Month: October 2014

FM Signals & T-Coil Loops

Have you or someone you know ever chosen to refrain from certain activities because it was just too hard to hear what was going on? Ever miss seeing a great film in the theater because you couldn’t hear it? How about your church service…can you hear it well? The gate announcements at the airport or the safety announcement on an airplane?

Everyday occurrences can be just out of reach for people who wear hearing aids but new technologies are making it easier and easier to be a social participant again!

FM receivers and T-Coils for hearing aids are making it easier and better for hearing aid wearers to enjoy sound-specific activities such as movie theaters, church services, concerts, museum tours, and more, and this technology even applies to everyday situations where hearing is imperative such as airport terminals and train stations, courtroom proceedings, or anywhere that specific information is provided verbally.

Most everyone is familiar with FM receivers; we’ve been listening to our favorite rock-and-roll stations on the FM dial for years! FM, or frequency modulation, is the encoding of information in a carrier wave by varying the instantaneous frequency of the wave. (Compare with amplitude modulation, in which the amplitude of the carrier wave varies, while the frequency remains constant.)

What this means for hearing aid users is a more direct ability to hear as the signal is transmitted directly to the hearing aid via a small transmitter that is attached to the hearing aid. Where a person with normal hearing would hear the FM sound along with everything else, the hearing aid user would get the FM signal delivered directly to their ear via their hearing aid…like a tiny speaker in their ear giving a private concert (if music is the sound being carried by the FM signal)!

A tcoil (or telecoil) is a small coil of wire inside a hearing aid that is designed to pick up a magnetic signal. When using the t-coil setting on your hearing aid it turns off the microphone so that it will only pick up the electromagnetic signal and convert it to sound. The t-coil is similar to the FM signal in that it delivers the sound directly to the hearing aid. Watch this short video when a little girl realizes that her family has “looped” their TV room for her.

Hearing Loop: A First Experience

Imagine going to the movie theater and instead of hearing the amplification of all the sounds in the theater (people talking and laughing, wrappers crinkling, seats squeaking) all you heard was the movie dialog and music directly in your ear, un-muffled and uninterrupted. To hear examples of how this technology works as compared to a regular hearing aids, click here.

This new technology could open up a whole world of activities that you used to avoid. Your social calendar is about to fill up!

If you found this information useful please forward to a friend or share it using the links below. If you would like to find out more about these technologies and how they can enhance your hearing experience, contact ihearingaids… it’s fast and easy (and we don’t bite)…we speak YOUR language!

Share This Article:

Bluetooth Technology and Your Hearing Aids

If you have resisted getting a smart phone, now is the time to reconsider…this newer technology will be music to your ears!!

Older hearing aid technology (or lack thereof) could limit many wearers from enjoying other technologies such as music players and mobile phones. For instance, a hearing aid wearer would not be able to use small headphones with their iPod (or, let’s go way back…their Sony Walkman). When mobile phones became commonplace and ‘hands-free’ laws were passed, many mobile phone users were unaffected by the new laws because they had already been using a hands-free Bluetooth device. But hearing aid wearers became even more limited than as they couldn’t very well remove their hearing aid in favor of a regular hands-free device. Well, what to do?

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (using short-wavelength UHF radio waves from fixed and mobile devices, and building personal area networks (PANs). Invented by telecom vendor Ericsson in 1994, it was originally conceived as a wireless alternative to certain data cables. It can connect several devices, overcoming problems of synchronization. A wide variety of products incorporating Bluetooth connectivity have been developed, including mobile phones, music players, computers, tablets and televisions.

Are there Bluetooth hearing aids?

The short answer to this is NO. The battery power required to operate standard Bluetooth technology is just not available in the tiny hearing aids batteries. However, many hearing aid manufacturers have created solutions to this obstacle. For example, Oticon, maker of fine hearing instruments, offers users their Streamer Pro, one interface with many features. Streamer Pro is the gateway to wireless connectivity offering remote control functionality of hearing instruments while transmitting signals from multiple sources, including landlines, cell phones, TV and the ConnectLine Microphone. Streamer Pro also provides seamless connectivity for:

ConnectLine App for iPhone® (Streamer Pro 1.2)
• Teleloop reception
• FM receivers
• Web-based video chat programs

Oticon's iPhone-compatible Bluetooth technology.

