Navigating the world of hearing aid technology can be challenging, especially when utilising modern features like Bluetooth connectivity. To ease this process, we’ve created two comprehensive video guides—one for Android users and another tailored for Apple device users—to simplify pairing your Signia hearing aids with smartphones and tablets.
Bluetooth’s integration into hearing aids marks a significant advancement, offering unparalleled connectivity and a seamless auditory experience.
This guide delves into the nuances of Bluetooth technology in hearing aids, discussing its pivotal role, the variety of hearing aids that incorporate this technology, the common challenges users encounter, and detailed, step-by-step instructions for effective pairing.
Whether you’re a first-time user or need a refresher, our guide aims to enhance your understanding and ability to leverage this innovative feature, ensuring your hearing aids work harmoniously with your devices to enrich your daily auditory experiences.
What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is a wireless technology that enables data exchange over short distances using radio waves. It operates in the 2.4 to 2.485 GHz frequency band, facilitating communication between devices without physical cables.
Bluetooth creates a secure, low-power, short-range communication link between devices. Typically, it operates within a range of up to 10 meters (33 feet), but this can vary depending on the device’s power class. It’s designed for low bandwidth applications and is ideal for transmitting voice and data between devices like headsets, smartphones, and hearing aids.
The development of Bluetooth technology began in the 1990s as a way to replace cables for connecting devices. Named after the 10th-century King Harald Bluetooth of Denmark, who united Danish tribes into a single kingdom, the technology aimed to unify different industries and devices under a single wireless standard. It has since evolved to become a ubiquitous form of wireless communication in various devices.
Bluetooth technology is versatile, supporting data exchange rates sufficient for high-quality audio and facilitating various services like file transfers, audio streaming, and voice communication.
Bluetooth in Hearing Aids
Bluetooth technology in hearing aids significantly advances how users experience sound. It enables direct audio streaming from various devices, including smartphones, TVs, and music players, right into the hearing aids.
This direct streaming leads to a clearer and more immersive sound experience, as it eliminates the need for sound to travel through the air, reducing background noise and distortion.
Bluetooth allows users to control their hearing aids through smartphone apps, allowing them to adjust settings such as volume and sound profiles in real time and different environments.
The wireless nature of Bluetooth technology offers significant convenience. It eliminates the need for additional wires and devices, making the hearing aids easier and more comfortable. The hands-free operation is particularly beneficial for making phone calls, listening to music, and watching television.
Most modern hearing aids, especially those from leading brands like Signia, Phonak, and Oticon, have Bluetooth technology. These include behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), and receiver-in-canal (RIC) models, catering to a wide range of hearing needs and preferences. Ultra-small invisible-in-canal (IIC) models typically do not have Bluetooth as their housing is not large enough.
Common Challenges with Bluetooth in Hearing Aids
Pairing Difficulties: One of the most frequent issues is the initial pairing of the hearing aids with a Bluetooth-enabled device. Users often find it challenging to establish a connection, primarily due to a lack of familiarity with the process or compatibility issues between devices.
Intermittent Connectivity: Users may experience dropped connections or intermittent audio, which can be frustrating, especially during important conversations or while enjoying media.
Battery Drainage: Bluetooth functionality can consume more battery power, leading to the need for more frequent recharging or battery replacement in hearing aids.
Troubleshooting Hearing Aid Bluetooth Issues
Proximity: Keep your hearing aid and connected device within the optimal range for a stable connection.
Interference: Be aware of other wireless devices that might cause interference and try to minimise their impact.
Regular Updates: Ensure both your hearing aids and smartphone or other connected devices are updated with the latest software.
Restart Devices: If connectivity issues arise, try turning off Bluetooth on both devices and re-enabling it.
Re-pairing: Sometimes, removing the existing pairing and re-establishing the connection can resolve connectivity issues.
Check Compatibility: Ensure your hearing aids are compatible with the device you are trying to connect to, especially for newer models of smartphones or tablets.
How to Pair Your Signia Hearing Aids with an Android Smartphone via Bluetooth
If you’re encountering issues with Bluetooth connectivity on your Android device, a simple yet effective solution is to reset your existing Bluetooth connections.
Begin by navigating to your device’s settings, then access the ‘Connections’ section, and select ‘Bluetooth’. Here, you should delete any previous Bluetooth connections, especially those related to your hearing aids. Once these are cleared, it’s a good idea to turn your Bluetooth off and then on again to refresh the connection.
Next, reopen the Signia app on your smartphone. You might notice a notification indicating that different hearing aids have been detected, which is normal.
The next step is to create a new Bluetooth connection. This often involves putting your hearing aids into pairing mode. This is done by placing them in their charger until you see a flashing light, signifying a connection with the charger. Then, remove them from the charger and place them close to your phone to initiate a new pairing.
The app should recognize each hearing aid separately and prompt you to pair each one. Once the connection is successful and you’ve followed any additional prompts in the app, your Bluetooth connection will be restored, granting you full access to the enhanced functionalities of your Signia hearing aids with your Android smartphone.
How to Pair Your Signia Hearing Aids with an iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth
To successfully pair your Signia hearing aids with an iPhone or iPad, the process begins with addressing any existing Bluetooth pairing issues.
The first step involves accessing the ‘Settings’ on your iOS device, navigating to ‘Accessibility’, and then to ‘Hearing Devices’. Here, if any hearing devices are already listed, it’s recommended to use the ‘Forget this Device’ option to remove them.
After clearing previous pairings, reopen the Signia app and navigate to ‘Settings’ and then ‘App Settings’, where you’ll be alerted that any existing pairings will be deleted – this is a normal part of the process.
The next crucial step is to put your hearing aids into Bluetooth pairing mode, which is typically done by placing them into their charger. This action turns them off and initiates the pairing mode, indicated by flashing lights on the charger.
After a few seconds, remove the hearing aids from the charger and place them near your iPhone or iPad. Revisit the ‘Hearing Devices’ menu to select and connect your hearing aids. Once they are detected and connected, you can return to the Signia app and finalize the connection via Bluetooth.
After a successful pairing, you’ll regain full control over your hearing aids, ensuring seamless integration with your Apple device.