TWS Bluetooth Hearing Aids: A Current Trend
| Kevin S
As technology continues to evolve, we find the need for more features on devices we use every day. Hearing aids are no different. Recently, there are hearing aids coming out that are running on a new platform called TWS. TWS stands for True Wireless Stereo; it is the same platform that earbuds, like the AirPods, use. True Wireless Stereo (TWS) uses Bluetooth to transfer sound and does not rely on any kind of physical connection, such as cables or wires. Hearing aids are now beginning to use this platform to bring you new features that would be unheard of even just 10 years ago.
What are the benefits of using TWS hearing aids?
TWS Bluetooth hearing aids have several benefits. They can be very affordable, ranging anywhere from $200 to $400. Compare this to traditional prescription hearing aids, which can cost anywhere from $4000 to $8000 for a pair.
In addition to calls, TWS hearing aids are Bluetooth ready and can connect to any other Bluetooth compatible device, such as smartphones, laptops, TVs, or any other device that accepts a Bluetooth connection. This is perfect for things such as hands-free phone calls and for being able to listen to music, eliminating the need for a separate pair of earbuds.
Since TWS Bluetooth hearing aids are wireless, they are not vulnerable to issues with sound problems that may happen with damaged wires. You can hear crisp, digital sound at high fidelity. You also don’t need to worry about getting any cables stuck on your clothes or accidentally pulling the aids out of your ears by the wire.
The biggest advantage TWS Bluetooth hearing aids have over traditional aids is the ability to adjust the aids at home. You’ll never have to wait for an audiologist appointment again. You can use a smartphone app to control settings on your hearing aid such as volume. You can also take a hearing test on an app and have it automatically adjust the aids for you. The most unique feature is being able to adjust those individual frequencies yourself so that you can truly customize the hearing aids for your needs.
What are the drawbacks?
For all the benefits that TWS Bluetooth hearing aids bring consumers, there are also a few drawbacks that users should consider. The biggest drawback would be the battery life in comparison to battery-powered hearing aids and even non-Bluetooth rechargeable hearing aids. Battery life is shorter on TWS hearing aids since they contain more components that draw power compared to traditional hearing aids.
Another unfortunate drawback is that TWS Bluetooth hearing aids are meant for mild to moderate hearing loss. For individuals with severe hearing loss, they would still need to go to an audiologist for an evaluation and get hearing aids that are customized to their hearing loss.
The connection range for Bluetooth devices can also be a turn off to some people. Bluetooth is known for having a short range before it disconnects from the device. Solid obstacles such as walls or furniture can make that range even shorter, which means users may find their hearing aids have disconnected when they walk into another room.
Finally, when TWS Bluetooth hearing aids stream audio, it plays the sound directly into the hearing aids. This would prove to be a problem if users are trying to share a video or try to listen to music or a phone call together. They would have to disconnect the hearing aids from the device so the other person can listen, and that may lead to the user not being able to hear the thing they intended to share.