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Cell Phone Accessories

Connectivity

When it comes to incorporating hearing aids into your everyday life, utilizing hearing aid compatible equipment is incredibly helpful and may greatly improve your experience.   Hearing aids are designed to provide better clarity - but sometimes they can’t do it all.  Whether you find yourself struggling with a loved ones’ voice, conversation in a noisy restaurant, or understanding the television (just to name a few) there are many options available to enhance your listening experience.  Your Sonus Hearing Care Professionals’ specialist may recommend one or more of the following options according to your needs.

Wireless vs. Non-Wireless

Hearing aid compatible accessories may be wireless or non-wireless.  Wireless solutions are preferred by many since there are no dangling wires.  Examples of wireless accessories include Bluetooth capable streaming devices, made-for-iPhone hearing aids, FM systems, and telecoils.   An FM system accomplishes this by using radio waves, whereas a telecoil utilizes magnetic energy.  Bluetooth is a brand name for a wireless networking technology that uses short-wave radio frequencies to interconnect technology.

Using a Telecoil

Many hearing aids today are equipped with a telecoil feature, also known as a “t-coil” or “t-switch”.  Telecoil can be activated by simply pressing a button on most hearing aids. It was originally called a telecoil to use with the telephone for better clarity, especially in noisier places.  A neckloop is a type of intermediary device that may be utilized with telecoil, FM systems or Bluetooth.  Bluetooth is used with the wireless option, which is the standard for most current cell phones. The neckloop attaches a tiny transmitter to a necklace that bridges the cell phone and hearing aid together. The neckloop is a great choice for any device that supports Bluetooth functionality.

The telecoil is also designed to be used in “looped” environments such as auditoriums, movie theatres, sports stadiums, and places of worship to provide a clear, customized signal that is delivered directly to the hearing instruments. A hearing loop is a wire that circles a room and is connected to a sound system. The loop transmits the sound electromagnetically. The electromagnetic signal is then picked up by the telecoil in the hearing aid or cochlear implant. Ask your Sonus Hearing Care Professional for “looped” places in your area.  Most hearing aids today include a telecoil, except for the very small custom invisible hearing aids.   If you are unsure if your hearing aid is equipped with telecoil, or how to utilize this feature, consult one of our hearing care specialists.  

Using an FM System

Similar to telecoils, an FM System may be utilized to deliver a clear signal to hearing aids without the interference of pesky background noise.   Two components are required for an FM System - a microphone and a receiver.  One example of a microphone is a lapel mic, clipped onto the speaker that delivers streamed sound from up to 50 feet away to the hearing aid wearer.  This type of system allows the listener to enjoy improved clarity, hearing from a distance, and reduced background noise while preventing listener fatigue.

Bluetooth Accessories

Today, virtually all hearing device manufacturers offer a line of compatible accessories that sync to hearing aids via Bluetooth.  These devices are designed to complement a hearing aid, improving the listening experience for the wearer when an environment may be difficult or impossible to hear in.  Examples include a remote control for wireless hearing aid adjustment, remote microphone to overcome distance, TV streamer or cell phone streamer in which the wearer’s hearing instruments act as a headset this allows the delivery of crisp, interference-free sound directly to your ears.  Many people are impressed with the improved quality of sound and the convenience that these sleek, discreet devices deliver without the hassle of wires.

Made for iPhone Hearing Aids

More hearing aids than ever before are being designed to sync with smartphones.  Starkey’s Halo 2 & ReSound’s Linx2 are two popular options that can offer a direct Bluetooth connection to a user’s iPhone or Android without the use of wires, accessories, or an intermediary device.  Using an application, hearing instrument wearers may now have control to make minor hearing aid adjustments, program changes, and stream phone calls, music, and other media right in the palm of their hand from their smartphone.   

Always Optional

Accessories for hearing aids are always optional purchases.  Having extra clarifying boosts where needed is a huge benefit. When speech is unclear due to distance, noise or lack of visual cues.  These accessories enhance the speech of a telephone, television, and conversation in an automobile, meetings or restaurants.  Make sure to discuss which accessories may be most beneficial for your lifestyle with your Sonus Hearing Care Professionals Specialist.

For further reading please go to the attached link: http://www.hearingloss.org/sites/default/files/docs/HLM_JulAug2015_Medwetsky.pdf