Bluetooth Hearing Aids: What You Need to Know

Are you curious about how Bluetooth hearing aids work? These innovative devices use advanced technology to connect with other Bluetooth-enabled gadgets wirelessly. Whether you’re considering Phonak Bluetooth hearing aids or exploring different brands, these hearing aids offer a seamless audio experience by syncing with smartphones, laptops, and even televisions. With them, you gain the power to conveniently manage sound settings, enjoy your favorite music, or effortlessly take phone calls. Bluetooth hearing aids elevate your listening experience by leveraging radio frequencies for high-quality audio transmission.


How Do Bluetooth Hearing Aids Work?


The Basics of Bluetooth Connectivity


Bluetooth hearing aids stand apart for their ability to wirelessly link with compatible devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops. What’s more, Bluetooth technology turns your phone into a remote control for your hearing aids. This allows you to adjust volume, switch programs, and even fine-tune settings as needed.


Streaming Your Audio


Not only do these devices connect, but they can also stream audio directly to your hearing aids. Thus, you can hear any audio content from your cellphone through your hearing aids, essentially transforming them into built-in headphones. The feature extends to tablets and televisions as well.


Hands-Free Calling

Bluetooth hearing aids come with built-in microphones, facilitating hands-free phone conversations. Sonova, the maker of Phonak hearing aids, offers genuine hands-free calling by utilizing the microphone in the hearing aid itself. To make the most of Bluetooth hearing aids, ensure your smartphone meets these general software requirements:


  • iPhone: iPhone 5 and up, running iOS 7 or newer
  • Android: OS version 8 or newer, although compatibility may differ among brands


How Do Bluetooth Hearing Aids Work: Types of Streaming Hearing Aids


  • Made for iPhone (MFi) Hearing Aids: MFi hearing aids, designed exclusively for Apple devices, have low-energy Bluetooth connectivity. They offer a host of features accessible through your iPhone settings. A notable feature is Live Listen, which turns your iPhone into a remote microphone.


  • Android-Compatible Hearing Aids: Introduced in 2019, Google’s Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA) protocol enables Android devices to connect to compatible hearing aids. Ensure you’re running Android OS 10 or higher for optimal functionality.


  • Universal Streaming Hearing Aids: Sonova, the parent company of Phonak hearing aids, pioneered universal Bluetooth connectivity in 2017. Their advanced PRISM chip allows for universal streaming from any Bluetooth-enabled device, conserving battery life.


  • Intermediary Devices: For those with older smartphones or non-streaming Bluetooth hearing aids, intermediary devices can help. These accessories, such as Oticon’s ConnectClip, connect your phone and hearing aids for a better audio experience.


  • TV Streamers: Some hearing aids offer specialized TV streamers. These devices send audio directly from your TV to your hearing aids, enhancing your viewing experience.


In conclusion, there are Bluetooth hearing aids for every preference.  So make sure to check compatibility as you shop to ensure the best connectivity with your devices.

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A woman presses her small hearing aid, and it looks like waves are coming out.

What Are the Benefits of Using Bluetooth Technology in Hearing Aids?


Bluetooth hearing aids aren’t just a trend. Additionally, they offer numerous benefits that cater to various degrees of hearing loss. With state-of-the-art technology, these hearing aids automatically adjust to your environment, relieving cognitive load and enhancing your hearing experience.

Bluetooth Features Include:


  • Reduced Feedback Issues: One common complaint about traditional hearing aids is feedback. Bluetooth hearing aids are less prone to this problem. They aren’t directly connected to the ear canal, reducing the likelihood of annoying whistling sounds.


  • Utmost Convenience: Gone are the days of awkwardly managing auxiliary devices to make calls or listen to audio. Bluetooth technology allows direct streaming and call handling right from your hearing aids.


  • Hands-Free Communication: Bluetooth functionality enables hands-free phone conversations. This benefit is crucial for those with difficulty hearing on phone calls or needing their hands free for other activities.


  • Your Entertainment, Amplified: Stream music, podcasts, or TV shows directly to your hearing aids. Enjoy your favorite media with unparalleled sound quality without needing additional equipment.


  • Enhanced Listening in Noisy Environments: Whether you’re at a concert or in a bustling café, Bluetooth hearing aids can minimize background noise and improve vocal clarity, elevating your overall listening experience.


  • Easy Remote Control via Smartphone App: After downloading a compatible app, you can discreetly adjust settings such as volume, change listening modes, and even monitor battery life—right from your smartphone.


  • Seamless Connectivity with Multiple Devices: Bluetooth hearing aids allow pairing with multiple devices, like your smartphone and smart TV. This feature enables easy switching between different audio sources.


