Since 2014 there have been hearing aids available that could connect directly to iPhone without any intermediary neck worn or clip on device. This is fine and well, but only 10% of people who use hearing aids have iPhones. The rest simply had to make due with a neck worn device (not popular with the ladies) or go without.
Those devices connecting to iPhones had a big limitation. You were unable to use the hearing aids to speak on the phone hands free as they still rely on using the phone’s microphone.
Phonak is has just launched its Brand New Audeo B-Direct range that changes all that. The Direct B is similar in size to the older Audeo B-312, but now has built in bluetooth allowing it to connect wirelessly to any mobile phone containing Bluetooth 4.2. This includes Android, iPhone and even non-smartphone models.
There is also an Smartphone app available that allows you to control the hearing aids directly from your phone. A brand new Tv adaptor allows you to stream your TV sounds in full stereo to these little wonders.
What is especially impressive is the ability to take a phone call without touching your phone. Your voice is picked up through one of the hearing aids’ microphones while the phone signal is streamed wirelessly into your other ears.
We have also heard a little bird tweet that an upgrade will become available to all B – Direct models allowing us to make full adjustment to the hearing aids over the phone. Imagine calling us up from an environment you find difficult. We would then be able to adjust your hearing aids via your phone right there and then. No clinic appointment required. There is no set date for this update, but the possibilities are almost endless.
The B – Direct does not only connect to phones but can connect directly to any Bluetooth device including Phonak’s range of Roger accessories. TImes are certainly changing.