Hearing aids are electronic devices that assist people with hearing impairment to hear sounds and conversations clearly. They amplify sounds and improve the hearing ability of people with hearing loss. Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids are currently popular among people, as they can seamlessly connect with smartphones. This connectivity simplifies answering phone with hearing aids.
The inception of Bluetooth-enabled auditory aids dates back 15 years. However, they were not discreet compared to the options available today. They required an intermediary device and more battery power and were larger in size.
Thanks to Bluetooth Low Energy (LE), which eliminated the need for intermediary devices and lowered power consumption. This technology has opened new possibilities for manufacturers, allowing them to harness the potential of connectivity and create robust and advanced hearing aids which allow answering phones with hearing aids.
It is important to remember that not all modern auditory aids support hands-free calling. So, we have curated this article to make you aware of some of the best hearing aids with hands-free calling.
Let us explore them below!
Why Use Hearing Aids With Hands-Free Calling?
Hearing aids with hands-free calling offers multiple benefits for people with hearing impairment. They let users receive calls effortlessly without having to hold a smartphone in their hands physically. People with dexterity issues can significantly benefit from this feature.
Another reason is clear communication. The audio from the phone streams directly to a user’s ears, resulting in improved communication and social engagement.
You may have a question in mind – “How do hearing aids with hands-free calling work?” Here is a general overview:
- Bluetooth Connectivity: Auditory aids must have built-in Bluetooth functionality in order to connect with your smartphone.
- Pairing with a Smartphone: Ensure to check whether your auditory aids are compatible with your smartphone. Further, pair them by following the instructions from the hearing aid manufacturer.
- Call Notification: Bluetooth technology enables notification, either in the form of vibration or a tone, to hearing aids whenever you receive a call on your phone.
- Audio Streaming: When you answer the call, Bluetooth streams audio from the smartphone to auditory aids.
- Microphone Integration: Many Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids come with built-in microphones, capturing your voice and allowing you to speak naturally on a call without holding a phone in hand.
- Control Options: These are options hearing aids provide to answer or reject calls, adjust the volume, and switch between the phone and hearing aids microphones.
This is a generic process of answering the phone with hearing aids. It may vary slightly for different hearing aid models.
5 Best Hearing Aids with Hands-Free Calling
Here we have compiled a list of the best hearing aids with hands-free calling:
Type: Receiver-in-canal (RIC)
Oticon More is a class of hearing aids from Oticon, which is first-in-class to leverage the onboard deep neural network. These hearing aids work as a human brain works by learning through experiences. BrainHearing technology provides your brain with more relevant information required to make sense of sound, improving hearing ability and reducing effort.
These auditory aids offer many connectivity options, helping you enhance your listening experience. Direct streaming from iOS and Android devices, hands-free calling from any smartphone, and streaming sound from TV are prominent connectivity features.
Moreover, the Oticon ON app lets you have complete control over your discreet hearing aids.
Type: Receiver-in-canal (RIC)
ReSound One is a new line of hearing aids from ReSound featuring M&RIE (Microphone & Receiver-In-Ear). The microphone and receiver fit inside a wearer’s ear, giving them an enhanced, natural sound experience. The All Directionality feature automatically tweaks the directional microphone pattern to help you hear the sound that matters.
Further, the cutting-edge streaming technology lets you take a hands-free phone, and FaceTime calls on iPhone and iPad. This eliminates the need to physically hold your iPhone or iPad close to your ears.
ReSound One hearing aids leverage a brand-new processing platform, delivering 50% more processing power and 220% more memory than the previous class of hearing aids.
Type: Behind-the-ear (BTE)
Answering the phone with hearing aids is now easy with Starkey’s Evolv AI hearing aids. These are advanced, high-tech auditory aids delivering superior-quality sound. They are designed to provide a realistic sound in every listening environment, with 40% more noise reduction than Starkey’s previous lines of hearing aids.
With Evolv AI’s 2-way audio, it is now possible to take, and end calls with hearing aids instead of your Apple device. In addition, hearing aids’ microphones pick up your sound and stream it back to your iPhone or iPad, allowing you to have a clear phone conversation.
The Thrive app enables you to personalize your auditory aids by changing settings, adjusting volume, and many more. It also lets you track your health.
Type: Behind-the-ear (BTE)
Jabra Enhance is among the leading manufacturers that produce high-tech hearing aids suitable for all lifestyles and budgets. Its hearing aid model supporting hands-free calling is Enhance Select 200. They are advanced rechargeable hearing aids allowing people with hearing loss to hear natural sounds even in noisy environments.
For hands-free calling, this model is compatible with iPhone 11 and newer or iOS 15.3.1 or later and most Android devices. Some older Android devices may require an accessory.
