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Phones and Hearing Aids - It’s Good That They Talk to Each Other!

Do you ever struggle to hear on the phone?

When you’re hard of hearing, it can be difficult establishing who is on the other end, let alone following the conversation from a call centre.

Some of that is to do with the reduced frequency bandwidth of landline telephones (they don’t go as far as “S”, so there is reduced clarity). Some is to do with missing the visual cues, body language and lip reading you’d do in person.

Connecting your hearing aids to your mobile phone then, is a huge help. Hear the caller in both ears - which reduces background noise remarkably well. Restore all the frequencies. Alter the volume and tone as you wish. And the main thing: the caller’s voice doesn’t have to carry over the air, to your ears. It is delivered straight into your ear canals. Brilliant.

I have a customer at the moment who is trying to decide between Android and iPhone. iPhone have supported hearing aids for many years, and they are very stable. Made for iPhone (MFI) tech is very good. Made for Android is newer, and the outcome is less well known, but ReSound and Starkey have both got good products which connect direct. iPhone has the added bonus of Live Listen, where you can use your phone as a table microphone and stream to the aids.

Phonak have a “made for all” product, which connects via Bluetooth to one aid, then streams the call to the other ear. This is less stable than pairing both ears, and may cause a delay that sounds “echoey”. I prefer the Android or iPhone tech.

For those with Doro phones, there is an add-on device from Widex that plugs into the mobile’s headphone socket. When you answer the phone, it picks it up and directs it to the hearing aids, and it doesn’t need “pairing”. You don’t need to have the latest smartphone to hear well.

So whatever phone you have, I’ll have something to fit you. I even have a landline phone option that connects directly to the aids, no pairing required. Perfect for those in care home settings or those with dementia as there is no patient input required.

And of course, with the personal service you get from Hearing and Tinnitus Care, and with home visits available, I can help you set up and practice using these devices, to give you every confidence in them.

If you find phone calls difficult, you can text or email me. If you’d like to know if your existing hearing aids can connect, drop me a line and I’ll tell you if you need to upgrade or if your current aids can do it.

NHS aids are capable of connecting to mobile phones too! You might not have been told about it, but there is a version of the Oticon Synergy that is compatible, and also the Phonak. They may need an intermediary device (a neck loop), which you have to buy for around £150, but they can do it if you ask for it.

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