You may be concerned that the need to wear hearing aids means an end to your enjoyment of audio entertainment. You’ll be relieved to learn that with today’s modern technology, this is far from true. Hearing aids and accessories are available that allow you to continue to enjoy music in all its forms and from a wide array of media.
Don’t throw out your MP3 player
Many hearing aids now come with telecoil (T-coil) technology built in. This small receiver allows you to pick up sound coming from your portable music player, stereo, and car radio while also reducing the likelihood of feedback when the hearing aid comes close to another electronic device. The T-coil enables you to use accessories that can connect your hearing aids directly to your MP3 player or other portable listening device, delivering sound directly as though they were stereo ear buds.
An alternative to T-coil technology is Bluetooth® wireless for connecting and exchanging information between devices over a secure, short-range radio frequency. Audio from your MP3 player transmits via Bluetooth into a wireless receiver, which re-transmits the music directly into your Bluetooth-compatible hearing aids. Some car sound systems can also stream directly into your hearing aids using this technology.
These streaming audio connectors come with separate or integrated remote controls. You should discuss the pros and cons of each alternative with your hearing care professional as part of the process of deciding what kind of hearing aids to buy.
New technology lets you enjoy the show
The T-coil provides an additional advantage — it allows you to tap into FM or infrared (IR) transmissions, or induction loop systems, so you can hear audio streams in public locations such as concert halls. These hearing loops create a wireless magnetic signal that is sent from a microphone through an amplifier. The amp processes the signal and sends it through the FM or IR system to be picked up by a special receiver, usually provided on a loop you can wear around your neck.
Simply set your hearing aids on a telecoil setting and you are ready to listen. With induction loops, the magnetic signal goes through a loop of wire cable surrounding the perimeter to anyone whose hearing aids are using a T-coil program. The sound is completely distortion free and contains no background noise, so you actually hear the music better than those without hearing aids.
If you aren’t sure whether a concert venue, Broadway show, or other public area is looped, look for this sign:
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires public venues to provide some sort of receptive communication access option. If there is no loop system or your hearing aids aren’t compatible with that technology, the venue should still have an assistive listening device (ALD) they can provide to augment the entertainment. And as Bluetooth technology continues to advance, it is likely more public venues will take advantage of this wireless technology to stream concerts and other musical entertainment directly into your hearing aids.
Get your hearing tested today
If you're tired of not being able to hear concerts, lessons, or religious services clearly, hearing aids can make all the difference. Call 855-355-9064 or contact us online to schedule a no-obligation appointment to get your hearing tested by a professional now.
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