  • Advanced Tech Beyond Bluetooth: Bluetooth hearing aids also employ cutting-edge technologies that improve speech comprehension, adapt to different speakers, and filter out background noise.


  • Rechargeable Options for Ease of Use: Many Bluetooth hearing aids come with rechargeable batteries. Just place them on the charging station overnight, and you’ll have fully charged devices ready in the morning.


Moreover, Bluetooth models offer robust advantages over traditional options if you’re considering a hearing aid. With diverse offerings from major brands, there’s a Bluetooth hearing aid that can meet your unique needs.

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What Are the Key Features of Phonak Bluetooth Hearing Aids?


Founded in 1947 in Zurich, Switzerland, Sonova has long been a pioneer in the hearing aid industry. They broke new ground in 2003 by developing the first hearing aid with Bluetooth technology. Committed to enhancing auditory experiences, the brand provides a range of Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids packed with features that cater to diverse needs.


Universal Streaming Models: Phonak Slim and Virto Paradise

Phonak offers two models with universal streaming: Phonak Slim and Phonak Virto Paradise. These models are ideal if your older phone isn’t compatible with other brands. To check compatibility, use the tool available on the Phonak website. Unique to Phonak, these models support true hands-free calling. Instead of holding your phone to your mouth, the hearing aids’ built-in microphones pick up your voice.


Impeccable Sound Focusing with Directional Microphones

Directional microphones in Phonak Bluetooth hearing aids help zero in on the speaker in front of you. This feature excels in noisy settings like cafes or restaurants, isolating the speech you want to hear.


Advanced Noise Reduction

Say goodbye to distracting background noise. Phonak’s noise reduction technology makes it easier to hear conversations, even in loud environments.


Seamless Control with Smartphone App

Phonak offers an intuitive smartphone app that lets you control your hearing aids with ease. Adjust the volume, switch programs, or locate your hearing aids if they’re misplaced—all from your phone.


Intelligent Sound Recognition

The automatic sound recognition feature adjusts settings based on your surroundings. Are you transitioning from a quiet to a noisy environment? The hearing aids adapt automatically, and no manual setting changes are required.


Tailor-Made Listening Experience

Phonak hearing aids adapt to your specific auditory needs.  Tweak the settings for optimal sound quality that suits you best.


Convenient Rechargeable Batteries

With rechargeable batteries, you never have to worry about your hearing aids running out of power during a meaningful conversation.


Phonak Bluetooth hearing aids are a reliable choice for anyone looking to enhance their hearing experience. In fact, they offer a versatile range of features to ensure clear sound, convenience, and customization for all users.


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Troubleshooting Common Issues With Phonak Bluetooth Hearing Aids


Navigating technical issues with your Phonak Bluetooth hearing aids can be frustrating. Consequently, this guide aims to simplify that process with actionable steps and practical tips.


Initial Connectivity Checks

  • Confirm Device Compatibility: Ensure your hearing aids and phone’s operating system are compatible. Update your phone’s software if needed. You can find the OS version in Settings > General > About.
  • Consider Additional Devices: For older phone models, you may require an additional device to enable streaming.
  • Software Updates: If your hearing aids don’t connect to the app, look for updates in your Apple or Google Play Store. Alternatively, uninstall and reinstall the app.


Troubleshooting Steps for Common Issues


Connection Issues:


  • Turn on Bluetooth on your device.
  • Ensure your hearing aids are in pairing mode.
  • Try restarting both your hearing aids and device.
  • Unpair and re-pair your hearing aids if needed.


Streaming Issues:


  • Verify the connection between your device and hearing aids.
  • Check the volume settings on your hearing aids and device.
  • Restart the audio source if streaming still fails.


Feedback Problems:


  • Lower your hearing aids’ volume.
  • Make sure the hearing aids fit well in your ears.
  • Use a different hearing aid program if feedback persists.


General Malfunctions:


  • Check the hearing aids’ batteries or charge them fully.
  • Clean the devices with a soft cloth.
  • Consult your hearing professional if issues persist.


Look here for detailed video walkthroughs on handling your Phonak Bluetooth hearing aids. 


Your hearing aids are an investment in your quality of life. Troubleshoot effectively with these guidelines, consult your user manual or reach out to the hearing care specialists at your local American Hearing and Audiology center. 

An older man looks at his phone in surprise.

Are Bluetooth Hearing Aids Right for You?

So Bluetooth hearing aids offer an advanced, convenient solution for enhanced hearing. They seamlessly integrate with your devices, deliver crystal-clear sound, and come packed with features that make your life easier. To find the right Bluetooth hearing aid for you, contact American Hearing and Audiology today. Your journey to better hearing starts with us.