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What Are “Wireless” Hearing Aids?

by Susan Fenrich

When hearing aids were first made some had wires that went from a box shaped body worn aid to a button receiver in the ear. As time went on the wires got shorter and the hearing aid was worn over the ear. Eventually the wires were gone and all the components were housed in one case that was worn beh ind the ear. Only those who had profound hearing loss still use d body worn hearing ai ds. Soon just about all hearing aids were wireless.

Today, the term wireless has a whole new meaning when it comes to hearing aids. Wireless means that the hearing aids communicate wirelessly to other devices. The best wireless technology allows two hearing aids to operate together as one complete system, instead of acting as two independent devices. The y communicate to each other, effecting how each hearing aid processes the sounds. The left aid knows what the right one is hearing from the right side and then processes the sound accordingly, taking into acc ount the head-shadow effect and vice versa. This allows for better hearing in a noisy environment. In less sophisticated wireless hearing aids only the volume control and the program button communicate to each other. When you change the volume and the environmental program in one hearing aid it will do the same in the other.

Wireless also means that the hearing aid can receive signals wirelessly from devices that can:

  1. Regulate the volume and environmental programs of the hearing aid
  2. Answer a cell-phone so one can hear the caller right in the hearing aid.
  3. Allow one to h ear the TV loud and clear in the hearing aid while others in the room can hear the TV at a comfortable level or not at all.
  4. Pick up ones significant others voice via a body worn mini- microphone (this puts the others persons voice in front of the background noise , as in a restaurant). These mini-microphones can also be plugged into devices as : mp 3 players and even into a FM receiver as found in numerous churches and auditoriums to assist those with hearing loss.

Some wireless hearing aids utilize a neck worn induction loop that works with the telecoil in the hearing aid to receive signals from other devices. Other hearing aids utilize FM signals to receive signals from other device s with ou t the need for a neck worn induct i on loop. Combinations of FM and Blue-tooth technology are used to make this wireless connectivity possible.

People ask , H ow they can they make hearing aids better ? This is how. Wireless hearing aid technology offers many benefits to the hearing aid wearer, including: improved speech understanding in noise, easier access to controls, the ability to connect to other media devices, such as : t elevisions , mp 3 players, radios, computers, cell phones , and more . T hese technological advancement s ha ve been very beneficial to many hearing aid wearers who need to access other ways of communication while at work or during other leisure activities.

The latest wireless technological improvement is the control of the hearing aids with a Smart Phone, through the use of a phone app. Soon ReSound's LiNX will be available. It is Made for iPhone with direct sound streaming, personalized to your every need.

The content contributions of Welsch Hearing Aid Company should no t be considered by anyone as a substitute for medical or other hearing health professional diagnosis, treatment, advice, or recommendations.