Bluetooth and hearing aids (iPod and iPad pairing!)2July 18th, 2011Uncategorized
Bluetooth and hearing aids (iPod and iPad pairing!)
One of the benefits of the new Oticon Vigo Pro ITE hearing aids (see previous post comparing them back to my BTEs) is the fact that they are Bluetooth compatible.
They operate their own low power network which means that whenever you alter the audio program on one hearing aid, then the other reflects that change. They are also compatible with the Oticon Connectline range of products, and for me the killer feature has been the use of the Oticon Streamer. Once paired with the hearing aids it then works as a remote for them, whether changing between programmes up or alteringthe volume.
It also has Bluetooth, which means it can be paired to a device and stream the audio channel direct into the hearing aids. So, I’m probably a rare ‘use case’ in which my iPad is paired to my hearing aids. As I write this I’m on a plane to Edinburgh and listening to music wirelessly, no wires, no need to remove the hearing aids and put in headphones. Ace right?
Whilst volume changing and audio programme (i.e Normal, Meeting, Phone, Club programmes in my case) can be done with the remote/streamer in the pocket. The Bluetooth streaming only seems to work when the streamer device is worn in conjunction with the neck loop – but that’s no hardship as it’s super light and most people assume it’s a phone of some sort.
So the 123 of setting it up on an iPad:
Turn Bluetooth on iPad
‘long press’ the Bluetooth symbol on the streamer until it blinks
Ask the iPad to attempt to connect
Enter the access code
It’s as simple as that, and I’ve repeated that process on a Lenovo x200 laptop and an Apple MacBook. In total the device can remember 8 pairings.
Then to listen to music just ‘long press’ the music icon on the streamer, in my case I’ve got Spotify playing. Also you get the choice between letting the hearing aids pickup the normal external audio channel (I.e the world around you), which is at a reduced Db level; or just turning the outside world off and listening solely to music (just one long press on the up or down arrow can switch between those settings).
Of course, if you have an iPhone you can pair it to the streamer. It opens up more access than just listing to music. You can use the streamer to receive calls.
When paired any incoming calls will cause the hearing aids to ring, and by pressing the phone icon on the streamer you can pick up the call. Wth the neck loop on, or the streamer handheld it has the required microphone pickup!
I must say I’m pretty impressed with how far technology has come, obviously my experiences of using the devices are but it can be hooked up to a TV or landline phone as well.
A lot of my friends of normal hearing are a tad jealous, but it’s interesting to consider that maybe in the future headphones will all be discreet and wireless. After all if you wish you can get headphones made with the bud being custom fitted ear mould (like my BTE mould).Tags: bluetooth hearing aids, listen to iPod with hearing aids, Oticon streamer, Oticon Vigo pro
2 Responses to “Bluetooth and hearing aids (iPod and iPad pairing!)”
Hi, I have to itocin mini rite aids and the streamer. I love listening to music and was thrilled with this gadget but I cannot get my ipad3 linked or paired. I turn Bluetooth on on the iPad and it searches. I have held down the music button on the streamer but nothin happens, the iPad eventually times out. Both iPad and streamer are new and I’d love to get them synced so I too can use spotify.
Has your audiologist paired your streamer device to your hearing aids? That’s the first step they need to do (they tell the hearing aid the serial number of the streamer – to stop other peoples streamer interfering with your aids!)
If you’ve already done that, then I find that if I already have the streamer connected to one bluetooth device, I need to turn that device off (just the bluetooth) before I connect to another.