Bluetooth has been available on our phones for years. It has provided us with wireless connectivity to accessories such as headphones. In the last couple of years the technology has taken a huge leap within hearing aids. In this article we explain what bluetooth is, why it took so long to get it in hearing aids, and how bluetooth hearing aids could benefit you.
What is bluetooth?
Bluetooth is a short range wireless connection between devices. It is generally used for the transmission of audio and data, particularly between mobile phones and headphones. Bluetooth 5.0 is the latest version and it is making audio much easier to transmit without losing quality. This is because it is more efficient than previous bluetooth versions.
Bluetooth hearing aids: what was the hold up?
Historically, bluetooth consumed a lot of battery power and because of this, it has never been suitable for hearing aids. This is because hearing aids use very small batteries as they need to sit comfortably on or in the ear.
Rechargeable hearing aids
The manufacturers can’t make the batteries bigger in hearing aids. This would make them heavier and you would struggle to wear them. Instead, they have mostly switched from using disposable batteries to rechargeable ones.
Rechargeable hearing aids only need to last 24 hours. This is because you will charge them up every night ready for the next day. This means they can pack more features in to the hearing aids without the worry that battery life will be too short. One of these features is bluetooth connectivity.
Not all bluetooth hearing aids are rechargeable though. You can still opt for the disposable ones and you will expect the batteries to last between 3-5 days. This will vary depending on how heavily you use the bluetooth connectivity.
How can Bluetooth hearing aids benefit me?
Bluetooth unlocks a world of possibilities. Our phones connect us to everyone and the internet means we have instant access to all the information in the world. By connecting our hearing aids in to this network we can help you stay connected with the ones that matter most.
Handsfree phone calls
Answering the phone with hearing aids can be difficult (see our hints and tips on using the phone with a hearing aid here). By connecting your hearing aids to your phone directly you end up with stereo sound. This means you hear the phone in both ears at the same time. There is a lot of scientific evidence to show that hearing speech in both ears will help you to understand it easier. Another factor is that the wireless connection blocks out any unwanted noise from your environment. This means you can still answer your phone in a busy street or shop and hear perfectly well.
Bluetooth also allows us to use our mobile devices as a remote control. All manufacturers have a dedicated app for their hearing aids. These apps offer a wide range of hearing aid adjustments such as the volume of your hearing aids. Your audiologist will explain the app in full detail and all the features that are available.
Bluetooth isn’t limited to streaming your phone calls. It will transmit a full range of audio from your connected device. This can range from your favourite music artist to your most loved film. You will be able to enjoy them in full HD sound which is completely customised to your level of hearing.
Remote support – teleaudiology
Now more than ever, staying connected is critical. Bluetooth hearing aids allow you to stay connected with your audiologist at all times. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, your audiologist can link in to your hearing aids to make any required adjustments. Not only that, but it can be done using video conferencing so it will be like they are in the room with you.
Remote support is particularly useful in the event of a hearing health emergency.
The above features are the main attraction points but the number of features is increasing all the time. Below is a list of some other useful features bluetooth hearing aids may have:
- Live translation of 27 languages
- Live transcription
- Fall detection – sends an SOS signal to emergency contact to say you have fallen over
- Heart rate monitor
- Activity tracker
- Health monitor
As you can see, the list is extensive and impressive. They have managed to achieve all of this in a relatively short period of time. Ultimately this technology will provide users full autonomy in the future should they wish.
Want to trial bluetooth hearing aids?
Our staff at Sevenoaks Hearing are fully trained and qualified in all of the latest innovations and can guide you through the product that would suit you best. If you are interested in bluetooth hearing aids we can arrange a formal consultation, or if you prefer, a friendly chat. With all our hearing aids we offer a 75 day trial period, the longest on the high street. This ensures you are making a fully informed and educated decision on the investment in your hearing care.
About Sevenoaks Hearing
At Sevenoaks Hearing, we provide a bespoke hearing service, using state-of-the-art technology to provide an accurate diagnosis and an effective solution. As we are independent of any manufacturer, we can also provide the best solution for your lifestyle. Find out about our hearing assessments and other treatment services.
Written by Adam Chell, Lead Audiologist at Sevenoaks Hearing. Visit our independent hearing centres in Sevenoaks, Banstead and East Grinstead or book an appointment now.