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December 03, 2012 06:13 PM

Bluetooth Technology In Hearing Aids

The latest addition to Herb Rosin's wardrobe is the remote control he wears around his neck.

While it might not be the latest fashion statement you'd see on runways, it is one of the latest items available for hearing aid users.

"I can answer my phone simply by touching the button," Rosin said.

Through a bluetooth-enabled ComPilot, you can connect hearing aids wirelessly to cell phones, TVs and many other bluetooth-enabled devices, such as computers.

"People can have a fairly decent conversation on the phone with their hearing aids alone, but when you compare that to what it sounds like when you're streaming it bluetooth, there's a big difference in the quality of the sound," Stanford Hearing Aids Audiologist Stephanie Wubben said.

In addition to helping people use modern technology, this new ComPilot can also help people drown out background noise.

"I have four pre-settings on it that I can automatically touch to change the settings for different environments I'm at inside or outside, so I can block out more background noise," Rosin said.

"Someone like Mr. Rosin could be wearing the ComPilot around his neck if he's out to dinner in a noisy restaurant. His wife can wear a little microphone on her lapel that will pick up her voice and stream it directly into his hearing aid," Wubben said.

The remote also allows Rosin to adjust the hearing aid's volume simply by pressing a couple buttons, instead of turning up the TV or computer volume.

"One of the first things everybody noticed around the house was the TV volume went down about half," Rosin said.

All the features combined have helped Rosin hear better not only for work, but also when hanging out with friends and family.

"When I got this new set, we were in the van and my wife said something under her breath. What she said was, 'I bet you can't hear me.' I said, 'I can hear you extremely well.' She was shocked," Rosin said.

Which is why Rosin jokes others will have to watch what they say, now that this new device is helping him hear.

Wubben says she has seen a recent increase in interest in the bluetooth technology.

The one downside for users is some people don't want to wear the device around their neck.
The ComPilot and wireless microphone cost around $380.

For more information, you can contact Stanford Hearing Aids.

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