Bluetooth and Hearing Aids: Ready for Prime Time?By Ross, Mark; Hearing Loss Magazine, Vol. 29, No. 6, pp. 28-30
Publication Date: November/December 2008
Review of Bluetooth technology available for hearing-aid wearers to enable hands free use of cell phones. Seven Bluetooth products currently on the market are reviewed, four of which are relay devices, in which the phone message is retransmitted to the hearing aids using a third device: (1) The Smart-Link, which transmits incoming calls via a Bluetooth signal to the Smart-Link, which then retransmits the incoming call via an FM radio signal to hearing aids with FM capability. (2) The iCom, which is worn around the neck with a cord doubling as an antenna; calls are routed from the cell phone to the iCom via Bluetooth, which translates the incoming message into discrete channels, one for each ear; and (3) A “streamer” made by Oticon; and (4) the TEK device, both of which employ procedures and concepts similar to those of the iCom. In two less costly products, (5) the NZ-BEETLE H-2ST and (6) the MaxIT Bluetooth Loopset, incoming calls are detected by the Bluetooth receiver and retransmitted to the hearing aid telecoils via their neckloops. (7) The SD-SM100 Bluetooth receiver, which is not specifically designed for people with hearing loss, does include an amplified environmental listening mode for use when not talking on the phone, which the reviewer does not recommend as a listening device. The author expresses hope that the future will hold Bluetooth capability incorporated within the body of hearing aids.
Assistive Products Discussed: MAXIT CLASSIC
Published by: Hearing Loss Association of America (formerly Self Help for Hard of Hearing People) (Website:http://www.hearingloss.org)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J55615