Benefits & Features Of Bluetooth Hearing Aids
The advantages of having Bluetooth compatible hearing aids are undeniable.
With every new product release, were seeing interesting new features that just a few years ago seemed like a pipe dream.
Before you buy Bluetooth hearing aids, review the list below to learn about these new features and the hearing aids that offer them.
Bluetooth Hearing Aid Features in the Most Popular Hearing Aids of 2020
|Bluetooth Feature & Description|
The above chart can be a bit overwhelming for a first-time wearer. For a simplified explanation of the biggest advantages of Bluetooth hearing aids, and a brief history of how Blueooth in hearing aids has advanced, check out the video below.
How To Find Hearing Aids Near You
Only a few years ago, there was only one way to get hearing help: make a trip to a doctor’s office or hearing center. This was a challenge for many people who didn’t have easy access to these locations.
Now, there are many ways to gain access to high-quality hearing aids, and you can choose which way is best for you.
You can still visit a hearing center to receive an audiologist consultation and purchase hearing aids in person. You can also purchase hearing aids online from direct-to-consumer companies that offer quality devices at much lower prices. Some direct-to-consumer companies provide virtual consultations with an audiologist for personalized assessments and adjustments along with your purchase.
Here’s another alternative: you can purchase the same devices available at an audiologist’s office or hearing center from a discount network for up to 35% less than retail price. When you purchase a hearing aid through this network, you’ll be connected with an audiologist in your area for further care. Big-box stores such as Walmart and Costco sell hearing aids, too.
In the future, some hearing aids will be available to buy over the counter, and a consultation with a hearing care provider won’t be required. The industry awaits guidance from the FDA on regulations that will govern over-the-counter hearing aids this ruling should be forthcoming in 2021.
How Do Hearing Aids Work
Hearing aids are worn in or behind your ear. They are designed to make some sounds louder by magnifying sound vibrations entering the ear, which helps improve your hearing and speech comprehension. How a hearing aid works is fairly simple to understand. First, a microphone inside the hearing aid picks up nearby sounds. These sounds are analyzed and converted to electrical signals based on your hearing loss, which are then sent to the amplifier. The amplified sounds are sent to the speaker or receiver, which are transmitted to the inner ear by a tube or thin wire. Once in the inner ear, the sounds are transformed into electrical impulses that your brain processes into sound.
You May Like: Sign Language Hungry
What Is Bluetooth How Does Bluetooth Work With Hearing Aids
First, lets start with Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a wireless communication technology that can connect two devices, allowing them to share information using high frequency radio waves. Its safe and secure most modern devices like your phone use it.
This is different from Wi-Fi, which connects a device to the internet.
Hearing aids equipped with Bluetooth can communicate with other electronic devices, such as your smartphone.
It is important to note, however, that not all hearing aids can connect to all Bluetooth devices.
Apple, for example, has its own Made for iPhone hearing aids which allow Bluetooth pairing between certain hearing aids and Apple iOS devices such as iPhones/iPads. You can find a list of currently supported hearing aids on Apples website.
For other devices and situations, you may need a streamer device. This device is usually worn around the neck or kept in your pocket. The streamer acts as the middle man, receiving the information from the your smartphone or other Bluetooth device and then sending it to your Bluetooth hearing aids.
Make sure to research the full Bluetooth capabilities of a hearing aid when considering a purchase!
Resound Linx Quattro Bluetooth Hearing Aid
This Bluetooth hearing aid can stream directly to Bluetooth-compatible devices without using an intermediate device. People can use it to stream TV, audio, and more directly to their hearing aids.
ReSound provides an app that allows users to customize and control their hearing aids from their smartphones. For example, the app enables users to adjust volume based on location or setting, check the battery status, and find missing hearing aids.
This model is available in three different designs:
- custom-crafted model
These hearing aids use rechargeable batteries and can last up to 30 hours after a complete charge.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders , individuals should consider the following before purchasing a hearing aid:
- which option provides the most useful features for their needs
- the total cost of the hearing aid
- whether there is a trial period
- whether a company offer a warranty, how long that warranty lasts, and what it covers
- whether the manufacturer will provide temporary replacement hearing aids if the originals need repairing
Don’t Miss: Warm Compress For Earache
Phonak Hearing Aids Customization
Phonak offers a range of colors, sizes, and levels for users to customize their hearing experience. Most of their devices come with color options, from the Virtos sleek black titanium shell to the Sky Marvels bright mix-and-match colors. Many wearers prefer to choose from a range of flesh tones to match their skin for a more subtle look.
There are also a range of options for users to customize their devices functionality. Customers often have a choice between built-in lithium-ion batteries or changeable zinc batteries. Some models are offered in a range of levels the four performance levels, Essential, Standard, Advanced, and Premium, describe the devices speaker and receiver functions, streaming programs, and features like motion sensors and noise cancellation.
