Let's talk the pros of Made For iPhone Hearing Devices
Made For iPhone (MFI) hearing solution technology is exceptionally popular. Since GN Resound delivered the original LiNX platform they have captured the imagination of users. Their popularity has ensured that nearly every major hearing aid brand has one, or is in the process of delivering them. You can see all of the available bluetooth hearing aids here. So why would you want them, who are they suitable for and what can they deliver for you?
So, MFI has continued to evolve since the LiNX, Resound is on it's third generation of MFI, Starkey is on it's second while the rest are on their first. Resound is the only provider that offers custom hearing aids, but only the larger customs are MFI. The evolution of the technology has included the introduction of a new Bluetooth protocol that isn't as power hungry and the hearing aid manufacturers have collaborated with Apple to strengthen the relationship between Apple devices and hearings aids.
Improved Apple Software
Apple continues to improve its own proprietary hearing aid accessibility software and compatibility with many types of hearing aids. You can access basic controls of any connected hearing aids from the Apple software, however, for the deeper feature set you will need to go to the hearing aid brand's accompanying app. So, the software is better, generally the features offered are better and the connection in many cases is solid, but what does that really mean and who are the devices most suitable for? Pretty much anyone to be honest, don't let the technology scare you. Once you have a handle on it, it will change your life.
Honestly, these hearing aids can change your life
Active lifestyle? Like to listen to music or audio-books?
So, do you have an active lifestyle? Do you like to run, exercise or just take long and glorious walks? What about long drives or relaxing with an audio-book? Maybe you really like to listen to music? If you do, the Made For iPhone hearing aids are a godsend. The connection from the iPhone direct to the hearing aids means that you get crystal clear audio without the need of a streamer device. That means fewer devices to carry, charge and handle.
A streamer is a neck-worn device that is used to bounce signals from a phone or connected device to a set of hearing aids. The neck worn streamer is usually a really solid piece of technology and offers outstanding audio. However, it's another device you have to worry about. With MFI, there is no streamer, so it is just you, your run, your iPhone and your hearing aids, oh and Blondie on full tilt, whoop whoop!
Hahahaha, forgive me, but there is a lot to be said for the freedom of one less device. However, the streamer option is pretty functional, might be a nuisance, but very functional. Made for iPhone technologies eliminate the need for this extra device by syncing the aids directly to an iPhone. The key here though is that it is Made For iPhone, the clue is in the name, if you aren't an Apple fanboy, you will need a streamer to connect to your Android phone.
Use a mobile phone again, with ease!
My business partner Steve has a severe hearing loss, he never liked speaking on the phone. He didn't do land-line let alone mobile phone. Bluetooth hearing aids have changed his life, and that really is no exaggeration. Many people with hearing loss have real problems with talking on mobile phones. The Made for iPhone hearing technology provides a person with a hearing loss the ability to use an iPhone exactly the same way as a person without a hearing loss. I know that many people with hearing loss have to turn the call volume up to the highest, or even use the speaker phone feature. With MFI, you just answer the call and the voice appears in your hearing aids!
So many features available with the Made For iPhone
Like I said earlier, the deepening connection between ios (apple software) and the hearing aid technology means that there are a lot of meaningful features available. The pairing of the iPhone allows the hearing aid user to change the volume; check battery life; pair and connect audio from an iOS device to an aid; and switch from different programme presets to better pick up speech in specific situations. The iPhone also offers an easy-to-use feature where the microphone of the iPhone can pick up the person speaking and transfer it instantly to the hearing aids. All you have to do is turn the feature on and move the phone microphone closer to the speaker.
Each of the hearing aid brands offer deeper control over the hearing aids with their MFI app. Easily changing programmes, adjusting the sound and making features more or less aggressive are just some of the things that you can do. All of this control allows you a better experience if you want it. If you don't, don't worry about it, the automation within the hearing aids will just continue to do its job.
Seamless automatic changes to your hearing aid
One of the interesting features with Made For iPhone hearing aids is Geotagging. Geotagging allows you to set a specific programme customisation for a particular physical location. What it means is that the hearing aids will automatically change to the settings you have set for the location you are in. That's real power for a user, set up the perfect setting for a particular location and then it just automatically happens based on the location settings of the phone. How cool is that?
Find my damned hearing aids!
Yup, people lose their hearing aids all the time, more than irritating. They cost a lot of money, they are small, and it can be damned hard to remember exactly where exactly you have been. If you have lost the hearing aids within range of Bluetooth, the smartphone application from the hearing aid manufacturer can help locate them. Even if the hearing aid batteries are dead, the phone has stored the last GPS coordinates of where they were last paired with the phone to help locate them. The system is easy to use and will give you pretty decent location information to aid you finding them.
"Hey, here is my iPhone controlled hearing aids!" said no geriatric ever
Usually pretty damned discreet
Most of the Made For iPhone hearing aids are discreet, even the behind the ear types. So if discretion is what you are after, they are pretty good options. But more than that, they are cutting edge tech, so honestly, how old are you going to look? "Hey, here is my iPhone controlled hearing aids!" said no geriatric ever. I jest, but, if you are caught in that worried about looking old spiral, (you really shouldn't be, honestly, I am 47 and I wear hearing aids, Steve is younger, age has no relevance) how cool is cutting edge tech like Made For iPhone?
Cutting edge tech
Recently there have been great changes within the Made For iPhone hearing aid sphere. Resound have introduced an in depth remote assistance feature for their MFI hearing aids. Signia have decided to take advantage of the sensors in the iPhone to ensure that the hearing aids know what you are doing and deliver a better experience. Widex are delivering complete hearing aid firmware upgrades directly through their app. The tech is on the cutting edge and really is only limited by the imagination of the engineers.
It is cutting edge tech, but you know what? Don't be afraid of it. It is easy to use and it delivers so much. Any learning curve that there is, is worth every minute. You know, the biggest obstacle between you and technology, is often the voices in your head. "You won't be able", You can't", balderdash, dive in, get your professional to show you how to make these babies hum. You will be glad you did. There is nothing like burbling at the Grandchildren on Facetime and being able to hear them burble back, take it from some one who knows.
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