Have you wondered what “wireless connectivity” means in relation to hearing aids? We want to help you understand wireless technologies for improved hearing to help you decide what is right for you.
In general, the term wireless connectivity refers to the ability of your hearing aids to connect directly to your smartphone (iPhone or Android) via a wireless connection such as Bluetooth using electromagnetic waves. Depending on the manufacturer, this can provide an array of added features to your hearing aid experience.
Unfortunately, not all wireless connectivity experiences are exactly the same between manufacturers. However, they all incorporate a free downloadable app that gives the user some level of control of their hearing aids (volume control, program changes, etc.). The receiver in the ear communicates with the app for seamless communication.
Some of the manufacturers also provide direct audio so you can answer your cell phone right to your hearing aids, stream videos, or listen to music.
Below are some answers to questions you may have about wireless-enabled hearing aids.
1) Does wireless connectivity work on every cell phone and every style hearing aid?
No. You will need to work with your audiologist to find out what style and model of hearing aid are appropriate for your hearing loss.
Sometimes, finding an aid that is most appropriate for your needs does not line up with the ability to have wireless connectivity in that particular hearing aid model. There are different styles of hearing aids for different types of hearing loss - mild hearing loss, moderate hearing loss, or profound hearing loss.
Additionally, wireless connectivity is only compatible with certain smartphones. Your hearing care professional should be able to assist in finding out if your smartphone and/or model of hearing aids is compatible.
2) Is it difficult to pair my wireless hearing aid and my phone?
No. It is a simple process often requiring only 3 or 4 steps.
The aids will typically come with a “connection manual” to also help. If you have any troubles, your audiologist will gladly help you connect your device to your aids at your fitting or at a later date.
3) Are Android phones or iPhones better for people with hearing aids?
In most cases, the iPhone allows the patient to take advantage of more features of the wireless connectivity. However, the two can become more of an equal choice depending on the manufacturer your aids are ordered from.
4) Where can I find a list of cell phones and their hearing aid compatibility?
A quick google search can list phone models that are compatible with your hearing aids. Consult with your hearing specialist for a more in-depth examination of compatibility.
5) Are wireless hearing aids safe?
Yes. In most hearing aids, the RF (radio frequency) energy outputted by a wireless hearing aid is over 1000 times less than that of your cell phone. However, you should always consult with your audiologist to find the right wireless hearing aid manufacturer for you.