How Bluetooth hearing aids work

How Bluetooth hearing aids work.

Wireless streaming to your ears

Bluetooth can often be perceived as a hurdle. If you are not familiar with ‘streaming’ the whole thing can seem as daunting as any other unfamiliar technology. How do Bluetooth Hearing Aids Work? And why would I bother? We often see patients with Bluetooth hearing aids become interested in better hearing, not just with friends and loved ones, but also over the phone, watching the TV or YouTube, and listening to podcasts and audiobooks.

So, let’s look at how Bluetooth hearing aids work.

Make phone calls private again

Bluetooth transmits your phone’s audio signal straight to the hearing aids. That is, the phone call is beamed silently to both ears simultaneously. Your hearing prescription is then applied to the audio signal (boosting the sounds you have difficulty with), and then the sound is played by the hearing aids speakers directly into your ear canal. The speaker is literally about a centimetre from your ear drum and calibrated perfectly to your clinical needs!

Compare that to using the phone normally (or even though the speakerphone!). Distance is the enemy of sound. And mobile phone speakers, whilst ok, can’t compete with a hearing aid that amplifies speech sounds right where you need them.

Improving the clarity of TV

Television dialogue is increasingly difficult to hear for all of us. Accents, rear facing TV speakers, and ‘atmospheric sound’ whilst people are talking, all contribute to the problem. The result is the volume just goes up and up, giving you more noise, but not necessarily more clarity.

It’s the old joke, “My neighbours listen to some great music… whether they like it or not!”

When you connect to the TV via a Bluetooth TV connector, the signal comes straight to the hearing aids. Its the same as mentioned above with phone calls. A Bluetooth television streamer offers additional benefits however. The volume can be adjusted up and down for yourself without changing volume for others watching with you. You can even have the TV on mute, without affecting your stereo listening experience through the hearing aids. Finally, you can also blend between the streamed TV audio and the noises in the room. This means you won’t get left out of any conversation (that you want to be part of).

Music: Like it used to sound

Most people get a lift listening to a favourite piece of music. Whether you are putting on ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ or Tchaikovsky’s 6th, you want to be able to hear the beauty. Music producers spend hours mixing the tracks perfectly, but hearing loss can rob that balance. Streaming music directly to your hearing aids can restore this to you. As with the TV connector you can independently adjust the volume of the music and the environmental.

Audiobooks for auditory training

Speech is complex. And you may be surprised to learn speech isn’t heard in the ear. Its heard and interpreted in the brain. What if I were to say hearing loss can cause your brains ability to interpret speech to deteriorate? True story. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Read more here

The good news is that through practice and brain plasticity you can get better at understanding speech in noise. Its done though auditory training which, very simply, consists of listening to voices.  If you wear your hearing aids whilst streaming an audiobook or a podcast, it’s a great way to keep yourself sharp.

Let’s get started

Bluetooth is now available in hearing aids regardless of price point. That means that even if you are on the Hearing Services Program and decide on a $0 device, you can get a Bluetooth hearing aid.

To find out which device is right for you, please call us at A Better Ear on 3821 3744.  All patients receive the ethical and independent advice of an expertly qualified audiologist, who started their own clinic to help people like you.

Disclaimer: All information is general in nature. Patients should consider their own personal circumstances and seek a second opinion. Eligibility for, and services available under the Hearing Services Program may change. Please check the HSP website for up-to-date details.