Pay attention – this section may get confusing!When we talk about made-for-iPhone or made-for-Android hearing aids we specifically refer to the ability to stream audio (i.e. phonecalls) direct to your hearing aids.
Different technology approaches were developed for various reasons.
Direct Mobile Phone Call Streaming
As mentioned the first key benefit is direct audio streaming – this means streaming audio from your mobile device to both of your hearing aids. This can include phone calls, music, and apps like Google Maps.
INTERESTING FACTS – for people with severe to profound hearing loss:
- Streamed phone-calls to both ears improves phone call listening by an average of 50% in speech recognition tests
- If you stream video phone-calls (i.e. Face-time) this increases to approximately 70% improvement.
Hands-free phone calls – the extra advantage of Phonak and Unitron’s ‘Made-for-ALL’ hearing aids though is that you can make hands-free phone calls – you do this by 1. answering phone-calls by pressing the button on the hearing aids; and 2. the hearing aid microphones pick up and transmit your voice to the caller – true hands-free calling. (not available in MFi and Made-for-Android hearing aids).
Direct TV Streaming
You can receive high definition stereo streaming from your TV direct to your hearing aids (you do require a TV adaptor but it plugs into your TV – not an accessory you wear or hold near you).
Made for ALL hearing aids may well connect to Bluetooth TV’s but you may get audio lag – if you use their TV streaming accessory you will not get audio lag (i.e. the lips move before you hear the speech).
Multiple Apple Device Streaming
Ironically it is the Made-for-ALL hearing aids that allow you to connect to two Apple devices simultaneously – i.e. an iPhone and an iMac.
Via the dedicated phone App for the hearing aid you can now control your hearing aids without the need for a separate remote control.
Having more control allows you to fine tune your hearing aids in different environments to suit your needs.
The key functions may change between the different manufacturers.
Remote control functionality may include:
- Volume control
- Mute function
- Home function – to reset any changes back to default
- Programme change – for different environments
- Changing directional focus for noisy environments – left, right, back, front
- Controlling wind noise and general noise
- Changing the frequency response
With some hearing aids you can save preferred settings.
You can geo-locate programme settings to automatically switch on when you arrive at a frequent place. Check out this short video on Starkey Soundpsace – it is so easy to use!
STARKEY LIVIO AI features via their THRIVE App
FIND YOUR LOST HEARING AIDS! – You can locate lost hearing aids using the built in hearing aid locator
REMOTE FINE-TUNING – We can adjust your hearing aids remotely. This is a great way of tweaking the settings on initial set up to make sure you get the very best set-up, without repeated trips to see us. It also means we can supply hearing aids, at our prices, to clients travelling greater distances.
FIRMWARE UPDATES – Resound hearing aids only at present – keep your hearing aids up to date with live updates via the dedicated app.
LIVE LANGUAGE TRANSLATION – You can use google translate to decipher what a foreigner is saying, direct in your ears. We have no idea how you reply though!
LIVE CALL-TO-TEXT – Converts your calls to text as they speak so you can follow calls better – a boo for those with severe to profound hearing loss.
FALL DETECTION AND ALERTS – Sensors in the hearing aids can detect if you fall over and automatically trigger an alert in the app to notify family members.
FITNESS TRACKING AND WELL BEING – Using sensors in the hearing aids you can keep track of your health and well being with visual analytics.
REMINDER ALERTS – You can set all sorts of reminders in the app to play audio alerts in your hearing aids.
Car Bluetooth Streaming
Your hearing aids will be connected to your phone – this means when you get in your car the car Bluetooth will not automatically connect to your phone. You would need to disconnect the hearing aids in Bluetooth settings and connect your car, and vice versa on exit of the car; or, use your hearing aid connections and clip or stick your phone to your dashboard vents so that it is practical.
Made-for-All and Made-for-Android hearing aids are available as medium sized receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids (including a rechargeable option).
Made for Android specifically are available in 4 custom in-ear sizes s as per the left image (CIC, ITC, full-shell, and remote microphone (Resound only)).
In 2019 ReSound launched completely-in-canal MFi hearing aids – the downside of these is that they have a somewhat ugly antenna loop sticking out of the hearing aid – you can see this in the right image, if you look just above the battery door compartment.
Made for iPhone > Made for Android > Made for ALL MOBILE PHONES!!!
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