Is a Bluetooth Hearing Aid Worth It?

a hand holding a blue hearing aid

While hearing aids cannot give a person perfect hearing, their main purpose is to magnify sound vibrations entering the ear to help them hear important everyday sounds and follow conversations, making speaking with others an easier experience. The correct hearing aid can also help people to differentiate conversation among background noise in noisy environments, such as in restaurants or other crowded social situations. 

Hearing aids are designed in varying power levels, and once the type of hearing loss is identified by an audiologist, they will take appropriate measures to set them according to what the patient requires, including size, style and location of the device. An audiologist will also tune the hearing aid to suit the patient’s exact needs and identify how loud sound needs to be amplified for their ears.

With more and more manufacturers now embracing new technology into their hearing aid models, Bluetooth hearing aids have particularly grown in popularity due to the flexibility. 

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a radio frequency that operates at 2.4 gigahertz. This signal wirelessly communicates from one device to another, such as a tablet, phone, or a computer. It uses a type of electromagnetic radiation (non-ionizing radiation) that scientists have confirmed as safe to be regularly exposed to. 

What are the advantages?

While Bluetooth connectivity doesn’t guarantee better-performing hearing aids, many consumers would agree that the main benefit is their ability to offer quick connectivity to mobile phones and remote microphones. Users can gain seamless and direct connection to TV streamers, stereo audio streaming for phone calls, as well as music or media, all while being able to adjust the volume with a separate remote. 

With Bluetooth hearing aids, sound travels straight to the person’s ears with unparalleled clarity free of background noise, meaning wearers can hear from an array of different devices with improved confidence. Even in the nosiest of environments, a Bluetooth hearing aid can ensure that sound is received, amplified and transmitted into the ears. 

More specifically, Bluetooth hearing aids can help with regular activities found in day to day life, such as:

  • Directly taking calls with your hearing aids
  • Adjusting the TV to a comfortable level for yourself while the rest of your family can watch at a level that is suitable for them
  • Watching videos on your tablet anywhere, such as on public transport 
  • Seamless switching between different devices, such as listening to the TV and taking a call
  • Improved clarity during video calls with others 

Bluetooth hearing aids also have very low energy consumption levels, making it a convenient choice in terms of battery life. However, they haven’t always been this way. In the past, Bluetooth technology consumed too much energy and would cause inconvenience for its wearers. Now, with the introduction of Bluetooth 4.0, as well as the rise of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, wearers can rely on their usage. 

Moreover, Bluetooth hearing aids offer high levels of personalization to help users hear better in many different situations. 

What are the disadvantages?

While many find Bluetooth hearing aids helpful in their daily lives, they may not be the best choice for everyone. As Bluetooth hearing aids require a streaming device, usually being a remote worn on the neck or kept in a pocket, people who are less familiar with new technology may find their usage more of a burden than a benefit. Those who prefer a simpler choice may benefit more from conventional hearing aids. 

Another disadvantage is that in order to use Bluetooth, people have to be near the device. For example, if someone is listening to music on their laptop and they walk into another room, the Bluetooth may stop working after a number of yards. This may prove to be frustrating or tedious for some. However, there is the alternative option to download music from a portable device such as a smartphone that can be carried around from room to room. 

Above all, people with hearing loss need to be comfortable and confident with wearing their hearing aid. Every individual has a slightly different configuration of hearing loss, and fortunately digital technology has allowed audiologists to customize the fit of hearing aids easier than ever before. If Bluetooth hearing aids aren’t of personal interest for your lifestyle, there are many more options to choose from, including in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC) or behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. For further help and advice on what we can offer here at Valley Hearing Center, call us today on 831-240-4162.