Bluetooth wireless technology allows wireless communication between electronic devices. Bluetooth uses short-range wireless radio technology to connect devices to each other, generally within a distance of 30 ft. Newer devices may have ranges of over 100 ft. It eliminates the need for wires to be connected to all the devices, making it much easier to operate them.
Although Bluetooth technology has been around for a while it is now becoming the new standard for most electronic devices. For those who wear hearing aids the technology provides the ability to use hands free devices along with the hearing aid. As most hearing aid users know, in the past, there have been compatibility issues with hearing aids and devices such as cell phone headsets and iPod ear piece. However, the latest technology incorporates Bluetooth wireless technology into hearing aids, making them compatible with many Bluetooth enabled devices.
Bluetooth enabled hearing aids use this wireless technology twofold. Bluetooth wireless technology allows for communication between two hearing aids. This helps to get the most natural hearing enhancement possible. The two hearing aids “talk” to each other to make instantaneous enhancements to improve hearing. Another exciting function of Bluetooth enabled hearing aids is wireless connectivity with other Bluetooth enabled devices such as cell phones and music players. This technology is a vast improvement over hearing aids in the past which were often incompatible with other devices.
Several leading manufacturers have developed Bluetooth enabled hearing aids. Oticon’s newest hearing aid range is called Epoq. It provides wireless binaural communication between the right and left hearing aids to make stereophonic sound more natural. Integrated Bluetooth technology also enables the Epoq hearing aid to get mobile phone reception directly into it. This effectively eliminates the need for attached wires, which in the past was the only way to provide connectivity.
The Phonak’s Smartlink uses integrated Bluetooth technology to enable bi-directional digital link between the hearing aid and a Bluetooth enabled cell phone. An external audio input or microphone signal can also be transmitted wirelessly via Smartlink to the hearing aid by attaching to the smart interface.
Starkey Laboratories offers the Eli hearing aid, which incorporates Bluetooth technology allowing communication between hearing aid users, and the growing assortment of Bluetooth enabled devices such as a cell phone. The Eli is the smallest Bluetooth enabled hearing aid on the market.
Those who are shopping for their first hearing aid will do well by purchasing one with Bluetooth technology. No matter what your needs, Bluetooth technology is the wave of the future and will enable you to connect easily and wirelessly with many devices. All of the major hearing aid companies are developing their own hearing aids that utilize Bluetooth technology. Working with a hearing health care professional will ensure that you choose the hearing aid that is best for you and your specific hearing loss.