Phone Magic with Hearing Aids

Q.  At our family’s Thanksgiving meal, one of my sister’s handed around her cell phone when she needed to hear someone better.  They would talk to her hearing aids through her cell phone.  How does that work?

A.  With some newer hearing aids from the past 4 to 5 years, a smart phone can be used like a ‘walkie talkie’ for your hearing aids.  When this feature is turned on, you hand your cell phone to someone.  They speak into it, and their voice is sent into your hearing aids.

  Without a smartphone, these newer hearing aids can also be used this way with a small remote microphone about the size of a large match box.  The remote microphone can be worn on a lapel, a shirt collar, or somewhere else near the speaker’s mouth.  When the remote microphone is activated, it sends the speaker’s voice directly into your hearing aids.

  This unique smartphone feature and the remote microphone can operate up to 40 to 50 feet away.  These features can also be used as ‘extra ears’.  If the ‘walkie talkie’ feature or remote microphone is turned on, place it near something you need to hear (perhaps a kitchen timer or someone taking a nap) while you are in another room.  You will hear their sounds directly in your hearing aids.

  Call us at the Better Hearing Center of Austin for a thorough, well explained ear and hearing exam.  You will also listen to new hearing aids at your appointment.  We then provide 4-week hearing aid trials with follow-up appointments so our patients can fully test new hearing aids before they make a final purchase.