The 5 Myths of Wireless Hearing Technology

Jennifer GrothBy Jennifer Groth, M.A.

There is still some misunderstanding in the industry about what makes a hearing aid wireless.  Over the next week, I will be posting the 5 most common myths associated with wireless hearing technology.

Myth #1: “My hearing aids already are wireless – they use Bluetooth.”
Despite how manufacturers may be positioning these products, most “wireless” hearing aids on the market today don’t actually have true wireless capabilities. Some so-called “wireless” hearing aids actually rely on an older technology called near field magnetic induction.  These hearing aids use a Telecoil to receive a signal sent from an intermediary device (a neck loop transmitter), which is worn around the user’s neck. The limitations of this technology are that the transmitter must be within 3 feet of the hearing instrument.  These hearing instruments do not contain wireless technology. The Bluetooth connection really only exists between the neck loop and the audio device (for example a television or other audio device) which translates the Bluetooth signal into a near field magnetic induction signal.

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5 thoughts on “The 5 Myths of Wireless Hearing Technology”

  1. I’m a new user of ReSound Futures (as of August ninth). I love the wireless capabilities. The streamer is outstanding, and not just because I can understand the dialogue, (and listen to ball game even as I grab another beer from the fridge) but the music sounds better than a live 5.1 system.

  2. Purchased 2 RIE units 2 years ago. Am delighted with units, however, when designing, why waste what little battery power they contain, creating music to waste power, to keep reminding you that power source is getting low? Either design one with more battery power or get rid of the music.

    1. Hi Josef,
      In older technology analog hearing aids, they would simply “fade” and then stop amplifying as the battery ran down. Today, acoustic low battery warnings are used in digital hearing aids because this type of hearing aid will most often produce unpredictable, unpleasant and distorted sounds when the battery voltage is too low. The amount of battery used by playing the acoustic indicator is negligible, and not doing so would not prolong battery lifetime.

      1. Thank you for your reply. You’re correct in your statement but have had aids for years with a little larger batteries, that lasted some-what longer. It’s when you are at a distance from spare batteries and one doesn’t carry spares when in the rain, it just seemed that reminding one every minute until it drives one in an angry direction, does not enforce future purchases with this type of aid.
        Thank you again for your reply.

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