Finally, users can find the most natural fit by choosing from a variety of sizes and styles. Phonak offers behind-the-ear, receiver-in-the-ear, and in-the-ear designs. Some models, like the Virto, even come in a range of sizes so you can customize your device to comfortably sit in your ear.
How To Choose Your Bluetooth Hearing Aids Summary
Realistically, you more than likely won’t be able to purchase Bluetooth hearing aids online. There are some cheaper and less reliable OTC devices available, but most hearing aid brands do not operate like this. You will need to visit your local audiologist to access this type of hearing aid.
Your local audiologist will give you a hearing test, support and advise you on your Bluetooth hearing aids keeping your budget, lifestyle, level of hearing loss and much more in mind. You will be shown a variety of Bluetooth devices that will suit your needs the most.
Please also note that as of yet, the NHS are not able to offer Bluetooth hearing aids.
The good news is that if you are searching for Bluetooth hearing aids there are now loads of styles, models and brands out there. You also need to be prepared to spend a little more on some models that include Bluetooth. Most models include Bluetooth technology as standard, however, each hearing aid offers something different when it comes to patient support and functionality.
Before you consider purchasing your Bluetooth hearing aids, reflect back on your needs and priorities, as well as discuss your queries, anxieties and expectations with your audiologist. At the end of the day, it’s important that you’re not paying for what you ultimately don’t need.
You May Like: How To Connect Phonak Hearing Aids To Iphone
Widex Hearing Aids Review
Best for Artificial Intelligence Features
Widex is one of the worlds largest and most technologically advanced hearing aid brands, and since merging with hearing care provider Sivantos, has become part of one of the largest businesses in the world. This brand specializes in technologically-advanced hearing aids, but Widex also provides industry-leading sound adjustment and personalization tools, providing audiologist assistance in person and advanced app features at home.
Widexs EVOKE line of hearing aids comes in a broad variety of fit styles, colors, and feature sets, so we have selected two of these devices which we believe represent the variety of the EVOKE line. Each of these devices is equipped with machine learning capabilities that other brands have not yet incorporated into their user technologies a feature which Widex has named SoundSense. EVOKE hearing aids leverage artificial intelligence to gradually learn about the users most frequented kinds of sound environments and preferences.
Widex now also offers a MOMENT line of hearing aids, which offer new technology for a natural sound as well as other exciting features. Beyond the AI integration of EVOKE and MOMENT hearing aids, both lines also provide a comprehensive range of technology packages. Each EVOKE and MOMENT hearing aid is available in a variety of feature levels, though all are fully directional and come with sophisticated noise reduction capabilities.
Widex Hearing Aid Device Features
A Microphone In The Receiver
One of the big innovations is the new microphone placement with their M& RIE receiver. ReSound believe that with a third microphone in the ear canal that they can make use of the more natural sound cues that can be picked up there. The outer ear plays a big part in our ability to localise sound allowing us to work out where sound comes from. This plays a big part in our ability to ignore sound that we are not interested in and to focus on the sound we are.
Resound Say “The outer ear is designed by nature to work like an acoustic antenna. It helps the brain localize and tune in to a particular sound, for example when listening to a specific voice in a crowded café. However, the most popular styles of hearing aids capture sound from microphones that sit behind the ear and then approximate the effect of the pinna. The result is an averaged and incomplete reproduction of sound, making it hard for the brain to achieve its natural localization and noise-cancelling function.”
ReSound say that they have worked on this for over ten years. Placing a microphone in the receiver is challenging because of the possibility of it causing feedback. ReSound has introduced a brand new feedback management system which they are calling DFS Ultra III. They have worked on this system for nearly ten years and say that the new feedback manager combined with the newly designed receivers allows them to deal with the feedback challenge.
You May Like: Ear Candling Diy
Top 10 Best Hearing Aids Reviewed By Consumer Reports
Hearing aids are an effective way to enhance hearing in both babies and adults. Many people would not consider getting a hearing aid if it is not highly useful. Hearing aids are useful if your hearing is impaired. It is also effective if you have trouble with hearing certain sounds, like the buzz of a mosquito or the sound of traffic.
As time is going on, there are more people with hearing loss. Unfortunately, hearing aids are often not recommended for people under the age of 50. It is because half of all adults over the age of 50 have hearing loss. As a result, hearing aids are often recommended only for the elderly.
Here, we have presented you with the best hearing aids from renowned brands of the world. All of them are available at discounted prices. Check them and select your desired one.
The Best Hearing Aid Technology
Most hearing aid manufacturers offer four levels of technology, such as basic, standard, advanced and premium. The higher the tech level, the more sophisticated the hearing processing and options for customization. Also, the higher the cost.
Data shows that standard aids, properly programmed for your specific hearing loss, offer good performance for most people, says Palmer. Many providers can adjust and upgrade your hearing aids remotely to keep them up-to-date with your hearing even if mobility or health concerns prevent in-person visits.
Many hearing aids have a telecoil, or a tiny copper wire that enables people to hear better in venues wired with an audio induction loop, a type of assistive listening service technology. Hearing loops are becoming increasingly common in theaters, schools, and other facilities.
