Smartphone-Compatible Hearing Aids
Smartphone-Compatible Hearing Aids: Direct Connectivity, Effortless Listening
There can be little disagreement that the proliferation of wireless technology has greatly influenced the ways that people communicate today, how quickly they can contact each other, and the vast distances over which they can connect, virtually by pushing a button or two. And as these high-tech devices continue to be developed and/or refined, there is considerable emphasis on the part of their manufacturers to expand their scope of use throughout the general population.
So how might such advancements in communication technology apply to individuals with hearing impairment? With the introduction of smartphone-compatible hearing aids, it means that those with hearing loss can now enjoy all the conveniences and benefits of the latest in mobile phone technology; and these revolutionary hearing aids can connect directly to a smartphone without a separate remote-accessory transmitter (or streamer).
These made-for-iPhone hearing aids are compatible with the more recent series of Apple phones (from iPhone5 and up); furthermore, they are also engineered to work with other Apple products such as the iPad, iPod touch, and Apple Watch. Connectivity is possible with smartphones on other mobile operating systems as well, e.g.: Android, through the use of an additional transmitter/streamer, provided that the phone has a wireless option.
Smartphone-compatible hearing aids offer a wide variety of iPhone connectivity features and, as a result, numerous benefits in multiple listening environments; in general terms, some of the advantages of this hearing aid-to-smartphone compatibility consist of:
- Use of the smartphone as a remote control to adjust hearing aid volumes
- Ability to stream phone calls, audio, and music directly to the hearing aids
- Making minor adjustments to sound quality based on personal preferences
- Utilizing the smartphone as a locating device to find misplaced hearing aids
- Converting the smartphone to a microphone in noisy listening environments
Looking specifically at currently-available smartphone-compatible hearing aids, the most popular models are the ReSound LiNX2, ReSound ENZO2, and Starkey Halo 2; some of their respective and distinct smart-hearing features include the following:
- ReSound LiNX2 and ReSound ENZO2
- The first made-for-iPhones hearing aid (LiNX2)
- The smallest and most powerful option (ENZO2)
- Direct stereo streaming from other Apple devices
- Hearing aids work like Bluetooth stereo headphones
- Precisely adjust sound to accommodate hearing level
- Allow wearers to adjust volume, bass, and treble settings
- Give easy access to sound regardless of its origin or direction
- Can create and tag favourite settings for later reference/return
- Starkey Halo 2
- Streams any music or media directly from iPhones to hearing aids
- Ultra-high-definition streaming for more natural ear-to-ear communication
- Seven sound classifications to handle multiple environments simultaneously
- Geo-tag memory – switches modes when iPhone GPS detects a tagged location
- Phone calls, music, videos streamed with pristine quality (no buzzing or whistling)
These smartphone-compatible hearing aids have truly expanded the realm of possibilities for people with hearing loss whose desire to use smartphone technology had previously been restricted. ReSound LiNX2, ReSound ENZO2, and Starkey Halo 2 hearing aids are available upon consultation with a hearing aid specialist from Bravo Hearing Centre in Etobicoke.
Choice of Smartphone-Compatible Hearing Aids Based in Part on Hearing Level
While the specific choice of smartphone-compatible hearing aids will likely be influenced by an individual’s lifestyle needs and personal preferences, the severity of their hearing loss can also play a role. Therefore, people with hearing loss who might have an interest in this technology should contact Bravo Hearing Centre to Book a Hearing Test in order to determine whether their hearing level has recently changed, and in turn help them make a more informed decision on the hearing aid option/model that best suits their situation.
Another important decision to be made lies with the selection of the smartphone; that is, will it be compatible with their choice of hearing aids? While it will be essential to check, on hearing aid compatibility with the smartphone vendor at the time of purchase, the manufacturers of ReSound LiNX2, ReSound ENZO2, and Starkey Halo 2 provide the following guides respectively at this time:
An up-to-date assessment of hearing level, in conjunction with the professional insight and guidance of a hearing loss specialist from Bravo Hearing Centre, can aid in selecting the smartphone-compatible hearing aid that best suits an individual’s hearing needs and lifestyle. If you have any questions pertaining to the choice or the use of smartphone-compatible hearing aids, call the hearing aid specialists at Bravo Hearing Centre today at 647-694-4626 to request a complimentary consultation at your convenience.