Combining Bluetooth Transmission with Signia Hearing Aid Technology
Bluetooth® has been around for a couple decades, but it has hit its stride with hearing aid technology. Here’s a quick guide on how it works, and how it can help those with hearing loss have more dynamic listening experiences.
Commonly used in speakers, phones, and headsets, Bluetooth’s low energy standard allows it to communicate with other devices wirelessly, without draining too much battery power. When combined with hearing aid technology, this connectivity creates a new level of convenience for hearing aid wearers. They can stream music, adjust settings, and even make calls by synching their phone to their hearing aids.
However, there’s quite a bit to know about Bluetooth transmission and how it works. Here’s a quick guide to explain the core idea, and how it combines with hearing aid technology.
How does Bluetooth transmission work?
Bluetooth technology works by sending short-wave electromagnetic signals from one device to the other. Inside every Bluetooth device is a chip that contains a radio and software. These two components work in tandem to connect the device with others around it.
Before this transmission can begin, the devices must be paired to allow wireless communication. This is a safety measure that protects user privacy and ensures that the signal is being sent to its intended location. Once connected, low-level radio signals are sent between the devices. These signals carry data such as audio or adjustments to the devices.
For example, users can begin streaming music on their phones, and the audio signal will be transmitted wirelessly to their headsets. Settings like volume and sound quality can also be adjusted via phone, and the hearing aids will react accordingly.
Like most Bluetooth devices, the wireless connectivity is not infallible. The electromagnetic waves are only so powerful, and they cannot go through everything. Distances can weaken the connection and interrupt streaming.
Low-level signals can also be blocked by water, especially the water found in organic tissue. For this reason, Bluetooth devices cannot function in the human body.
ITE hearing aids are located within the wearers’ ears, which surround them with tissue. In order to establish a wireless connection, the Bluetooth transmission would have to make it past the tissue of the ears. This would result in a poor connection and bad audio quality.
It is far easier and more effective to develop a working, Bluetooth-compatible BTE hearing aid than an ITE option. With BTE solutions, the transmissions do not have to travel through tissue to reach the device.
How does this benefit hearing aid users?
For many users, having constant attention drawn towards their hearing aids can damage their self-image and make them self-conscious. Bluetooth connectivity allows them to use their hearing aids in a more discreet and private manner. If they need to change the volume or settings, they can wirelessly adjust their hearing aids from their smartphone.
Many hard of hearing people also have trouble making calls and enjoying music. Because these activities usually require the sound to travel through headphones or receivers and their hearing aids, the quality is lowered by the time it reaches their ears. Bluetooth connectivity eliminates the need for headphones, speakers, and other intermediary devices in the listening process.
Wearers can listen on-the-go, and don’t have to bother with wires and cords when listening to music. These advantages make Bluetooth connectivity a popular feature in hearing aids, especially among young or tech-savvy users.
Signia is best-in-class when it comes to audio streaming. In a study of the new Insio Nx ITC and ITE devices compared to competitor ITEs, Signia’s audio stream was interrupted far less, and the sound was robust and clear. For those who regularly listen to music, make calls, and stream audio, this level of connectivity and convenience is invaluable.