New advances in the iPhone 7 may change the way we hear

10/10/2016

new-advances-in-the-iphone-7-may-change-the-way-we-hear
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by Nancy Salim

Meet the iPhone 7—not just the latest water resistant Apple phone, also the newest hearable on the market. Sporting a sleeker design, the iPhone 7 is now using AirPods, a pair of wireless earbuds that connect to the phone over Bluetooth. If you prefer, the iPhone 7 comes with an adapter that will allow you to plug in your wired headphones.

The technology that made it possible for hearing aid wearers to take calls and listen to music directly through their made for iPhone hearing aids now appears in the AirPods. From a hardware perspective, these hearables or smart headphones would be similar to hearing aids, but will they be similar enough to replace hearing aids? Let’s find out.

Hearables and personal listening devices’ (PSAPs) entry level price and over the counter convenience can be a selling point for some. But, it’s important to remember that hearables are specifically designed to allow individuals to wirelessly listen to music, answer phone calls and track their health, fitness and more. They don’t have the same kind of technology or processing that goes into a hearing aid. Hearing aids can be programmed to an individual’s unique level of loss making them customizable, and also come loaded with technology and features designed to mimic natural hearing. Keep in mind devices like PSAPs may be able to help people with normal hearing or with a mild hearing loss who need help hearing in certain settings, like listening to the TV, but are not recommended for those with moderate to severe loss.

That sounds good right?  It is, as long as it doesn’t make treating hearing loss more confusing.

Not seeing a professional at the beginning, and instead treating hearing loss with DIY solutions like a PSAP could end up undermining your hearing, costing you more money and ultimately not give you the results you’re looking for. A pair of hearing aids programmed to your specific loss can make a huge difference.

If you have signs of hearing loss, a hearing care professional will be able to tell you if what you’re experiencing is hearing loss or another condition like an ear infection or excess wax. If it turns out you do have a loss, the hearing professional will use the results of your exam to recommend treatment.

If you’re tempted to go the amplification route with a PSAP make sure you discuss it with your provider. They’ll be able to tell you if PSAPs or hearing aids are appropriate for your type of loss before you spend money on the wrong solution.

Hearing aid technology has come a long way. Today’s hearing devices are impressive—they can scan the room around you a hundred times in one second categorizing sounds, then delivering them to your ears with spot-on accuracy. Bonus—they can even connect to the Internet and to all your favorite apps, including your everyday devices in your home, car or office.

What are made for iPhone hearing aids?

Made for iPhone hearing aids, based on a Bluetooth technology designed by Apple, provide clear sound quality for phone conversations, listening to music, GPS and more. Audio is delivered wirelessly from your paired iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch directly to your made for iPhone hearing aid without any additional hardware.

Previously, users were able to operate their hearing aids through custom remote controls and even link them to smartphones with a piece of hardware (a small clunky box worn around the neck). Now, made for iPhone hearing aids can communicate directly with Apple mobile devices.

To use the Made for iPhone hearing aids, you need one of these devices with iOS 7 or later:

  • iPhone 4s and later
  • iPad Pro
  • iPad Air and later
  • iPad (4th generation)
  • iPad mini and later
  • iPod touch (5th generation) and later

Which hearing aids are compatible with the iPhone 7?

Here’s a list of hearing aids compatible with Apple devices.

Audibel

  • A3i
  • A4i

Audigy

  • AGXsp
  • AGXsp 2

Beltone

  • Beltone Boost
  • Beltone First
  • Beltone Legend
  • Beltone Boost Plus

Cochlear

  • Baha 5
  • Baha 5 Power
  • Baha 5 Super Power

Kirkland Signature

  • KS 6.0

MicroTech

  • Kinnect
  • Kinnect 2

NuEar

  • iSDS
  • iNOW

Oticon

ReSound

  • ReSound ENZO
  • ReSound ENZO2
  • ReSound LiNX
  • ReSound LiNX TS
  • ReSound LiNX2
  • ReSound Up Smart

Starkey

  • Halo
  • Halo 2

Ready to demo a made for iPhone hearing aid? Call 888.902.9310 or click here to get connected with a clinic near you.

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