When patients begin researching hearing aids, we often hear how overwhelming the process is. Information is everywhere, and the options are endless. A question I often receive is related to ‘made-for-phone’ hearing aids. What does this mean and what do they do?
Most of the main manufacturers offer a hearing aid that is compatible with smartphones. The majority of them are optimized to work with iPhones specifically. With this type of hearing aid, you are able to stream anything you are listening to on your iPhone directly to your hearing aids without wearing any type of intermediary device. Whether you are talking on the phone, listening to music, or watching a video, you will hear the audio straight through your hearing aids. You also have access to an app on your phone that gives you extra control such as adjusting volume, programs, and other customized settings. The Starkey HaloIQ is a great example of a made-for-iPhone hearing device, allowing direct streaming from your iPhone, customization of the listening experience, and it can even make automatic adjustments based on your location! This is a great tool for patients wanting to hear clearly on their cellphone, or who want extra control over their hearing aids.
In the past, Android users had access to the phone apps that gave control over their hearing aids, but were unable to stream audio without wearing an intermediary device. Phonak recently released a made-for-all-phones hearing aid, the Phonak Audeo B-Direct, that will connect to almost any phone that has bluetooth. It allows the listener to stream phone calls directly to one ear, without wearing an intermediary device. However, in order to stream other audio sources, such as music or videos, the listener must plug an additional device into their phone. This is a big step for the Android community as a function like this was not previously available.
Made-for-phone hearing aids are not for everyone. Patients who don’t like to adjust their hearing aids or do not use their cellphones often are not ideal candidates. However, for the patient who spends a significant amount of time talking or has difficulty communicating on their cellphone, his technology may benefit them. If you or a loved one would like more information on these products, call to set-up a free consultation and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
For more information about hearing aid accessories contact Gardner Audiology at 1-800-277-1182 or mail firstname.lastname@example.org