Using Your Hearing Aids with a Smartphone
Smartphones are highly customizable, and many models can be paired with hearing aids to enhance their performance. With the option to amplify the sound of calls, pair your device directly to your hearing aids and even stream music through your hearing equipment, using hearing aids with a smartphone couldn’t be easier!
Traditionally, mixing hearing aids with electronic equipment could be tricky. In many cases, interference between the two technologies resulted in subpar performance and a reduction in the quality of the noise you were able to hear.
However, modern smartphones have revolutionized technology when it comes to hearing aid compatibility. Not only do smartphones work well with hearing aids, they’ve been specially designed to do so.
Can you use a smartphone with hearing aids?
When you’re wearing hearing aids, you can use your smartphone as anyone else would. However, there are additional settings which may enhance the quality of calls and make it easier to hear the caller.
Many smartphones have a ‘Telecoil’ installed and, when activated, it will send signals straight to hearing aids on the ‘T Loop’ setting. Both hearing aids and smartphones have settings which can be activated to ensure this feature can be used, although you’ll may want to ask your audiologist to do this for you.
In addition, digital hearing aids are often capable of receiving Bluetooth signals. As almost every smartphone on the market is capable of transmitting Bluetooth signals, you can pair the two devices and rely on your smartphone to send signals directly to your hearing aid.
Which hearing aids are right for you?
There are many different types of hearing aids that are compatible with smartphones, so your audiologist will be able to advise which ones could be right for you. Depending on the nature and severity of your hearing loss, one model of hearing aid may be more suited to your needs than another.
Simply tell your audiologist that you would like to use a smartphone with your hearing aids, and you’ll be able to access expert advice and assistance.
Whilst nearly all smartphones can work with hearing aids, some are better than others. However, it’s important to put your health first and choose a phone which complements your hearings aid, and not the other way around!
What smartphones are compatible with hearing aids?
You can use any smartphones with hearing aids, but some models have dedicated features to enhance the volume of calls, cancel background noise and pair with hearing aids. If you want to make use of these additional features, you’ll need to find out whether your chosen device includes them as standard.
Often, smartphones will be designated as ‘hearing aid compatible’ and many also feature a rating which highlights how well the device will work with hearing aids. A rating of M1, M2, M3 or M4 relates to how well the microphone will work alongside hearing aids, whilst T1, T2, T3 and T4 ratings refer to how well the phone should work via the Telecoil with hearing aids on a loop setting.
However, not all phones or manufacturers use this rating system, so don’t be put off if you can’t find one for your chosen device. The best way to determine which smartphone works best with your hearing aids is to ask your audiologist for advice and try out different devices.
Choosing the right technology
Major phone manufacturers, such as Apple, have worked in conjunction with hearing aid developers for a number of years and have produced tech which works seamlessly. With many hearing aids carrying a ‘Made for Apple’ or ‘Made for Android’ designation, you may find that you can choose hearing aids which are well-known for their smartphone compatibility.
Although smartphones can be used to improve the quality of an incoming or outgoing call, they can also be used to improve your auditory experience in other situations. With a compatible hearing aid, for example, you can use your smartphone to enhance the clarity and quality of music speakers, televisions and laptops, as well as picking up sounds from your phone, enhancing them and sending them direct to your hearing aids. With the ability to use a variety of audio presents, many people find that these options work well when they’re out and about in busy environments, such as restaurants or bars.
Using hearing aids with your smartphone can be a great way to communicate with other people and an effective way of enhancing your general auditory experience. To find out more about wearing smartphone-compatible hearing aids, contact the Pacific Audiology Clinic now at 503-719-4208.