Bluetooth hearing aids—what are they and why are they important?
Put simply, Bluetooth hearing aids are wireless hearing aids. They allow you to stay connected to all of your favorite audio devices including Apple and Android phones, tablets, televisions, and computers. While Bluetooth technology isn’t new (it first launched in 1998), today’s rapid evolution in smart, digital electronics has resulted in new and creative ways to integrate Bluetooth into improving our quality of life—and Bluetooth-style hearing aids are undoubtedly part of this.
With so many Bluetooth innovations, it’s hard to know exactly what it does and how it can make your life easier. This step-by-step guide will explore all the modern applications of Bluetooth and, most importantly, how it’s revolutionizing the hearing aid industry.
Let’s start with a basic question: what is Bluetooth? It is a short-distance wireless technology that connects two or more electronic devices that, once connected, can share data or sound. Using low-energy radio waves, Bluetooth digitally exchanges information that’s both safe and secure for users. It’s also important to highlight that Bluetooth doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi or a cellular network. As long as devices are Bluetooth enabled and closely positioned to each other, they can have two-way wireless communication.
Today, Bluetooth can be found on everything from personal refrigerators to large-scale mesh networks, keeping thousands of devices connected wirelessly. But most people are familiar with its at-home uses—ranging from wireless Bluetooth speakers and headphones to hands-free headsets and digital car functionality.
What do Bluetooth’s version numbers mean?
Bluetooth 5.2 is currently the most advanced Bluetooth, but it has evolved over the years with Bluetooth 1.0 being its first version—which is nearly impossible to find today. Instead, you will most likely see electronics with Bluetooth versions ranging from 4.0 to 5.2. But what’s the difference?
The two biggest differences are:
- Speed for transferring data. Bluetooth 5 and up are the quickest and most efficient versions yet for data transfer at 2 Megabits per second—double the speed of Bluetooth 4.
- Maximum distance for connecting two devices. Bluetooth claims Version 5.0 works at a maximum 243 meters (800 feet)—over two football fields. That’s a massive improvement from previous versions, where 4.0 had a maximum range of only 10 meters (33 feet).
Ven™ by Audientes, for example, features the latest Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, meaning this Bluetooth-enabled hearing aid stays connected with all your favorite electronics at further distances. This gives extended freedom and flexibility to do any daily activities—inside and outside.
Smartphones: the perfect Bluetooth device for hearing aids
One of the most revolutionary developments in the past couple of decades has been smartphone technology. Through wireless connectivity and large touchscreen displays, smartphones allow people to personalize and control other electronic devices via easy-to-use apps and settings, and Bluetooth has long been a standard feature for these devices.
If you have a smartphone, you most likely have either an Android or iOS phone. The main difference is the operating system used—Apple’s iOS used for iPhones, Android (sponsored by Google) used for most other smartphones—and that means Bluetooth devices are developed separately for each operating system.
Let’s take a closer look at these two operating systems and the Bluetooth hearing aids designed for them:
- Bluetooth hearing aids for Android: Google is now working on a hearing aid compatibility standard for the Android platform. Why is this important? Because Android makes up roughly 70% of the mobile operating system market share worldwide, and more than 70% of Android phones support the Google interface. So, if you don’t have an iPhone, you most likely have a Google Android smartphone—and now a number of Bluetooth hearing aid brands can connect with Android-based phones using Android version 10.0 or higher.
- “Made for iPhone” Bluetooth hearing aids: Apple has taken things a step further by patenting specific Bluetooth hearing device connectivity for its iOS operating system. This technology allows hearing aids to connect with all Apple devices easily and directly without putting too much stress on battery power. With 28% of global mobile operating system market shares, Apple is another widely-used smartphone brand, and many hearing aid manufacturers are now including Apple-specific Bluetooth technology in their products.
Ven: the universal Bluetooth hearing aid
In order to make hearing aids with Bluetooth technology that’s accessible to everyone, Ven by Audientes is designed for universal connectivity. Apple, Android, or analog—Ven connects instantly with any smartphone or tablet device. There’s even a unique Audientes App for both iOS and Android devices which provides full access to all the best audio features, including:
- Full hearing test: Using Bluetooth, you can open the Audientes App to run your own hearing tests, adjust volume and change your hearing programs.
- Phone calls: Bluetooth connectivity brings loud-and-clear wireless audio to each and every phone call, video call and digital communication.
- Entertainment: Thanks to Bluetooth, Ven provides high-definition audio streaming of your favorite music or TV program so that you always get the perfect volume.
- Cloud storage: Digitally store all of your customized hearing information, with the high speed of Bluetooth 5.2, so that you can return back to life, uninterrupted.
In just a few simple steps, Bluetooth instantly connects Ven to any of your favorite electronics so that you have a seamless audio experience. But don’t worry, if you don’t have a smartphone, Ven also works great by itself with easy-to-use neckband controls.
How much is a Bluetooth hearing aid?
Now, on to the most important question: how much do Bluetooth hearing aids cost? Today’s price for over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids is only a fraction of prescription-only devices—thanks to huge improvements with self-service hearing tests and adjustments embedded in OTC and Bluetooth technology. Very often, Bluetooth hearing aids online are somewhere between $300 and $1,000 USD.
Most significantly, new OTC hearing aids with Bluetooth, including Ven, don’t require appointments with hearing specialists for people suffering from mild to profound hearing loss. This pivot from in-person appointments and prescriptions to remote delivery and at-home servicing has dramatically decreased the cost of top-end hearing aids, making them within reach to millions more people globally who urgently need hearing aids.
Best Bluetooth hearing aids for the 2020s & beyond
When it comes to experiencing high-quality, inexpensive and innovative hearing aids, there’s no better option on the market than today’s OTC hearing aids like the all-new Ven. These small hearing aids with Bluetooth are redefining the next generation of digital hearing solutions for the next decade—and we at Audientes are excited to be a part of this transformation.
Whether through your nearest Audientes retailer or contactless delivery, Ven is ready to come to you. Having a high-quality Bluetooth and invisible hearing aid should no longer depend on geography, and we guarantee a more flexible and empowering hearing experience for everyone.
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