If you’re just beginning your better-hearing journey — or if it’s time to upgrade — you might be surprised at how sophisticated hearing devices have become. They’re basically tiny computers, with just as many high-tech features.
Almost all hearing technology on the market is now digital. Standard features include channels that can be programmed for your individual hearing loss and lifestyle, directional microphones to enhance speech in noisy backgrounds, noise reduction, feedback control, and the ability to wirelessly connect to FM and PA systems. Read on for advanced options.
Today’s tech can store information about your listening environments and preferences, so your hearing care provider can access that data at follow-up appointments to further customize your settings.
This means your hearing devices communicate with each other. The devices more closely mimic how we naturally take in data from both ears simultaneously, and they stream sound signals from one device to another — which means you can choose to hear the person on the phone in both ears at once!
Advanced hearing technology can communicate wirelessly with devices such as TVs and tablets. Currently there are no truly wireless hearing aids — a hearing aid battery can’t generate the power to comply with wireless standards — but devices called streamers translate the signal into something hearing aids can use. A streamer placed in your living room, for example, streams and sends the sound from your wireless-enabled TV directly into your hearing aids, so those watching with you can choose a volume comfortable for them while you control the volume for your hearing aids.
Made for Smartphones
Whether directly (iPhone®) or via a clip-on streamer (Android systems), today’s smartphones can stream sound to your hearing aids. Call a loved one, listen to your favorite music, or binge that new show without worrying about headphones or earbuds. Plus, with the smartphone app, you can save your hearing aid settings at your favorite spots, and the app will switch to those settings automatically each time you’re there.
Do You Need an Upgrade?
Here are some signs to be aware of:
- Your devices need repairs regularly
- Replacement parts are expensive or scarce
- Your hearing has changed
- Your lifestyle has changed
- Technology has improved