If you thought that hearing aids were dull devices not worthy of your consideration, then think again. Thanks to advances in consumer electronics, modern assistive hearing devices are packed with technology like you wouldn’t believe.
The first thing you’ll notice about modern hearing aids is how they all now have connectivity options. And we’re not just talking about the telecoils of the past. No – we mean real connectivity that actually works with all your home devices.
Most mid-range models now feature Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity so you can hook them up to your smartphone or tablet and listen to media through them, just as you might wireless earbuds. You can also use this connectivity to adjust their settings through your mobile device. You just open the companion app and select the settings profile you want – job done.
Once you start wearing hearing aids, you’ll also notice the massive improvements that manufacturers have made to the software. Today, you can buy assistive hearing devices that not only amplify sound but also personalize it to your needs.
Not all people with hearing loss have difficulty hearing the same sounds. Some people struggle with high-pitch noises, while others find it hard to detect low-pitch tones. Today’s assistive hearing aid devices, therefore, come with software that you can calibrate to enhance the volume of specific frequencies while leaving others unchanged.
Engineers have also improved the software in another way – giving it the ability to sense the environment.
Experienced hearing aid users know that the settings that they need in one situation might not be the same as for another. For instance, if you’re sitting in a quiet room, you don’t need the same level of amplification as you might if you were in a noisy pub or bar.
Manufacturers now include smart technology in their devices that can sense different noise environments and change settings accordingly. You can walk into a crowded room of people, and the device will shift settings, without you having to provide any manual instructions to do so.
Battery improvements haven’t progressed as fast as those in other areas, but they have been quite significant nonetheless.
The most significant change is the form factors that modern batteries now enable. You can now get hearing aids that are so small that they fit perfectly into the ear canal with no external components whatsoever. Devices like this just wouldn’t have been possible without improvements in battery technology.
Battery improvements are also showing up in hearing aids more widely. Many owners find that they can wear their assistive hearing devices for up to ten days without them running out of charge.
Voice Conversation Transcription
When you are hard of hearing, it can sometimes be challenging to listen to what the person on the other end of the phone is saying, particularly if you can’t see their lips. Now a company called Phonaks has come out with a transcribing hearing aid that will record everything that the person on the other end of the line says.