Oticon’s iPhone-compatible Bluetooth technology.

The new ConnectLine App for iPhone® further enhances the versatility of Streamer Pro. The app’s user-friendly interface allows users to control volume, program choice and input source by simply tapping icons and controls on their iPhone. Other hearing aid manufacturers offer their own streamers that are compatible with their own hearing instruments as well as many other Bluetooth enabled devices.

Will Bluetooth work for you?

When meeting with your audiologist or hearing care provider, be sure and discuss your needs for wireless connectivity. Your audiologist will offer suggestions based on your device usage the actual hearing aids use use. If available, your hearing aids can be paired directly with your Apple iPhone or paired with a streamer based on the actual devices you have (music players, television, mobile phone, etc). When setup is complete, the streamer (or iPhone) will pick up the Bluetooth signal and send it to your hearing aid via and FM signal. The streamer is usually worn around your neck or in a pocket for hands-free operation.

What are the benefits of streaming via Bluetooth?

Although you often must carry an additional device in order to access your mobile phone or music player, a streamer provides many opportunities that were previously unavailable to a hearing aid user.

Hearing aids with a streamer.

Hearing aids with a streamer.

– Personalized listening experience

The audio signal can be completely customized to the amplification that works best for you with each ear having complete adjustability. If you are using a music device, the hearing aids become wireless ear buds (like headphones only much cooler!). If using Bluetooth with your mobile phone, you can stream calls directly to one ear while leaving the other ear available for other sounds and noises around you.

– Multiple connections

Hearing aids with a streamer.

Hearing aids with a streamer.

In today’s world, we often have many devices, mobile or otherwise. Many devices can be paired to a single streamer so you can easily switch from one device to another. In fact, the technology is so cool that while you are watching a movie on your Bluetooth TV, the streamer can pause the audio from the TV while you take an incoming phone call.

– Remote control of your hearing aids

Compatible iPhones and streamers act as a remote control for your hearing aids. This is especially useful if your hearing instruments are very small and hard to adjust volume while wearing them.

– Standard technology

Bluetooth is an electronics industry standard protocol. Because it is was not developed by a hearing aid manufacturer for their specific hearing instruments, many manufacturers use the technology and adapt it to their products, not the other way around. The platform has been tested and refined already, as it’s been in use for many years in the mobile phone industry. The Bluetooth connection is secure and there’s no interference.

– Cutting edge technology

Bluetooth-enabled streamers have greatly elevated the hearing aid wearing experience. It’s an example of using today’s wireless hearing aid technology in a smart way that truly provides convenience for the individual with hearing loss.

To stay connected to your network of friends and family, contact ihearingaids today to find out more about Bluetooth streaming and Made for iPhone™ hearing aids.

This information might be useful to a friend or family member…feel free to share it using the share buttons below.

Share This Article:

Pink With A Purpose

pink with a purpose

Seeing pink in the month of October has become almost (or perhaps more) popular than seeing black and orange! Since 1985, October has been designated Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) and since that time, many people and companies have joined the pink bandwagon. Some companies offer their goods in the color pink while donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of those pink items to breast cancer research.

Even the hearing aid industry is on board!! Since 2007, Oticon has been “thinking pink” for a very worthy cause – breast cancer awareness and research.

During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Oticon “Pink with a Purpose” campaign raises awareness of hearing health and advances the fight against breast cancer, working in partnership with hundreds of hearing health professionals in communities nationwide.

This year, Oticon is featuring a special “Pink Alta” hearing device which is the centerpiece of the national campaign that allows people to choose a quality, high performance hearing solution and, at the same time, show their support for a very worthy cause.

Through the Pink with a Purpose campaign, Oticon annually donates to the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) to fund research to end breast cancer. In 2013, Oticon presented a check for more than $10,000 to NBCC.

The Alta is Oticon’s premium hearing instrument offering ultimate performance. This means better hearing with less fatigue for the use due to Alta’s speech clarity, directionality, dimensionality, and connectivity. The Alta can even be personalized with more detail and automation than ever to fit the unique hearing profile and lifestyle of the wearer.

If you or someone you love needs a hearing instrument, feel good about recommending the Oticon Alta, especially during the month of October. Ask your hearing aid specialist/audiologist about Oticon. Better yet, contact…we’ll hook you up!

Share this article with someone you love <3

Share This Article:

© 2020

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