Enjoy music straight to your ears with Bluetooth hearing aids
Written by James Jennings for Australian Seniors.
Bluetooth technology is transforming hearing aids into wireless earphones that can stream TV, music, and phone calls straight into your ear. Karen Hirschausen, principal audiologist at Hearing Australia, explains the big advantages.
What are Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids?
A lot of new hearing aids are now Bluetooth-enabled, and it has been a real game-changer. Bluetooth technology allows the transmission of a signal between multiple devices. With hearing aids, a signal such as a phone call, TV, or video on your laptop can be wirelessly transmitted straight to the hearing aid and into, if necessary, both ears.
What are the benefits?
Previous hearing aids did allow you to connect to your TV, but you’d have to plug in a cord. So this being wireless tech is a huge advantage. Some Bluetooth hearing aids can also be set at a particular volume if you’re in a quiet environment, then adjusted to be louder if you step into noise; in other hearing aids, the signal is kept at a constant volume. One downside, though, is they require more power, so you’ll need to change batteries or recharge more frequently. Also, a Bluetooth chip needs to be inside the hearing aid, which impacts the size. So if you want a really tiny hearing aid, Bluetooth might need to be sacrificed, because there’s no room.
Are there different types?
The most important thing to be aware of is that some Bluetooth hearing aids are compatible with iPhone, some with Android, and some with both platforms. Make sure you get the hearing aid that matches your device.
How much do they cost?
The Australian Government Hearing Services Program offers fully subsidised hearing aids to eligible people; others may be able to get existing hearing aids upgraded for free [check eligibility at the portal]. If not eligible, then costs for hearing aids can extend up to around $6,000, with a range of prices in-between.
You might also want to read our article on tips for preventing hearing loss and damage.
27 Jan 2022