Bluetooth Hearing Aids: Everything You Need To Know
Published: March 20, 2023
Bluetooth hearing aids offer the connectivity we need in the modern world, including versatility and convenience for those affected by hearing loss. Hearing aids have had their limitations up until now, not giving individual wearers the ability to customize their hearing experience, other than through an audiologist.
Bluetooth hearing aids changed this, by allowing those affected by hearing loss to customize their hearing aid to their specific needs, as well as being able to change settings on the go. More than this, Bluetooth hearing aids have also opened the way for features such as streaming of phone calls, music, and audio directly through the device itself, just as you could with devices such as wireless headphones or earbuds.
Take note, however, it’s important to check whether a Bluetooth-enabled device is able to stream for all of the above. Some devices are Bluetooth-enabled, allowing the wearer to connect the hearing aids to a smartphone, for example, but do not have streaming capabilities.
What is a Bluetooth hearing aid?
As the name suggests, a Bluetooth hearing aid is simply a hearing aid that uses Bluetooth wireless technology to connect to a smart device (such as a smartphone). Bluetooth is a name synonymous with wireless connectivity, it’s a method of wireless communication between electronic devices that allows the transfer of data between electronic devices using high frequency radio waves.
Initially, Bluetooth hearing aids offered a way for manufacturers to give control of a hearing aid wearer’s experience to the user itself, typically through an app on the smart device. An excellent example of this is the Lexie app where you can customize the volume, profile and other settings (model dependent) of the hearing aids, as well as track Lexie Rewards.
Bluetooth is also capable of streaming phone calls, music and audio through the hearing aid from a smart device, similar to what you see with wireless headphones or earbuds.
Apple vs. Android: Does it matter?
Bluetooth is technically a third-party wireless communication protocol – which is just a fancy way of saying it’s an unbiased wireless “language” for electronic devices. What this means is that it doesn’t really make a difference if the smart device you’re using to connect your hearing aids is an Apple or Android device because the language is the same across any Bluetooth-compatible device.
In saying this, there are some small differences between Apple and Android devices to note, and while you can certainly use a Bluetooth hearing aid across both platforms without any issues, there are some things to consider.
Apple does slightly nudge ahead of Android when it comes to optimizing the Bluetooth hearing aid experience as they have patented a particular Bluetooth connection with hearing aids, which allows them to communicate with devices such as iPhones and iPads.
The main benefit of this optimized Bluetooth connection that many manufacturers call “Made for iPhone™”, is that it reduces the amount of battery power needed to power the Bluetooth connection, giving you longer battery life for your hearing aids.
Android is by no means non-compatible with Bluetooth hearing aids (as long as the device is running Android 10.0 or higher). The only difference is that there is no direct communication or connection between Android devices and hearing aids (such as we see from Apple) other than the standard Bluetooth connectivity.
The only drawback here is that Android devices do not optimize battery life and so it may drain the battery faster than if the same hearing aid was connected to an Apple device. Google is currently working on a similar hearing aid compatibility and optimization, to enhance your hearing aid experience but it is unclear when that will be released.
Benefits of Bluetooth hearing aids
While most of the benefits of Bluetooth hearing aids come from the ability to stream phone calls and media directly to your hearing aids, these features have not been widely adopted as yet. One of the biggest benefits of Bluetooth connectivity is still customizability, which is something that we at Lexie have adopted extensively in our range of Bluetooth hearing aids.
Bluetooth hearing aids have the capacity to be customized according to your specific needs, and when paired with something like the Lexie app, you can switch various settings independently.
Not only does this give you greater control over your hearing aid itself, as you can conveniently change the volume of your hearing aid, but you can also customize various profiles for different environments so that you get the best possible hearing experience at any given time.
Why choose Lexie Hearing?
Lexie Hearing aims to put you at the center of your hearing experience by giving you total control over your hearing aids because no one knows what you need more than you do. Lexie Hearing believes in affordable and accessible hearing healthcare solutions for everyone and strives to bring high-quality and feature-rich hearing aids to those who need them most.
Lexie Hearing also offers fully-remote ongoing support if you have any trouble with your hearing aids, or if you simply want to chat with a Lexie Expert™ about your hearing loss, we are all ears! Make sure to visit our product comparison page to learn about our different models and what each one can offer you.