6 Responses to Wireless Systems for Hearing Aids

  1. Julie Olson says:

    Thank you for the excellent article Cynthia. How far we’ve come in the area of ALDs since I first met you through SHHH nearly 30 years ago! Like others who are excited about the current Hearing Loop movement, I can’t say enough about the wonders of that technology in large venues; and of course via neckloops with other personal audio devices. The benefits I’ve received from all 3 technologies, including FM and IR have kept me in the hearing mainstream for years. A key to much of that has been ‘a willingness to use it openly’, and I have. FM made it possible for me to earn a master’s degree; it also has kept me socially involved as I continue to use it frequently in noisy social settings. Once I discovered these options, isolation and withdrawal from social events was no longer an option for me. Both my CI processor and hearing aid need upgrading and/or replacement soon. It’s exciting to be able to consider the wireless options that are either available now or will be soon. I look forward to reading Part II of your article on ALD technology! Many thanks for all the wonderful work you have done and continue to do! Julie Olson

  2. Richard Einhorn says:

    Great, great blog post! Anyone interested in modern hearing loss technology should read it. I few observations:

    I’m amazed at how needlessly complicated this all is. Yes, it is true that my own streamer-based devices work, and I use them regularly and am reasonably satisfied (except with the sound quality, which is grainy, distorted, and weak in bass). However, I would not recommend the streamer system I use for anyone who has cognitive issues or is technophobic. It requires regular re-pairing and a considerable amount of fiddling. I’ve heard about similar problems with other companies’ wireless ald technology. I suspect that the few people who buy these devices quickly get frustrated, and sadly, they often the devices lie unused in a drawer.

    My suspicion is that if it were simple and affordable, an integrated, compatible assistive listening system could be used by many people even if there were cognitive issues. It would be very successful as it would solve huge unmet needs, especially related to speech in noise and theater applications. Until both the products and choices are simplified, however, I really think wireless ALDs will be significantly underutilized (with the exception of hearing loops, which are both simple AND affordable).

    Wireless hearing assistance has tremendous potential, but it is at the level of development that the personal computer was at before the introduction of the Apple II.

  3. Ellen Semel says:

    Wonderful article. Thank you. It has given me some clarification on issues that I could not understand. I, too, favor induction loop systems in large public settings because of their wireless connection directly to my t-coils.

  4. Steve Frazier says:

    The amount and variety of technology coming on line right now is staggering and exciting. Each serves one or more purposes and does it well but none serve all purposes well. It was especially encouraging to see that you are not among the substantial number who relegate induction loop technology to being “old fashioned” and not a valid solution to some communication problems.

    No new technology, by itself, can offer the convenient and instant communication access of a loop system in a large venues. Arrive late – push a button and you hear with no need to track down a borrow a headset. Those manufacturers who recognize this fact now include a telecoil in their streamer/gateway device to add induction loop access to the many other remarkable features contained in their latest devices.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your comments. Be certain to look for Part II of this next week.

  6. Warren Willard says:

    Very informative content. We’re having success with Hearing Loop systems here in Southern California. Among the appeal is that there is nothing to wear, to check-out, to maintain, to account for, and with most hearing aids containing T-Coils, the end user is self sufficient.