Technology Corner

January 3, 2022
Assisted Listening devices

Wireless Hearing Aids:

For the past couple of years, the best hearing aids have included wireless technology that allows two devices to communicate and exchange information ear to ear to provide an improved stereophonic listening experience.  Lately, many new hearing aids are using wireless capabilities to connect directly to cell phones and televisions without the use of a neck worn device.  All you do is answer the phone and it is automatically sent directly to the hearing aids.

Oticon and Widex have “made for Iphone” devices.  These new devices are specifically designed to work with Apple products seamlessly.  Apple devices send a high quality stereo signal directly to both hearing aids allowing the user to enjoy phone conversations, music, movies. etc. in high quality stereo.

Phonak (and Unitron in the not so distant future) have wireless technology which can pair with most Iphone and Android devices.  These products are unique because they have a built in microphone to pick up the users voice.  This allows the user to answer a call without pulling out the cell phone.  The advantage of this technology is it offers truly hands free use.  The disadvantage is the phone is streamed to only one ear.  This works great for phone calls but does not allow streaming of music, movies, etc. on the cell.

Both of the above devices can send television sound directly to the hearing aids in high quality stereo sound using a separate adaptor attached to the television.

 

Find My Hearing Aids:

Here is a feature you hope you will never have to use, but you’re glad it’s there when you need it.  The “Find My Hearing Aid” feature is present on many of the newer wireless devices.  If one of your hearing aids falls off of your ear unknowingly, the cell phone app can track it back to the location you lost it.  This means fewer frantic attempts to back track your steps to find a lost device.

 

Rechargeable Hearing Aids:

Over the past year, rechargeable devices have become much more popular.  Some, like the Phonak product, are rechargeable only.  While others such as Unitron, Oticon and Widex have rechargeable options that can also use a traditional hearing aid battery.  Being able to use a standard hearing aid battery is an advantage if you travel and forget to bring your charger.