It’s getting better all the time. It’s more than just a Beatle’s quote. Some might say it is a commentary on technology, as new and improved devices seem to pop up every day, so what about the hearing aid industry? What are they doing to stay on track with better-than-ever hearing assistance devices?
The people who design and manufacturer hearing aids are indeed answering the call for high-quality technology. This year, they introduced new products designed to be more user-friendly and better able to adapt to other high-tech gadgets like the latest smartphone operating systems. Consider three high-tech upgrades you will see in the latest models. It’s safe to say these aren’t the hearing aids your grandpa wore.
1. The Ones With the Microchip
Just recently, one popular hearing aid manufacturer announced the addition of a 2.4 GHz microchip to their devices that allows for wireless streaming. Today’s baby boomers are tech-savvy, so they don’t want to remove their hearing aids to use earbuds or headphones when they listen to music. With the addition of this microchip, they no longer need to take that extra step.
The new chip will allow these hearing devices to stream from Apple products, use Bluetooth technology and they are even compatible with Android operating systems. This is a big step up, because, although, this is not the first hearing aid design that allows streaming, past use was limited. With Android-based smart phones becoming the norm, the company needed a solution that worked well for everyone. Other manufacturers have hearing aids that will only work with Apple, for example, so this is a definite step up.
One of the biggest financial downsides to hearing aids is the need to always buy new batteries. The more effective the hearing aid, the bigger the battery drain, too. In 2016, that all changed as one company introduce rechargeable hearing aids into the market. Now, the technology has gotten even better.
The new hearing aid style uses wireless rechargeable technology, so you slide the hearing aids into a wireless charging station conveniently located anywhere you want. The user doesn’t lose anything by using a rechargeable battery, either. They connect directly to your phone to take calls or stream music, are small enough to be practically invisible and come with four levels of receiver power.
If you decide to go with a rechargeable model, be sure to double-check to see how long the hearing aids can go between charges. At least one allows for 24-hour use before you need to recharge. In a pinch, you can still use disposable batteries with most of these devices as a backup, though.
3. Get Sensored
One new advantage being offered on hearing aids is sensors that tell you if you don’t have the device in properly. It checks to see if the hearing aid is on or off and will actually make adjustments if you switch the left and right hearing aids accidentally. This interchangeability makes the devices easier to manufacture and more energy-efficient.
Changing out the manual on/off system to an automatic one is a big plus for people just trying to get used to wearing hearing aids, too. No more having to pull them out and check to see if they are on or not. The hearing aid will detect when it is in place, determine if the power is on and make an adjustment if necessary all thanks to one new little sensor.
Like most technology, hearing aids are evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of the end user. They also are adapting to advancements in other tech industries like smartphones and computers. All that adds up to a win-win scenario for those with hearing challenges – there is really no excuse for living without hearing aids any longer.