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Bluetooth hearing aids are becoming increasingly common among leading hearing care brands. They allow people to link their hearing aids to mobile phones and other devices.
This article covers what Bluetooth hearing aids are, their advantages and disadvantages, examples of Bluetooth hearing aids, and hearing aid health.
Bluetooth technology allows two or more devices to connect wirelessly using radio waves. These devices usually need to be in close proximity.
Bluetooth hearing aids allow users to link their mobile phones, speakers, computers, tablets, or music systems to their hearing devices. Some smart televisions are also compatible with them. This function may help people hear phone calls, music, and audio more clearly.
A person may wish to choose a Bluetooth hearing aid because of its compatibility with a range of devices.
Some advantages of Bluetooth hearing aids include:
- No need for wires: A person can hear music and audio from a TV or computer without needing earbuds or headphones.
- Hands-free calls: People do not need to put their ear to their mobile phone to hear as the audio streams directly into their hearing aids.
- Control via a smartphone: Some Bluetooth hearing aids are compatible with mobile phones, allowing people to control volume and settings discreetly and efficiently.
- Connection to hearing loops: Hearing loops, which provide a magnetic wireless connection to hearing aids, are usually available in public venues such as theaters and courts. They can cut out background noises and are compatible with most hearing aids when users connect by setting their hearing aid to the Telecoil “T” setting.
Bluetooth hearing aids have various features, including smartphone and computer connectivity and smartphone-compatible apps that allow people to control volumes and settings.
However, a person may wish to consider several factors before buying a Bluetooth hearing aid.
Some Bluetooth products are more expensive than other hearing aids due to their connectivity features. Individuals may wish to consider this when budgeting for a new hearing aid.
Bluetooth hearing aids may also consume battery life quicker than other hearing aids. With this in mind, people may wish to purchase Bluetooth hearing aids with rechargeable batteries and consider whether the benefits outweigh the need to change or recharge the device batteries more regularly.
Some companies may offer hearing aids that are compatible with Apple’s patented Bluetooth technology. This allows a direct connection between a hearing aid and certain Apple products, reducing battery use.
Another consideration is that some Bluetooth hearing aids may require a streamer to keep in a pocket or around the neck. Some people may find this inconvenient and may prefer purchasing a Bluetooth or non-Bluetooth hearing aid that does not require a streamer.
Many Bluetooth hearing aids come in different styles, including receiver-in-ear and behind-the-ear variants. A person should ensure that the hearing aid they consider purchasing comes in the style they require.
Several companies manufacture Bluetooth hearing aids. Below are four examples of these products that people may consider purchasing.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All product information is purely research-based.
These Bluetooth hearing aids use rechargeable batteries. The company states this model can last 30 hours on a single charge.
This product does not require a streamer. A person can directly connect their Bluetooth-compatible devices without the need for an intermediate device.
However, ReSound says they cannot guarantee this product will be compatible with all Android devices.
This model is available in three styles: receiver-in-ear, behind-the-ear, and custom-crafted models.
ReSound also offers an app that allows users to control the volume using their mobile phones. This function also enables individuals to track their battery status, change settings according to their location, and track missing hearing aids.
This Bluetooth hearing aid contains rechargeable batteries that last for 24 hours on one charge.
Additionally, these hearing aids use Bluetooth to connect to any compatible devices, including selected smartphones, music players, and TVs.
The Livio are custom-made to fit a person’s ear canal. This may reduce tangling in any face and neck accessories such as face masks. However, this type of hearing aid may not be suitable for everyone. An audiologist can advise individuals on which hearing aid best suits them.
The Starkey Livio model is available in behind-the-ear, receiver-in-canal, in-the-ear, and in-the-canal styles.
Additionally, Starkey offer a Thrive Hearing Control app allows a person to control volume and other settings using Bluetooth connectivity on their smartphone. The app includes features such as fall detection, medication reminders, and a hearing aid locator.
This product uses rechargeable batteries that offer more than 12 hours of life on a single charge.
Miracle-Ear states that these hearing aids automatically change environmental settings to suit different locations and noise. This model also features water resistance.
These hearing aids are compatible with various devices, including smartphones, TVs, computers, and tablets, without the need for a streamer.
The CONNECT Hearing aid from Miracle-Ear is available in receiver-in-canal or behind-the-ear styles.
The Styletto Connect is compatible with many smartphones and devices.
This model is rechargeable and comes with a small, portable charging case. One charge provides the device with up to 19 hours of runtime without streaming and up to 16 hours of streaming.
Signia offers an app that connects users to their hearing aid devices via Bluetooth. The app allows a person to control volume, other settings and stream audio directly into the hearing aids. It also gives individuals access to 24/7 support.
This device is a behind-the-ear hearing aid and is available in three different colors. It is suitable for those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
Hearing aids can provide multiple benefits to those with hearing loss. Without treatment, this condition
A 2017 study on older adults found that hearing aids provide benefits for those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. The study participants reported that hearing aids positively impacted their ability to hear and enjoy everyday life.
A 2014 study found that using Bluetooth accessories in conjunction with hearing aids provides several reported benefits. These included hearing emotion and mood in conversations and audio from film and television more clearly.
However, some people may find that other methods of treating hearing loss are more beneficial. Implantable hearing aids, such as a middle ear implant and a bone-anchored hearing aid, may be more suitable for those who have deafness in the middle ear or one ear.
It is essential that individuals look after their ears and hearing. The
- protecting ears from loud noises
- avoiding inserting anything into the ear unless a doctor prescribes it
- seeking medical treatment if there is any ear pain or discharge
- following a healthy diet and taking part in regular exercise
- avoiding smoking
- expose themselves to loud noise
- notice a change in their hearing
- notice issues with communication
- have a family history of hearing loss
- take certain medications that increase the risk of hearing loss
Bluetooth hearing aids allow a person to stream audio from another compatible device, such as smartphones or TVs, directly into their hearing aid.
People may notice improvements in daily life and communication by using Bluetooth hearing aids.
It is important that adults have regular hearing checks and seek medical advice if they notice a change in their hearing.