When you think of hearing aids, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Probably a bulky, over-the-ear device that never works as well as you want it to. Wind and background noises make it hard to concentrate on the sounds right in front of you, and you’re constantly adjusting the settings trying to find that perfect balance.
But over the past several years, hearing aid technology has grown by leaps and bounds. The days of ineffective hearing aids are in the rearview mirror as smart hearing aids begin to take center stage.
What is a smart hearing aid?
We have lots of “smart” things in our everyday lives now: smartphones, smart TVs, even smart houses. It makes sense that hearing aids would get a “smart” makeover, too. Smart hearing aids are defined by their ability to connect with other devices, use automatic functionality to optimize sound, and even monitor your health.
Bluetooth hearing aids
Believe it or not, your hearing aid can help you start your day in more ways than one. There are smart hearing aids on the market that connect over Bluetooth or wi-fi that can turn on the lights in your home and start your coffee maker as soon as you put them in your ears.
Smart hearing aids can also connect to your devices – phones, tablets, computers, and TVs – to ensure that you get the clearest sound possible when you’re using them. Your Bluetooth can link your phone directly into your ear, so you don’t have to struggle with trying to listen to your phone through your hearing aid.
Automatically hear better
Unlike decades ago, many of today’s hearing aids have the ability to filter out different types of sounds and make sure you hear what’s important to you. Just about every smart hearing aid has wind-canceling technology, which allows you to have conversations outdoors without any trouble. Smart hearing aids can also filter out the sounds in noisy places – like a restaurant, for instance – so you can concentrate on your own conversations, and not the ones that are happening around you.
Newer hearing aids can also be set up so you only hear the sounds you need to hear. For example, if you have trouble hearing high-frequency sounds, you can get a hearing aid that will only assist with making those sounds audible for you. Typically, these smart hearing aids are specially designed to allow low- and mid-frequency sounds into your ears without amplification, while amplifying the high-frequency sounds.
Customize your sound
Artificial intelligence is becoming more common every day, and hearing aid technology is not immune. Your smart hearing aids can “learn” your hearing preferences, which means they’ll adapt to certain sound environments to make changes automatically. Take our examples of the outdoors and noisy restaurants – your smart hearing aids can automatically adjust to your preferences every time you enter those environments to ensure you have optimal hearing the entire time.
There are even some AI-powered smart hearing aids on the market that can help keep you healthy. These hearing aids monitor your physical and mental health throughout the day by keeping track of your activity and social engagements to come up with a wellness score. Your blood pressure and oxygen level can also be tracked, which goes far beyond the capabilities of older hearing devices. These hearing aids can also act as a medical alert device by sending out an emergency signal of you fall or have other types of medical events.