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. However, 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

Between accents, rear facing speakers, and unnecessarily loud music whilst people are talking, the television dialogue can become increasingly difficult to hear. 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 your hearing aids to the TV via a Bluetooth TV connector, the signal is piped straight to the hearing aids (same as above with phone calls). A Bluetooth television streamer offers additional benefits however, because 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, the blend between the streamed TV audio and the noises in the room can also be adjusted on the go, so 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 it in all its beauty. Music producers spend hours mixing the tracks to the perfect balance of low, mid and high frequencies, but hearing loss can rob that balance. Streaming music directly to your hearing aids restores this to you, without having to increase the volume to damaging levels. Similarly, to the TV connector mentioned above, you can adjust the volume of the music and the outside world independently with a simple slider on an app.

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 due to the incredible plasticity of the brain, you can get better at understanding speech by practicing. Its done though auditory training which, very simply, consists of listening to voices.  So, if you wear your hearing aids on your morning walks, or whilst doing the floors, or whilst sipping a cup of tea in the winter sunshine, streaming an audiobook or a podcast directly to your hearing aids is not just enjoyable but it’s also 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.

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