As a reliable practice with years of experience in the industry, we have seen hearing aids grow and evolve. The difference between modern devices and the first hearing aids is astounding. New technology has made hearing aids smarter and more effective than they once were, and the introduction of wireless connectivity has really allowed them to make great strides.
What is wireless connectivity in hearing aids?
Put simply; it refers to a variety of connectivity options that don’t need any wires at all. This means that you have the ability to connect your hearing aids to numerous things – or to connect items to your hearing aid via one of the wireless connectivity options.
Naturally, the connectivity options can vary from product to product, depending on the hearing aid manufacturer and how advanced the device is. In this piece, we will run through the three most common forms of wireless connectivity in hearing aids and explain to you how they work:
Telecoil and hearing loops
A hearing loop is a unique sound system specially created to help people with hearing aids. You can find these loops in many public settings, such as at the bank, in a cinema, and so on. Hearing loops work by creating a magnetic field that wirelessly connects to something called a telecoil in your hearing aid. Most hearing aids in modern times will have a telecoil, and it’s a small copper wire coiled around inside.
The loop itself refers to a physical loop created, usually by copper wiring around a certain area. You won’t see this as it’s usually hidden in the walls or under the floor, but the loop system will generate the magnetic field and then convert sound from within the field to a wireless signal. As mentioned above, the telecoil then receives this signal and processes the sound through your hearing aid.
Consequently, you can now hear things a lot clearer than before. It’s a really popular wireless system in busy public places where there can be a lot of background noise. Instead of trying to hear through your hearing aid, you get the sound transmitted directly into it. All you have to do is switch your telecoil on when you see the sign for a hearing loop. If you don’t see a clear sign, ask someone that works there if they have a hearing loop.
A more modern example of wireless connectivity in hearing aids is Bluetooth. This is a common type of wireless connection found in so many devices around the home. Your mobile phone will have Bluetooth, meaning you can connect your hearing aid to it.
From here, all sorts of features can be unlocked. Some hearing aids are compatible with phones, meaning you can stream music and play other sounds from the device through your hearing aids. Again, you get the sense of the sound being played directly into your ears, so you can hear things clearly and with less distortion. It makes listening to music much more enjoyable and makes it easier to talk on the phone.
Then, you have hearing aid apps that connect your phone and hearing aid via Bluetooth. Here, you can use the app to control various settings, check the battery of your hearing aid, set program profiles, and much more.
It’s worth noting that you can connect a Bluetooth hearing aid to other Bluetooth devices as well. For instance, if your TV has Bluetooth capabilities, you can connect to it and hear your TV through your hearing aids. This is one of the best advancements in wireless technology for hearing aids, making life so much more convenient for people with hearing loss.
Remote microphones are an older example of wireless technology in hearing devices, but deserve mention. Remote microphones are microphones you can place in different locations and connect wirelessly to your hearing aids. As a result, you can pick up more of the sounds from close to the microphone.
These devices are typically used in noisy environments or when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone. Instead of relying on the microphone in your hearing aid to pick up noises, you use the remote mic for more clarity. Admittedly, these are going out of fashion as hearing loops and Bluetooth are more convenient.
Contact us for hearing aid help
Need assistance with your hearing aid? Want to learn more about wireless connectivity? Contact an audiologist today by calling Nola Aronson’s Advanced Audiology on (661) 253-3277, and we’ll book you an appointment.