Wireless Hearing Aid Accessories
Even with the advancement in hearing aid technology, following a conversation while you are on the phone, watching television, or conversing in a noisy environment or reverberant environment can still be frustrating. Hearing aids now have the capability to wirelessly connect with accessories that allow wearers improved speech understanding in difficult listening situations.
Wireless-enabled hearing aids can be connected to devices such as cell phones, televisions, and tablets with the use of Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth technology works similarly to wireless Internet, where sounds are sent through an invisible electronic signal. Bluetooth technology allows you to obtain a better sound quality when using your hearing aids with your favorite electronic devices. With the use of accessories, think of hearing aids as a wireless pair of headphones; they are convenient and cordless for high-quality sound because they are programmed to an individual's hearing loss.
Wireless accessories are beneficial to hearing aid users for several reasons. They put distance between the hearing aid and a cell phone, which can reduce feedback, as well as decrease any interference between the two devices. For use with a cell phone, wireless accessories allow for a hands-free option, which is especially important if you plan on using your cell phone while driving.
Wireless-enabled hearing aids require set up to work with electronic devices. They also typically require the hearing aid wearer to use a small transmitter accessory. The transmitter converts the Bluetooth signal from the electronic device to a wireless technology that is understood by the hearing aid.
For more information about wireless accessories for your hearing aids, speak with your Audiologist. Talk to your Audiologist about your current use of technology and ask how Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids could make that a better experience.
What is a Telecoil?
Telecoil, also known as t-switch or t-coil, is a small coil of wire inside a hearing aid that is designed to pick up a magnetic signal. The magnetic signal can transmit sound information. Using telecoil with your hearing aid can increase speech understanding in a variety of situations: telephone, theatres, classrooms, places of worship, and many other places.
You can use a Bluetooth accessory and have a Bluetooth signal sent to your telecoil through a neckloop that supports Bluetooth technology. A neckloop is a necklace-sized wire that connects to many devices and can be worn around the neck and adapted to telecoil hearing aids. Neckloops generate a weak magnetic signal that is recognized by the telecoil and amplified by the hearing aid. Neckloops are popular with many hearing aid users because they can drive both hearing aids and do not require wires running to the hearing aids.
Ask your Audiologist if your hearing aid has telecoil and how it can be applied to your lifestyle and listening needs. You can also visit http://www.assist2hear.com/ for more information about telecoil and inductions loops in Colorado.
"During the month of June 2015 I purchased two Oticon hearing aids. The hearing aids have proved to be an excellent purchase, but what has really changed my life was the purchase of the Oticon Streamer. I have found so many ways to use the Streamer resulting in an enhanced hearing experience. Shortly after the purchase, I embarked on a river cruise in Europe. For the guided tours, the cruise company provided a transmitter for each traveler. The transmitter was then connected to an ear bud. In my case, I connected the transmitter to the Streamer. I was able to hear the tour guide talk very clearly, as their voice was transmitted wirelessly to my hearing aids. This also eliminated the extra wiring required if using an ear bud. On other guided tours, where a transmitter was not provided, I only had to request the tour guide to wear the Oticon microphone. The microphone would transmit the guides voice to the Streamer and then wirelessly to my hearing aids. I even found that using the Streamer aided in my understanding a voice with a foreign accent.
I am a movie buff and enjoy going to the movies. Once again, I use the move theatre transmitter to connect directly to the Streamer and then receive the sounds wirelessly to my hearing aids. This eliminated using the earphones. Since I am required to use behind the ear hearing aids, I had always found the earphones hard to adjust and they were uncomfortable.
I try to take 30 minute walks five times a week. To make the time go faster, I use a Walkman radio. Before the Streamer, I had to use the earphones that came with the Walkman, which like the movie earphones, were hard to adjust and were uncomfortable. Now I connect the Walkman to the Streamer and once again the sound is transmitted wirelessly to my hearing aids.
The above are three examples on how I use the Oticon Steamer and I am sure there are more. As you can see, I use the Streamer pretty much every day. The Streamer has been an excellent innovation for me."
- Jim H.