How does bluetooth work?
You’ll find Bluetooth chips in hundreds of devices these days including mobile phones, computers, cameras and, of course, hearing aids. These devices contain small internal radios that use shortwave radio signals to transmit data including images, text or sound.
Unlike Wi-Fi, that is used to connect directly to the internet, Bluetooth connects one device to another usually only over a maximum of 30 feet. You’ll have one main device, for example your mobile phone, that can be used to connect to a variety of other Bluetooth devices such as speakers and TVs.
The main device is called the ‘master’ and it can have up to seven ‘slaves’ for example your computer might be the master and is connected via Bluetooth to a wireless keyboard, mouse, printer, speakers. A range of connected devices is known as a ‘piconet’.
What are bluetooth hearing aids?
Many of our hearing aids include Bluetooth, or similar wireless tech, that allow you to connect your hearing aids to a number of devices – meaning you can be more connected than ever.
Hearing aids that are not connected wirelessly cannot communicate to each other or to other devices; if you made a change to the volume on one hearing aid you’d have to do the same to the other one and they won’t link to your phone etc.
Using a combination of Bluetooth and small internal radios (known as T-coils), wireless hearing aids can talk to each other and to a range of electronic devices.
What can bluetooth hearing aids do?
Having Bluetooth® capability opens up a world of connectivity so that you can stream audio from your TV, mobile phone or music device into your hearing aids, thereby improving your sound quality.
Sometimes this connection is direct to your hearing aids, sometimes you’ll need an additional device called a ‘streamer’. The streamer works by converting Bluetooth signals into FM signals that allow you to perfectly hear phone calls, the television etc. This signal also tells the hearing aid to switch off its microphone so you’re not bombarded with sounds and can just focus on one device at a time.
Some hearing aids are known as MFIs or MFAs – made for iPhone or made for Android. This means they link directly to Apple products or Android devices without the need for a streamer.
This direct connectivity means you can use your hearing aids like wireless headphones to take calls and talk on the phone in busy environments, watch TV without background distraction or enjoy music while out for a walk. It means hearing aids become as much of an entertainment device as headphones do.
And you can control then from your mobile phone – discreetly and effectively.
Find out more about our range of digital hearing aids at our dedicated Bluetooth page.