Technology is driving so much of our lives. Smart phones, smart houses, smart apps; these are all things of the present. Thankfully, hearing aids are no different. While hearing aid devices have continued to decrease in size, their functionality is increasing at incredible rates. One area that has grown in popularity in the past few years is the use of accessories to maximize the benefits of every hearing device. These accessories include battery rechargers, Bluetooth devices and wireless microphones for better understanding in noisy and large auditorium environments. The bottom line is that accessories add little cost, but a lot of impact to a hearing aid fitting.
Some manufacturers have finally realized that rechargeable hearing aid batteries are desired by their customers. For example, Siemens has the eCharger, which can be used with two of their hearing aid models. The eCharger is a compact container that functions as both a battery recharger and a hearing aid dryer to protect the instrument against moisture. Once charged, your batteries last 15 hours and will recharge in 6 hours overnight on the charger.
Bluetooth technology was first paired with hearing aids in 2002. Since that time, functionality and size has driven drastic change. Bluetooth communication platforms allow you to connect your wireless devices to your hearing aids. For example, your smart phone can wirelessly connect to your hearing aid devices using a small intermediate accessory. This allows you to use your hearing aids as your Bluetooth device for talking on the phone or listening to music. This same technology is used at home with your television, allowing a wireless signal from your television to be heard directly through your hearing aids. The sound quality is exceptional as you are presented with a surround sound signal that you can turn up and down in volume independently from your television unit’s volume. This allows your companions to set the television volume at a level which is comfortable to them, not having to worry about the level which is necessary for you.
Recently, the remote microphone was introduced to the market. This device allows hearing aid wearers to receive a direct audio signal from a small microphone that can be clipped or set near a communication partner of choice. This wireless transmission means listeners can more successfully manage noisy environments at restaurants, meetings and large gatherings. The voice of their communication partner is heard over their hearing instruments directly, reducing the disruptions from noise. Our hearing aid wearers have also had great success using this device in their cars and at church.