Jabra Enhance provides a dedicated, convenient app to control Select 200 hearing aids. You have the freedom to manage several settings, such as noise filtering, volume control, etc. Additionally, the app supports access to a remote audiology team to make sound adjustments.
You get a pair of hearing aids, a charging case and cord, cleaning and maintenance tools, an instruction manual, an ear measurement tool, and a free mobile app.
Type: Behind-the-ear (BTE)
Phonak Naida Marvel is a powerful line of hearing aids from Phonak, offering rich and high-quality sound. It is IP68-rated, water and dust-resistant. It leverages Roger technology, making it easy for wearers to listen better in a noisy environment with less effort.
You can connect these hearing aids to your iPhone or Android devices and enjoy hands-free calls, TV, music, and podcasts. The myPhonak app allows you to personalize auditory aids to meet your hearing needs.
Why Can’t I Hear My Phone Through My Hearing Aids?
If you are not able to hear your phone through your auditory aids, there may be several reasons. The primary reason may be compatibility. If your hearing aids are incompatible with your smartphone, hearing sounds from your phone is impossible. However, even if they are compatible, and you are unable to hear your phone, the possible reason may be improper pairing and settings. To connect your hearing aids properly to your phone, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Another possibility might be lower volume levels of both hearing aids and the smartphone. So, check whether the volume levels are high enough to make sounds audible.
Bluetooth technology connects devices within a limited range. If your smartphone is away, you may be unable to hear properly. So, keep your smartphone within range in order to hear properly on a phone call.
Finally, ensure to keep your smartphone and the hearing aid app updated.
Can You Use Your Phone as a Hearing Aid?
No, your phone cannot act as a hearing aid. However, there are some features and apps available that enhance sound amplification and communication for people with hearing loss. Most smartphones come with built-in accessibility features, providing settings for adjusting sound amplification, enabling mono audio, and tuning sounds to a specific frequency level, such as with Android OS.
Another solution is to use an amplifier app. It amplifies surrounding sounds using your phone’s microphone and transmits them to your headphone or earbuds. However, you must remember that doing this does not replace hearing aids. Keep in mind to also use hearing test apps which are widely available for both iOS and Android platforms, if you are suffering from hearing loss and need to test for any symptoms or conditions of possible hearing loss.
Top 5 Benefits of Connecting Your Hearing Aids to Your Smartphone
Both hearing aids and smartphones have come a long way and evolved into their better versions providing advanced features over time. A combination of hearing aids and a smartphone offers a long list of benefits. Let us explore these benefits below:
- Easy Adjustments
If you wish to make adjustments to your hearing aids, you can do them with your smartphone. You can easily control volume and adjust your auditory aids to a specific environment – whether an office, home, restaurant, etc. Simply install the hearing aids app on your smartphone, and you are good to go. This eliminates the need to control hearing aid settings by clicking buttons.
- Find Misplace Hearing Aids
Some hearing aid manufacturers offer a feature for finding misplaced hearing aids through the app. The app displays the map showing the last location of hearing aids connected to your smartphone.
- Easy Access to Your Audiologist
With a smartphone app for your hearing aids, you can have easy access to your hearing healthcare professional. In addition, many auditory aids support audiologists in making adjustments or changing settings that directly get reflected in your hearing aids.
- Easy Phone Conversation
With conventional hearing aids, it is difficult to talk on the phone. With smartphone integration, it is possible to answer the phone with hearing aids. It is unnecessary to hold your phone in your hand since hearing aids may receive audio directly from the phone.
- Stream Music Seamlessly
Like phone calls, streaming music becomes easy with smartphone hearing aids. It is not essential to take out your auditory aids and wear earbuds.
Answering Phone with Hearting Aid Takeaway
Answering the phone with hearing aids is now easy with the above-mentioned options. These hearing aids are from leading and renowned manufacturers leveraging state-of-the-art technologies. In addition to hands-free calling, they allow you to experience realistic and genuine sounds in noisy environments. Every model offers a dedicated app letting you customize your auditory aids and connect with hearing healthcare professionals remotely.
Remember to check your smartphone’s compatibility with hearing aids and ensure to pair them correctly. Otherwise, you will not be able to hear phone calls properly.
We hope this guide has helped you gain detailed insights into answering the phone with hearing aids.
In addition to being the Founder and Editor-in Chief at HearingPeople.com, Luis Zuluaga is the founder and CEO of Florida Hearing Institute, an innovative hearing health enterprise in South Florida, focused on bringing high-tech hearing devices at affordable prices to people with hearing loss. Before his latest hearing healthcare endeavors, Luis served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Zounds Hearing Inc., a US-based hearing aid manufacturer that introduced many technical innovations to the hearing aid market.