Emerging Technology in Hearing Aids

Hearing Aid
Do you think of hearing aids as the new “cool” thing? Do you wish you had new hearing aids like you wish you had a new stylish spring handbag or a new set of golf clubs? No? With new hearing aid technology, hearing aids are better for those with hearing loss. Current innovations are bringing many features to hearing aids. These go beyond helping you hear better. They help you create an easier, fuller lifestyle.

Free yourself with Bluetooth

Wireless connectivity is vital in our daily lives. We don’t often think about it. What if you could use all those wireless applications with your hearing aids? With the newest tech, it might surprise you how much they can do for you.
Think of all the smart devices you have: appliances, lighting, doorbells, security systems. These can all send a signal to your hearing aids. Better yet is the entertainment application. You can stream music, television and movie sound, and more to your hearing aids. You can also send audio from your smartphones, computers, and tablets to your hearing aids.
One example is the StreamLine Mic from Signia. This allows you to stream phone calls and music using Bluetooth on your smartphone. You may also use it as a remote microphone. Apple has also developed technology that connects hearing aids with its iOS platform. This platform operates its iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices. Your hearing aids became AirPods! Google is also developing hearing aid compatibility for Android devices.

Benefits of Bluetooth technology

  • Hands-free! Bluetooth enables hearing aids to connect to devices that use Bluetooth wireless technology. This can include mobile phones and car systems.
  • Bluetooth is the industry standard and not unique to any hearing aid or manufacturer. This means that it has uniformity no matter your brand. It works across all devices.
  • They can provide a personalized listening experience. Do this by setting the audio signal to stream to one or both hearing aids. You can then amplify the signal and fit to match the hearing aids’ personalized settings. A practical example: you want to use your hearing aids to listen to music. You can set one hearing aid to stream music and leave the other open to listen to the sounds around you.
  • Bluetooth improves the signal to noise ratio. This helps to reduce feedback. The signal bypasses the microphone and enters the hearing aid’s processor.
  • Bluetooth is secure and does not experience the interference that an FM system does.
  • You can pair many devices. This means that you can switch between devices without disconnecting. For example, you can listen to a movie and pause it to take a phone call through your hearing aid.
  • Remote control capability for your hearing aids is available. This is useful if your hearing aids are too small to allow for external controls. You can change the volume or program from the streamer.

Find your voice

Many hearing aid users find their voice loud and unnatural. This is when heard through hearing aids. Signia’s Own Voice Processing (OVPTM) technology provides the solution. They allow you to hear your natural voice while having the best hearing of all other sounds. OVPTM lets you enjoy the most natural listening experience.
Signia’s new hearing aids have speech quality. This lets you hear speech in any situation. Noise suppression technologies make it easier to understand and take part in conversations. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the quiet of your living room or the noisy chatter and clatter of a busy restaurant.

Think small – no, smaller

Whether worn inside or behind the ear, hearing aids keep getting smaller. There are now models so small they are hard to detect. Signia’s Silk Nx is one of the smallest hearing aids available and does not need a custom fitting. At 20 percent smaller than its predecessor, it is almost invisible.
Many of these new tiny marvels come in many sizes. This helps to avoid the need for impressions or molds of your ears. You can choose a pre-set size with the most comfortable fit.
And smaller size doesn’t mean that you give up any of the other latest hearing aid technology features. You can still change settings with an app or accessory remote. You can experience better speech quality, and even use over-the-ear headphones.

Enjoy an active lifestyle

Do you enjoy running, hiking, skiing, or rock climbing? What about golfing, boating, fishing, and outdoor concerts? Wind noise reduction technology makes a huge difference for outdoor enthusiasts. This technology detects the wind blowing across the hearing aid microphones. It then blocks or diminishes its amplification. If you happen to live in a windy environment, wind noise reduction tech may be a necessity.

Synchronize – the right ear finally knows what the left is doing

Older hearing aids worked separate from each other. This caused a snowball fight of different sounds coming into each ear at the same time. With hearing aid synchrony, the hearing aids work together via a wireless signal. This helps to create a sound experience like your natural hearing. Also, if you adjust one hearing aid, the other side adjusts right away. The more natural your hearing, the easier it is to forget you’re even wearing hearing aids.

Recharge and relax

No more batteries! Rechargeable hearing aids like Signia’s Pure Charge&Go Nx are available. No more need for those annoying batteries. You pop the hearing aids in a charging pod each night to start charging right away. Wake up and you’re ready to go. Some chargers dry your hearing aids as well.
The hearing aids use a lithium-ion cell that allows for a full day of wear (16 hours, on average). One type even lasts up to 30 hours, even while streaming. There are also silver-zinc rechargeable hearing aids.
This option offers great ease of use. You no longer have to replace batteries every few days. You won’t have to worry your batteries will run out and you won’t have replacements. You don’t have to mess with small packaging, small battery compartment or install a small battery. As a bonus, rechargeable hearing aids are also a green option. You won’t be throwing away hundreds of disposable batteries over the years.

Do your biometrics

Biometrics sounds like a kind of aerobic exercise. It’s the measurement of your physical or behavioral characteristics. Hearing aids now use biometric sensors. These track your health data, such as heart rate, energy expenditure, and other areas. If you have heart disease or diabetes, your hearing aids will track these conditions. This is all while helping you hear better. This information helps your doctors provide better, more individualized care.

All about those apps

There are so many apps available for both iPhone and Android platforms. Here are some of the app features.
  • Hearing test app to test your hearing
  • See the status of your hearing aids on your smartphone screen
  • Stream sound from audio sources
  • Change hearing aid settings and personalize your hearing aids
  • Listening exercises
  • Connect to a hearing care professional
  • Tinnitus management
  • Decibel sensors
  • Control of your television

Keep checking with your hearing specialist

Hearing aid tech advances are becoming more widespread. As this advancement continues, the costs of high-tech hearing aids will decrease. Talk with your hearing care professional about what is available. We can find what fits your lifestyle, and keep checking back. The features you only dreamed about may be right around the corner. Better yet, they may be available today.