Thanks to Smartphones, Modern Hearing Aids Offer More Than Improved Hearing

Modern hearing devices are more sophisticated than ever, with some now offering patients the option to link the devices directly to their smartphone of choice, greatly expanding their functionality and the features they offer.

Few things are as ubiquitous as the modern smartphone. Given the tremendous technology packed into these pocket-size devices, it should come as little surprise that they can do anything from piping music and phone calls through your car’s stereo to monitoring your workout to streaming blockbuster movies while you wait in the dentist’s office. Increasingly, hearing device manufacturers are adding their latest creations to this list of gadgets able to communicate with nearby smartphones, drastically increasing the versatility and feature set of the same technology that so many people rely on for relief from hearing loss.

And these new features go far beyond simply transforming a hearing device into a miniature, high-tech earpiece for your phone. Imagine that you’re sitting in a noisy restaurant having a conversation. Traditionally, if you’re wearing a hearing device, this will require you to fiddle with the tiny knobs on the device itself. This is both annoyingly complicated and betrays the fact that the hearing device, no matter how small, is in your ear — a hurdle for image-conscious adults. However, if the hearing device is linked to your phone, you could make the necessary adjustments to blot out background noise using a convenient, intuitive app. Nobody has to know you even have a hearing aid — your companions will just assume you’re checking Facebook.

Or imagine you take your hearing aids out, fall asleep, then wake up unable to find them in the morning. Given the thousands of dollars the average hearing aid can cost, that’s a major problem. But if those hearing aids are linked to your phone, you could use your phone to track them down with state-of-the-art GPS technology.