Hearing aid technology has evolved in leaps and bounds over the years, especially recently. Bluetooth is a cornerstone of this evolution. Join us as we explore how the technology defines modern hearing assistance devices—and what that means for the future.
But first, we’ll need to briefly explain what Bluetooth is and how it works.
The Basics of Bluetooth
You probably have at least a passing familiarity with Bluetooth. The short-range wireless technology is present in many modern devices, including smartphones, smart appliances, cars, and headphones/peripherals. How it works is relatively simple.
By “pairing” two Bluetooth-enabled devices, you establish a direct link through which one device can control and stream content from the other. All versions of Bluetooth use the frequencies between 2.4 and 2.48 GHz radio for communication.
Per Electronic Design, where Bluetooth 5 distinguishes itself is primarily in how it leverages these bands. It uses fewer channels than legacy versions, allowing it to double the rate of data transfer. This also extends its range and reduces the number of transmissions necessary for each interaction. It also incorporates several features that optimize power use and reduce interference.
Bluetooth 5.0 also allows multiple simultaneous connections, enabling significantly greater convenience.
Why Do People Use Bluetooth Hearing Aids?
Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids can be wirelessly connected to all manner of electronics, including your smartphone, computer, TV, and even your doorbell or home security system. With Bluetooth, you can effectively use your hearing aid as a headphone, seamlessly streaming audio from virtually any source. Most commonly, this is used for hands-free calling while also allowing you to control your hearing aid through a companion smartphone app.
Other possible uses include:
- Listening to the radio in the car.
- Streaming audio from the TV.
- Connecting to a baby monitor so you immediately know if there’s a problem.
How Will BlueTooth Hearing Aids Evolve In 2022 and Beyond?
Discover Magazine paints an excellent picture of how the future of Bluetooth hearing aids may look—and it’s a future defined as much by Bluetooth as by the Internet of Things. The presence of smart devices in our day to day is becoming ever more noticeable and extends far beyond our homes. The result of this is a more connected, more inclusive world.
A world where hearing-impaired people can receive PA announcements directly to their hearing aids. A world where you no longer need specialized hardware to stream audio from your TV to your hearing aid. A world where hearing aids not only restore your connection to the world around you, but heighten it.
That’s the future we can look forward to with hearing aid technology—and it’s a bright one indeed.
About the Author:
Pauline Dinnauer is the VP of Audiological Care at Connect Hearing, which provides industry-leading hearing loss, hearing testing, and hearing aid consultation across the US.