Bluetooth isn't just a function on your smartphone anymore; Bluetooth is everywhere. For those people looking to purchase hearing aids, you shouldn't be surprised to find that Bluetooth technology is compatible with hearing aids now. There is so much out there it's making the experience of wearing a hearing aid a more personal and intimate one. What are the latest hearing aid technologies available for hearing aids and what are the benefits of using Bluetooth for your hearing?

What is Bluetooth?

Invented in 1994, this allows two or more devices to transfer information between one another via radio waves. Commonly seen in smartphones, it has provided an easy way for two devices to transfer information with ease.

How does it work?

Initially developed for wireless headsets, Bluetooth technology can transfer data in two ways. The first way is by Basic Rate/Enhanced Data Rate. This is used in headsets, wireless speakers, and as well as hands-free devices in cars. The second is via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), which maintains the same range of communication but uses less power, making it a perfect addition to Bluetooth hearing aids. Using a Bluetooth compatible hearing aid requires it to be paired with a streamer. But there are wireless ones as well.

How can Bluetooth improve your hearing experience?

Streaming via Bluetooth, either by streaming it to your smartphone (or an additional device like a smart television) provides many positives to the personal listening experience. As the audio signal can be set to stream to the hearing aid, this means you have a more personal in-ear experience. Whether streaming music or watching TV, by using the smartphone, the digital signal goes directly into the ear of the person listening to the sounds, and the volume can be altered to suit the listener's needs.

As with most mobile devices, you can modify the volume or program directly from the streamer. This is useful if your hearing aid is unable to make the most of these external controls. What can be beneficial for a hearer’s experience as far as entertainment is concerned, by having multiple devices paired to one streamer you can switch between them with ease. This means that you don't have to disconnect from each item. For example, you can stay connected to your smartphone while using your tablet to stream a movie or music.

What are the latest developments?

Bluetooth technology is only one part of connecting hearing aids to smartphones. Some hearing aid manufacturers have developed Bluetooth-connected devices, but in addition to this, they are exciting developments on the horizon directly related to Bluetooth and connectivity to hearing aids. In addition to connecting via Bluetooth, hearing aids are being developed to connect to the internet via the "internet of things," a broad term in tech now, where individual devices connect and communicate to each other via the internet. Numerous smart devices have taken advantage of this, and the hearing aid has been the latest. Bluetooth technology allows you to connect your hearing aids to any devices so alerts can get sent straight into your ear. For example, when talking on your smartphone or adjusting the television volume, you can get a notification directly into your ear.

Because we demand the latest in technology on our smartphones and computers, this doesn't mean our hearing aids should be left in the dust with regards to modern technological advancements. Hearing aids have improved in quality over the years, and have come a long way from the bulky devices of the 1960s and 1970s. If you are looking to change your hearing device, or you anticipate being diagnosed with a hearing condition, there is no reason to feel that a hearing aid should limit your lifestyle. Choosing the right hearing aid with a Bluetooth device means you can go about your business like usual and get the most out of it. Whether you need to focus on your work or looking to catch up on the latest shows, your hearing aid can be a great help.

As hearing aids are becoming a more intelligent and sophisticated device, we can use this to our advantage in our daily living. If you're looking for more information on hearing aids and the latest Bluetooth technology, you can contact AA Hearing Aid Center Inc. at (203) 348-2271. If you're looking for your first hearing aid or considering making an upgrade, the options are endless.