Some things to keep in mind when shopping for Bluetooth hearing aids
When you want the latest and greatest in hearing aid technology, Bluetooth is a must-have feature. Bluetooth allows hearing aids to wirelessly communicate with other devices, including the hearing aid in your other ear, your computer, television, cell phone and digital music player. Picking the best Bluetooth hearing aid requires some attention to detail as you examine its features and choose the right aid for your needs.
Although technology is continually moving to smaller components, Bluetooth hearing aids still come with a separate transmitter. You must wear this transmitter to facilitate wireless communication between your hearing aids and other devices. The transmitter may be worn around your neck, on your belt or in a pocket. When shopping, consider the size of the transmitter and where you will wear it. With most types of Bluetooth hearing aids, you will need to access the transmitter to turn it on when you want to use the Bluetooth function.
Bluetooth hearing aids transmit the sound directly to the hearing aid – i.e., it does not have to come through the microphone. Therefore, some types of hearing aids will turn off the microphone when you’re using the hearing aid to listen through a Bluetooth connection. This, however, can make it difficult for you to hear what else is going on around you, such as having a conversation with someone while you watch TV. Depending on the situations in which you see yourself using the hearing aid, you may want to choose one like the Alera, which amplifies environmental noise for you even while you’re using the Bluetooth function.
Setup and technology
Not all electronics automatically give a Bluetooth signal, so you may have to set them up to communicate with Bluetooth. The most technologically advanced electronics, like new computers and cell phones, generally come with built-in Bluetooth technology. With older electronics, you’ll have to plug a small device into your television, phone or other item you want to hear wirelessly with Bluetooth. Your hearing aid provider will also have to link your Bluetooth transmitter to your hearing aids and show you how to work them.
Cost and care
Bluetooth-equipped hearing aids, especially those with the latest technology, tend to be quite expensive. Therefore, you’ll need to look into what your health insurance covers, not only when purchasing your hearing aid, but also when repairing or replacing it. You’ll also need to be attentive to caring for your hearing aid by dehumidifying it and keeping track of your transmitter, which you need to have with you for the Bluetooth functionality to work.
Hearing aid technology is advancing in leaps and bounds with Bluetooth’s help. Wirelessly connect not only with telephones, but with almost any electronic device that creates sound. The crystal clear sound you will hear makes it easier for you to enjoy audio experiences with other people without having to crank up the volume or deal with fuzzy sound or feedback in your hearing aids. Ask about Bluetooth next time you go to replace your hearing aid.