Can Hearing Aids Connect to My Smart Phone?

By, Margaret Christiansen, Au.D

As technology has advanced in hearing aids, it is becoming increasing common for hearing aids to have the ability to wirelessly connect to smart phones.  Options are available that allow both iPhone and Android users the ability to connect to their hearing aids, often without the need for any additional devices or lanyards.  This allows any sound that leaves your phone to be wirelessly transferred to the hearing aids. During a phone call, the sound is delivered to both hearing instruments without the need to hold the phone up to the hearing aid.  This gives a clear sound, amplified just right for your hearing loss. Having the sound delivered to both ears increases the ability to understand speech. This wireless connection will also stream media such as music and video calls from your phone into both hearing aids.

Often the hearing aids also are compatible with an app for the phone which essentially turns the phone into a remote control for the hearing aid.  This allows the user to easily adjust how the hearing aid is sounding. Apps vary between hearing aid manufacturers, but some apps even monitor battery life on the aids as well as location services should a hearing aid get lost!

The wireless technology inside the aids also allows for connection to devices that improve your listening experience for the television or in noisy environment. To help with television, a device is available that allows sound from your television to be wirelessly transmitted to the hearing aids. This delivers a nice, clear sound from your television to your hearing aids while keeping the television volume comfortable for everyone else in the room.  To give added benefit in a noisy environment or hearing a far-away speaker, a small microphone is available that is designed to be worn by the person you are trying to hear.  This wirelessly transmits their voice into your hearing aids.

The technology in hearing aids has advanced allowing for easy connection to devices around us. For some, this added technology sounds exciting. For others, it sounds overwhelming.  When selecting a new hearing aid, it is important to find something that fits your individual needs. There is no one-size fits all solution. Your audiologist will be able to help guide you in the selection of technology that fits your individual needs.