Bluetooth is a trademark name for a high-frequency, short-range radio communication technology which allows compatible devices to "talk" to one another. Bluetooth-compatible hearing aids function just like wireless headphones, piping sounds from smartphones, televisions and even desktop computers.

Check out some of these advantages of Bluetooth technology on hearing aids.

Improved signal stability

While other forms of wireless communication technologies, such as WiFi are prone to signal loss, Bluetooth offers a more consistent connection. People with hearing loss using Bluetooth-enabled link will, therefore, experience fewer random connection drops, providing a better overall experience.

Connect to a larger number of devices

Traditional hearing aids came with a telecoil which piped incoming sounds from the telephone directly to the speaker on the device. But that's all a telecoil could do: it was not a universal wireless communication standard. Bluetooth, by contrast, is – and so you can hook up Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids to any other compatible device in your vicinity. The ability you connect to practically any device gives you a broader range of options.

Take phone calls directly through to your device

The way hearing aids work in most situations is by taking in sounds via the external microphone, processing them for the needs of the user and then piping out an amplified version through the speaker in the ear canal. But the process of converting sounds from the external environment to the speaker is convoluted. It would be much better, in many situations, if you could bypass the mic and go straight to the speaker.

With Bluetooth technology, you can. Hearing aids receive the Bluetooth signal, interpret it, and then transform it into sound through the speaker, cutting out all the intermediate steps. People with hearing loss benefit from a better and more consistent quality of sound than they would get if they relied on the microphone.

Connect to Netflix and other streaming services

In the old days, people would use their hearing aids to listen to the television just as they would a regular conversation. The TV would emit a sound which the hearing aid would then pick up and amplify through the onboard speaker. But thanks to Bluetooth, the TV no longer has to emit any sound at all. Instead, just as with phone calls, the noise from the television can be transmitted directly to the speaker on the assistive hearing device, providing a high-fidelity, tailored sound experience for the user. With Bluetooth, you can connect with Netflix and other streaming services.

Prioritize incoming calls

Bluetooth technology not only enables you to connect your hearing aid to multiple devices, but it also allows you to prioritize incoming sounds. Suppose, for instance; you're watching television using the Bluetooth-enabled function on your hearing aid when a friend calls. With the right setup, the sound will automatically switch from the noise generated by the TV to that of your ringtone, alerting you to the incoming call.

Get binaural hearing

Bluetooth technology is particularly useful for people who use two hearing aids. Without Bluetooth, hearing aids cannot communicate with each other to tailor the incoming sound experience for the user. The amplification that each hearing aid provides, therefore, doesn't depend on the sounds received by the other.

For a natural hearing experience, it's important that hearing aids can talk to one another. Research shows that people with hearing loss experience clearer and more natural sounds when wearing hearing aids in both ears. When combined, two hearing aids make it easier to listen to people in a crowded room and lowers the distraction from background noise.

Why you might not want to choose Bluetooth

Despite the benefits of Bluetooth, it's not something for everyone. If you're not a tech-savvy person, then you may not have any Bluetooth-compatible devices in your home. Similarly, if you'd rather avoid the hassle of setting up Bluetooth connections, then it may not be the best choice for you.

There's another aspect to consider, too: Bluetooth requires a considerable amount of energy to operate, leading to a greater drain on your battery. If you would rather have a longer battery life than the convenience of listening to media sound through a range of devices, then you might want to skip Bluetooth.

Bluetooth technology can be challenging to understand, especially if you are new to hearing aid technology. If you'd like help or advice from hearing instrument specialists, get in touch with Modern Hearing today. Our friendly specialists are waiting for your call in Green Bay at 920-434-6800, New London at 920-982-3313, and Shawano at 715-524-4242.