Accessories and Connectivity
Technology in the hearing industry has advanced considerably over the last few years. Hearing aids perform better than those from just a few years ago and current hearing aids are much more connected than ever before. The latter refers to the many accessories available to enhance the hearing with hearing aids or to allow the user more flexibility and convenience while wearing hearing aids.
A very interesting technological feat is the direct streaming of phone calls and music from an iPhone straight to hearing aids. In the past, most hearing aids required an intermediary device to transmit the signal. Today’s hearing aids can do this wirelessly.
Remote controls are popular additions which allow you to make changes to the hearing aids such as turning the volume up or down or changing modes. Some remotes can also be used to stream music and phone calls.
There are also “apps” available that allow you to make changes to the hearing aids similar to a remote control. There may be added features such as tutorial videos.
Remote microphones can be used in difficult listening environments such as in a car or in a meeting. The microphone can clip on to a person’s collar and their voice will be sent to the hearing aids. The hearing aid wearer does not even have to be facing the person speaking!
Hearing the television clearly is a very common issue with hearing loss and hearing aids. The sound from TVs is not always the best and some details from the sound can be difficult to detect. The person with hearing aids may want to set the volume at a level that others do not agree with. A television streaming device helps with all this. The audio from the TV can be sent to the hearing aids, either directly or through a device worn around the neck, allowing the wearer to set the volume wherever they find comfortable. The hearing aids will then essentially act as a set of stereo headphones.
There is even one hearing aid available that can connect to the Internet via an app on a smartphone! The market is certainly changing.
Most of these accessories can be bundled with a hearing aid purchase, often at no extra cost!
While additional accessories are exciting, they may not be for everyone, and that is OK. The hearing aids themselves are the most important device. Some people may not need to make manual adjustments or stream phone calls. The hearing aids can still work great without the accessories but it is reassuring to have additional options and devices to further enhance your hearing if you desire.