Telephone & Cell Phone Accessories
With the use of the telecoil, both automatic and manual telephone programs are available to improve clarity while using your landline phone. By placing the telephone over your hearing aid, the audiologist can program your hearing aids to switch to the t-coil setting amplifying the signal through your hearing aid. Similar to wireless accessories, your hearing professional would be able to program this feature to either include t-coil only or t-coil in addition to the microphone of your hearing aid.
Bluetooth hearing aids or hearable products are in-ear devices designed to wirelessly connect to smartphones, music players, and other Bluetooth devices. First developed for headphones, medical monitoring, fitness tracking and translation, hearables have transitioned into the hearing aid market to improve communication and sound quality for the hearing-impaired population.
Made for iPhone (MFi) Hearing Aids
Initially developed by Apple in conjunction with such hearing aid companies like Starkey and Resound, focus has shifted to the importance of communicating with the use of cellular phones and the internet. As a result, most hearing aid manufacturers now offer their solution for the everyday smartphone user.
Similar to a hands-free headset, you can directly stream your phone calls and music playlist to your hearing aids. By using your prescribed hearing aids, the sound will be amplified for your hearing loss in both ears thus improving the sound quality of your cellular phone. Originally, only available in receiver-in-the ear products, Made For iPhone direct binaural streaming is now available in in-the-canal, in-the-ear and receiver-in-the-ear models.
Unfortunately direct streaming to your Android or older iPhone devices is not available with most hearing aid products. However, manufacturers offer a wireless solution such as a proprietary microphone or additional streaming accessory to provide you with improved speech understanding while talking on your smartphone device.
Personalization & User Preferences
In addition to direct streaming, manufacturers have created applications to further personalize your preferences and listening needs. Each company will allow you to listen and manipulate the hearing aid in real time to further improve sound quality no matter what environment you are in. Focusing on the individual, these features are available in many levels of technology. By developing these apps, the manufacturers are able to give the user the control to personalize their hearing devices outside the audiology suite and in the real world. In doing so, hearing aids can be programmed to fit each patient's preferences regardless of their individual lifestyle.
Finding The Best Solution For You
When purchasing a hearing aid, Made For iPhone and telecoils should be discussed with your audiologist. Not all hearing aids come with a t-coil or direct streaming capability. Although advantageous for some, if you prefer smaller hearing aids or do not want to be bothered by multiple programs than these features may not be the best option for you. That said, when making this decision, it is important to discuss how much difficulty you are having with your smartphone or landline phone in addition to how often you visit facilities that have hearing loops installed.