How Does Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids Work?

 

Wondering how to stream audio directly to your hearing aid, or simply curious about how the process works?

Your hearing aid can do a great deal more than mitigate hearing loss. Thanks to technology like Bluetooth, modern hearing aids can introduce their users to a host of entirely new soundscapes. With just a bit of configuration, you can use your hearing aid to: 

  • Make hands-free phone calls

  • Listen to music

  • Listen to audio from your TV

  • Hear what's happening outside by connecting to a smart doorbell system

  • Receive alerts from a smart home security system

  • Listen to a smart device such as a baby monitor

Audio streaming is at the core of the above functionality. And the truth is that it's an innovation that was a long time coming. What many people don't realize about hearing loss is that there are many things a hearing aid cannot do — at least not on its own. 

 

Phone calls can be an exercise in frustration, with the other party's voice either too distorted or too quiet to hear. Conversing in a restaurant or bar can be nearly impossible, as the background noise drowns out whatever anyone tries to say. And forget about streaming music, watching TV, or listening to audiobooks. 


At least, that's how it used to be. Thanks to audio streaming and Bluetooth, you no longer need to suffer in silence. Instead, you can tap into the world in ways you never imagined before.

 

What Is Audio Streaming, Exactly?

In the context of hearing aids, audio streaming involves pairing a hearing aid with another device via Bluetooth. At that point, the hearing aid can accept an audio feed from the device and transmit it directly to your ear — without the sound even passing through your hearing aid's receiver. Per the Annual Bluetooth Market Update, the capacity to transmit audio between devices is fast becoming non-negotiable both for over the counter and prescriptive hearing aids. 

Pending developments in Bluetooth technology will further enable functionality such as multiple synchronized audio streams.

 

Do I Need Special Peripherals for Streaming Audio to My Hearing Aid?

That largely depends on your hearing aid, although you will likely need a smartphone at the minimum. This is because for the majority of Bluetooth hearing aids, the configuration of device pairing and audio streaming is primarily done via a companion app. Depending on the device or devices to which you want to connect your hearing aid, you may also need to purchase a peripheral or two. 

Many TVs, for instance — smart TVs included — lack the capacity to stream audio directly to a hearing aid. As such, most major hearing aid manufacturers sell specialized accessories such as streaming hubs or Bluetooth hubs. The functionality of these devices varies greatly.

Some may only be capable of connecting to one TV or device at a time. Others might support multiple simultaneous connections, while still others may be intended exclusively for streaming via a service like Spotify. We'd also advise checking any devices to make absolutely sure they support Bluetooth audio streaming and, more importantly, that your hearing aid is able to connect to them. 

Listening to music or podcasts on your smartphone is, after all, quite different from trying to pair your hearing aid with a car radio. 

The best advice we can give here is that you should check the manufacturer's website when in doubt. It will generally tell you everything you need to know about a particular hearing aid model and the peripherals it supports. And if the information you look up online is in any way unclear, your audiologist can be an invaluable resource. 

Some hearing care providers will even allow you to try specific peripherals before you purchase them so that you don't wind up stuck with a device you can't use. 

It's also worth noting that you have other options for audio streaming beyond proprietary software and first-party peripherals. There are plenty of third-party smartphone apps, for instance, that allow you to set up audio streaming without requiring special hardware. Tunity, for example, is a deep learning app that lets you use your smartphone to identify and stream the audio for any show, even if your TV is muted.

 

Stream Away

Whether you're using your smartphone, specialized hardware, or a third-party app, audio streaming to your hearing aid is neither difficult nor complicated. After all, even as sophisticated as hearing aids have become, they're still designed for usability at the end of the day. And any hearing aid that's difficult to use or configure isn't likely to last much longer.

How Does Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids Work?

 

Wondering how to stream audio directly to your hearing aid, or simply curious about how the process works?

Your hearing aid can do a great deal more than mitigate hearing loss. Thanks to technology like Bluetooth, modern hearing aids can introduce their users to a host of entirely new soundscapes. With just a bit of configuration, you can use your hearing aid to: 

  • Make hands-free phone calls

  • Listen to music

  • Listen to audio from your TV

  • Hear what's happening outside by connecting to a smart doorbell system

  • Receive alerts from a smart home security system

  • Listen to a smart device such as a baby monitor

Audio streaming is at the core of the above functionality. And the truth is that it's an innovation that was a long time coming. What many people don't realize about hearing loss is that there are many things a hearing aid cannot do — at least not on its own. 

 

Phone calls can be an exercise in frustration, with the other party's voice either too distorted or too quiet to hear. Conversing in a restaurant or bar can be nearly impossible, as the background noise drowns out whatever anyone tries to say. And forget about streaming music, watching TV, or listening to audiobooks. 


At least, that's how it used to be. Thanks to audio streaming and Bluetooth, you no longer need to suffer in silence. Instead, you can tap into the world in ways you never imagined before.

 

What Is Audio Streaming, Exactly?

In the context of hearing aids, audio streaming involves pairing a hearing aid with another device via Bluetooth. At that point, the hearing aid can accept an audio feed from the device and transmit it directly to your ear — without the sound even passing through your hearing aid's receiver. Per the Annual Bluetooth Market Update, the capacity to transmit audio between devices is fast becoming non-negotiable both for over the counter and prescriptive hearing aids. 

Pending developments in Bluetooth technology will further enable functionality such as multiple synchronized audio streams.

 

Do I Need Special Peripherals for Streaming Audio to My Hearing Aid?

That largely depends on your hearing aid, although you will likely need a smartphone at the minimum. This is because for the majority of Bluetooth hearing aids, the configuration of device pairing and audio streaming is primarily done via a companion app. Depending on the device or devices to which you want to connect your hearing aid, you may also need to purchase a peripheral or two. 

Many TVs, for instance — smart TVs included — lack the capacity to stream audio directly to a hearing aid. As such, most major hearing aid manufacturers sell specialized accessories such as streaming hubs or Bluetooth hubs. The functionality of these devices varies greatly.

Some may only be capable of connecting to one TV or device at a time. Others might support multiple simultaneous connections, while still others may be intended exclusively for streaming via a service like Spotify. We'd also advise checking any devices to make absolutely sure they support Bluetooth audio streaming and, more importantly, that your hearing aid is able to connect to them. 

Listening to music or podcasts on your smartphone is, after all, quite different from trying to pair your hearing aid with a car radio. 

The best advice we can give here is that you should check the manufacturer's website when in doubt. It will generally tell you everything you need to know about a particular hearing aid model and the peripherals it supports. And if the information you look up online is in any way unclear, your audiologist can be an invaluable resource. 

Some hearing care providers will even allow you to try specific peripherals before you purchase them so that you don't wind up stuck with a device you can't use. 

It's also worth noting that you have other options for audio streaming beyond proprietary software and first-party peripherals. There are plenty of third-party smartphone apps, for instance, that allow you to set up audio streaming without requiring special hardware. Tunity, for example, is a deep learning app that lets you use your smartphone to identify and stream the audio for any show, even if your TV is muted.

 

Stream Away

Whether you're using your smartphone, specialized hardware, or a third-party app, audio streaming to your hearing aid is neither difficult nor complicated. After all, even as sophisticated as hearing aids have become, they're still designed for usability at the end of the day. And any hearing aid that's difficult to use or configure isn't likely to last much longer.

  

  

  

Do you think you might be suffering from hearing loss? Call or chat today to talk with one of our Hearing Consultants:  

Call #phone#.

  

  

  


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