhone – you’re able to stream sound directly into your hearing aids. This gives you a better quality of sound and more flexibility to control your volume settings. There is no distance between what you’re listening to and your ear, meaning the signal is clear and crisp.

You will also be able to better control the sound levels around you, meaning you can quickly adjust your hearing aids to block out higher levels of background noise when required.

What are the sound controls like?

You’ll end up with a lot of control over what sounds you pick up from the world around you, and how loud you hear them. Bluetooth hearing aids come with a range of apps, meaning you can control your hearing aids easily from your smartphone, tablet or even smartwatch. That means not only adjusting volume but also treble and bass, making it easier to cut out the noise you don’t want to include and just keep what you do.

You can even save settings for your favourite places and geotag them so your hearing aids will easily adjust to your most-visited environments.

It also means that when a call comes through, you can answer it with the flick of a button and your call will be streamed directly into your hearing aids with an easily-controlled volume setting.

Do Bluetooth hearing aids work with all Bluetooth-enabled devices?

That depends on the hearing aid you select and the device you hold. Some hearing aids can use compatible assistive listening devices, often called streamers, to provide the link. Others don’t require this technology. A consultation with Health & Hearing in Brisbane can help you  determine the best aid for your needs – we’re happy to talk you through the options on the market and the pros and cons of each. Bluetooth hearing aids are a genuinely exciting piece of technology that can open up a whole new world of opportunities for people with hearing loss. At Health & Hearing, we’re excited about what they mean for our clients and would be happy to talk to you about the different options available on the market and how they could assist you.