How Bluetooth transforms hearing aids

While nearly 30 million people in the U.S. could benefit from using a hearing aid, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), only about 30 percent of those aged 70 and older — and 16 percent of those ages 20 to 69 — actually use one.

But while many people avoid hearing aids because they imagine an outdated device full of screeches and finnicky adjustments, the fact is that hearing aids have gone through significant improvements in their technology.

One such innovation is the ability to connect hearing aids to your smartphone through Bluetooth technology. Below, we'll look at what additional functionality a Bluetooth connected hearing aid can provide and why you might want to consider one.

What are bluetooth hearing aids?

Hearing aids are small, electronic instruments worn discreetly behind a person's ears. At a basic level, they are intended to amplify certain sound frequencies and make speech clearer.

Until recently, however, hearing aids limited a person's access to certain audio devices such as phones. For instance, if someone wearing a hearing device was to listen to music while out for a walk, they would need to remove the hearing device to use a pair of headphones. This makes for a disjointed experience that does not mimic the way most people with active lifestyles enjoy music. Today, however, the experience is entirely different. With the introduction of Bluetooth technology you can not only adjust your hearing aid settings from your phone, but also take advantage of a world of additional benefits.

Many are not aware that wireless hearing aids can leverage Bluetooth technology to connect hearing devices to your iPhone or Android device, making it possible not only to use your hearing aid in tandem with music, but also to stream audio from your mobile device directly to your hearing aid. There are also significant benefits to using this technology because, when you wirelessly connect your hearing aids through your smartphone, you won't have to choose between listening to the world around you or the music or movie you're listening to privately. You'll be able to hear a friend call your name even when you're listening to music, rather than being limited to hearing only one source of audio. With Bluetooth hearing aids, you don't have to choose!

Connecting hearing aids to your smartphone is easy — Jabra Enhance's customers can download an intuitive, easy-to-use app that will help you make any adjustments, tuning, or reconfigurations of the hearing device.

If you're in a restaurant, at a concert, or attending a busy social gathering, for instance, you can make adjustments via your hearing aid app with the swipe of a finger to create location-specific settings. This helps you reduce loud background noise and better engage with the conversation or performance that demands your attention. It enables a seamless listening experience and ensures you don't miss the moments that matter most to you and your loved ones.

Advantages of bluetooth hearing aids

Bluetooth hearing aid technology provides wearers with flexibility not previously available in traditional hearing aids. A few of these benefits include:

  • Mobile connectivity
    Wearers can stream music and take calls from iOS and Android devices—all via their hearing aids
  • Personalization
    Wearers maintain control of their preferred sound by adjusting volume and pitch and creating custom presets for specific environments in locations such as parties, restaurants, concerts, or sporting events
  • Phone connectivity
    The hearing aids automatically stream phone calls to both hearing aids, so you can hear your calls in both ears at once.

Benefits of technologically advanced hearing aids

Advanced hearing aids offer many benefits even beyond those enabled by Bluetooth technology. If you purchase a Bluetooth hearing aid, you're likely to also get the following benefits as well:

1. Great sound quality

Higher resolution and a more dynamic, natural sound quality.

2. Noise reduction

You can reduce background noise in loud situations and reduce unwanted noise to better focus on the conversations you actually want to hear, rather than all the otherwise overwhelming ambient sound

3. Improved localization

Certain wireless hearing aids can help localize sounds and allow the wearer to focus on voices and sounds right in front of them

4. Tinnitus support

Plays calming sounds to distract from any ringing in the ear

5. Gradual volume increases

The volume of both ears adapt together over time

The future of bluetooth hearing aids

With their many advantages, Bluetooth hearing aids continue to grow in popularity even as the technology continues to evolve. Looking ahead, you can expect Bluetooth hearing aids to aim toward broader connectivity—with an ability to connect to more kinds of devices over time. Additionally, as more of us connect our hearing aids to our smartphones, apps will continue to offer improved overall design and functionality.

Further, it's a near certainty that demand for Bluetooth hearing aids will continue to grow, and that more research around hearing loss will continue to push new features and advanced technology that caters to users needs and enjoyment. Over time, more hearing aid innovation and an improved understanding of hearing loss will drive enhanced support for people that hope to live their lives to the fullest.

Bluetooth hearing aids allow wearers to better adapt to their shifting surroundings and expand their listening preferences over time. These devices enable a more direct connection and seamless transition among their host of settings, truly mimicking the way in which a person without hearing loss would naturally listen.

While the experience of wearing hearing aids for the first time can be a difficult adjustment for some, an audiologist from a trusted organization can help with the transition to ensure your comfort. The key is finding a provider (like Jabra Enhance, of course) that can provide exceptional support and superior technology.