Also Check: Iphone 6 Hearing Aid Mode
Do I Need Bluetooth Hearing Aids
It depends on what youre looking for. Bluetooth hearing aids do offer better sound quality and allow you to stream sound from any device with Bluetooth output. If youre a tech-savvy hearing aid user who enjoys music, conversations on the phone, or TV and movies, theyre a great fit. If youre worried about battery drain or figuring out additional technology then the upgrade might not be best for you.
As Bluetooth becomes more commonly used, the demand for this feature continues to grow as well as user comfort with it. But if you want to keep things simple, high-quality hearing aids, programmed to your hearing test will work just fine without.
The Benefits Of Bluetooth Hearing Aids
The first benefit you will notice is that with Bluetooth hearing aids, you can easily switch between multiple devicesas you stream sound from any Bluetooth-enabled device to your hearing aid. Thats your TV, phone and tablet among others. And theres more, with Bluetooth hearing aids, you can also:
Personalize the listening experience you enjoy best in different environments
Remotely control your hearing aid programs and settings
Be more efficient and discreet in the use of your hearing aid
Have direct access to a hearing professional through the use of Bluetooth hearing aid apps
As mentioned earlier, its no longer a matter of just restoring hearing but improving overall quality of life and the ability to fully engage with everyday technology.
Also Check: How To Teach Yourself American Sign Language
Bluetooth Hearing Aids Costs
Prices for Bluetooth hearing aids vary dramatically:
- Prices for basic models are around $500 to $1,200 per ear. However, these hearing aids are often very basic and have limited features.
- The average cost of a Bluetooth hearing aid is $1,200 to $3,000 per ear.
- Some higher-end hearing aids with advanced features can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $4,500 per ear.
|Vary by location|
Types Of Bluetooth Hearing Aids
Finding the best Bluetooth-enabled device may be a question of looking at your budget. The lowest-priced device on this list is from Audicus, which requires a monthly subscription of $59/ month, which averages out to $708 per year. By comparison, the Lively Bundle is $1,850 on time.
Finding the right hearing aid also depends on your usage. If youre primarily living alone, one that connects to your devices and Alexa may be more useful, and people who live in a group home, such as assisted living, may wish to have a hearing aid that allows them to customize their experience on shared devices, such as a communal TV.
Another factor to consider is the customizability of the hearing aids. People who have different degrees of hearing loss in each ear may prefer a company that uses an audiologist report to make a custom hearing aid while those with minor hearing loss may not need this feature.
Read Also: How To Turn On Hearing Aid Mode On Iphone
Which Is Better: In
Hearing aids come in several styles including behind-the-ear and in-the-ear. Finding the best device for you depends on several factors.
A behind-the-ear hearing aid sits behind your ear with a plastic earmold that fits inside the outer ear. The case that sits behind your ear holds all the electronic parts necessary to make it work. BTE devices are bigger, so they are typically easier to use and handle, making them a good choice for kids and seniors. They’re also able to house a larger battery, which provides a longer battery life. Plus, the bigger size makes them more durable and able to provide more features. BTE hearing aids serve a range of ages and hearing loss. They are appropriate for all ages and work well for anyone with mild to profound hearing loss.
In-the-ear hearing aids fit inside the ear, either partially or completely, and work well for mild to severe hearing loss. Some ITE devices come with a telecoil, which is a small magnetic coil, that enables you to hear sound through the circuitry rather than the microphone. This may improve the quality of phone conversations or help you hear in environments that use special sound systems like induction auditoriums. ITE aids are more discreet than BTE, but they are still bigger than nearly invisible options like a completely-in-the-canal hearing aid.
Buying In Person Vs Online
Direct-to-consumer companies like Lively, Audicus, and MDHearingAid are typically more affordable than in-person brands like Oticon and Starkey. By cutting out third-party retailer costs, online brands can pass some of the savings onto customers.
According to audiologist Brad Ingrao, an expert at SeniorLiving.org, There are 17 million older adults in the U.S. with hearing loss, but not using hearing aids. The biggest reason: cost! By providing a high-end product at a fraction of the price, online companies allow more people to afford hearing aids who couldnt afford normally do so.
Nonetheless, face-to-face evaluation with an audiologist improves the opportunity for the best hearing aid fit, as well as an accurate diagnosis, explains Jim Dan, MD, a geriatric clinical advisor and member of the Senior Helpers Board of Directors.
For individuals with severe or profound hearing loss or those whose hearing loss may be due to an underlying medical condition, an in-person audiologist appointment is important for proper treatment and optimized hearing aids.
Recommended Reading: How To Turn On Hearing Aid Mode On Iphone
Best Bluetooth Hearing Aids
May 18, 2020
It is incredible to see how much technology has transformed the hearing aid industry in the past 10 years. If you need hearing amplification, then it makes sense to choose a model with the latest features. In this article we are covering information about the best Bluetooth hearing aids to help with your selection of the right equipment for your needs.