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sith_killer_99
07-06-2011, 06:56 PM
Back in 2003 the Army determined that my hear loss had reached a point that I needed hearing aids. After a series of what seemed like endless testing, I was fitted for hearing aids, picked out the model, and several weeks later I was walking around hear sounds I had been missing for quite some time.

My original hearing aids included adjustable volume knob with on/off switch and a magnetic read switch that adjusted volume for telephone use. They were basic ITC (In The Canal) hearing aids. They worked fine for several years.

However, last October, while I was engaged in a Field Training Exercise (FTX) my hearing aids were damaged.

Fort Hood does not have an active hearing aid program, so I was referred to a civilian audiologist (Balbo Hearing Clinic in Temple, TX).

I went in a couple of weeks ago to get fitted. The audiologist asked me what type of hearing aid I preferred. I told him my old hearing aids were ITC's and I would like to stick with the same type, as that is what I am used to wearing.

Then he asked me if I was interested in bluetooth!?!?!

WTF?

Yes, he said I could have bluetooth in my hearing aids. Full on bluetooth connection to my cell phone, television, remote control, fully programmable for various environments, and wind resistant (which may not seem like much until you get a full gust of wind directly into the microphone!).

So today I picked up my new hearing aids. Not only does it eliminate the annoying harsh feedback from wind, the outer material in softer than my old hard plastic hearing aids, which makes them more comfortable to wear.

So now all I have to do is charge the batteries and hook everything up (TV module, cell phone transmitter/receiver and remote control) then pair everything.

The television module hooks into the AV setup and allows me to transmit directly to my hearing aids.

The cellphone transmitter/receiver is a small device that allows me to again transmit my phone calls directly through my hearing aids.

The remote control is the only way I have to adjust the volume or switch programs for specific environments.

Technology is amazing, in just 7-8 years hearing aid technology has gone from run of the mill basic tech to state of the art bluetooth with multiple applications!

Anyway, I just wanted to share. It's probably not something that affects most people here, or even something most of you might be enthused about, but one day you too may be in my boat. :twisted:

TeeEye7
07-07-2011, 03:46 AM
A colleague of mine at work is a candidate for hearing aids if additional surgery doesn't work for him. I'll tell him about your post.

This is very timely info, SK! Thanks!

JediTricks
07-07-2011, 09:51 PM
What? Speak up! ;)

That's pretty wild. How often does it need charging? How often did the old one need charging? Is there a smartphone app you could control it with?

sith_killer_99
07-07-2011, 11:21 PM
Well, the hearing aids themselves use disposable batteries. They look like little watch batteries. A fresh set usually lasts 1-2 weeks depending on use.

The devices I received with my new hearing aids use different power sources.

The "Television" transmitter uses AC power. There is also an adapter for a standard earphone jack which means I can actually plug the device into any audio source that uses such plugs, iPod, computer headphone jack, etc.

The remote control, which allows me to adjust the volume, change program profiles, etc. uses standard AAA batteries.

The bluetooth module that allows me to connect my hearing aids to my cell phone has an internal battery that is charged via a mini USB plug.

I'm not sure how long any of the batteries will last for the new stuff as I just got them last night. I imagine the remote control will be similar to any TV remote. The cell phone adapter will probably last about as long as my cell phone. I'm not sure yet how the added bluetooth will drain the hearing aid batteries themselves. However, the audiologist gave me a "one year supply" of batteries which consisted of 48 pairs, so I suspect they will go about a week, maybe more.

As far as apps go, iTunes has a ton of apps that allow you to "turn your iPhone/iPod into a hearing aid" but none that allow me to directly connect my hearing aids to an iPhone/iPod or other such "smart phone".