What is It?

Bluetooth technology is a wireless communications system intended to replace the cables connecting many different types of devices, from mobile phones and headsets to heart monitors and medical equipment.

As a global standard, Bluetooth technology is in billions of products worldwide, including virtually every mobile phone, laptop, tablet, new car, and more than 40 million medical devices.

In 2005 the first hearing aids capable of utilizing Bluetooth technology in hearing aids were introduced.  Not long after manufacturers added Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids that were able to connect to televisions, MP 3 players, cell phones, and computers.

Bluetooth technology is the most recent advance in hearing aids. It is a way to send digital information wirelessly over short distances. Bluetooth technology works to allow two hearing aids to wirelessly communicate with each other and also allows user to connect to devices in their home and car, like a DVD player, computer, GPS, and cell phone. There are pros and cons to having this type of technology in a hearing aid.

Pros of Bluetooth

  • Signal Stability – Bluetooth device uses multiple channels to convey the sound and is therefore less likely to lose that signal due to interference with one of the channels.
  • Higher Sound Quality – Feedback and whistling and other problems associated with some hearing aids is diminished with the use of Bluetooth and the sound quality, in general, is improved as well.
  • Binaural Hearing – Bluetooth technology allows hearing aids to speak with each other.  This allows the hearing aids to maintain the quality of speech and discern and localize sounds relevant to the listener’s position. A conventional phone can only be held to one ear at a time.  Bluetooth technology allows the user to hear their cell phone in both ears.
  • Hands Free – With a switch of a button you can talk hands free without the need to hold the phone to your ear.
  • Simultaneous Connection– Bluetooth technology can accommodate multiple devices, so that a person can be directly connected to their computer or cell or MP3 or DVD depending on which device they wish to hear.
  • Wireless – Bluetooth eliminates the need for wires and lines of other connectivity devices and has applications for people with unilateral hearing loss who wear BiCROS hearing aids.

Cons of Bluetooth

  • Decreased Battery Life– Bluetooth technology when enabled will drain the battery more quickly then will occur with typical use.
  • Extra Equipment– Bluetooth hearing aids don’t simply connect with all of the devices in your home and car, it requires that you use a streamer and a transmitter.
  • Pairing Devices– Using Bluetooth technology requires a one time set up with each new device you add to your system. This pairing of technology is necessary so that the devices can communicate with each other, but only requires set up on the first use.

Regardless of your lifestyle, employment status or age, bluetooth hearing aids can be a huge benefit for most people with a hearing loss.