Most modern devices, for instance, now ship with built-in Bluetooth capabilities. Just as you can pair your phone with your car's radio or a set of speakers with your computer, you can now pair your hearing aid with the majority of supported devices. Hearing aids like the AudioNova TPhonak Bolero MarvelAudioNova DX, and more come with Bluetooth technology.

Doing so is also a relatively simple process, as well. In most cases, you should be fine just following the manufacturer's instructions, as they're relatively straightforward. Most modern hearing aids can also be configured and controlled via a companion app, downloadable from either the Google Play Store or the iOS app store. 

These apps often provide you with extensive control over how your hearing aid functions and often provide you with troubleshooting tips, frequently asked questions, and customer support. They may also allow you to control the device's Bluetooth. With that said, you'll generally have to at least pair your hearing aid with your smartphone before accessing that capability.

To connect your smartphone to your hearing aid with Bluetooth: 

  1. Make a note of your hearing aid's device name. This should be included somewhere in the manufacturer's notes. If you can't find the name anywhere, you can also check online. 
  2. Access your smartphone's Bluetooth settings.
    1. On Android, tap and hold the Bluetooth icon from the top-of-screen dropdown menu. 
    2. On iOS, navigate to your settings menu, and find Bluetooth. 
  3. You'll see a list of devices with which your smartphone can pair. Find your hearing aid in the list, and tap it to pair.

That's all there is to it. Your hearing aid is now paired with your smartphone. The clearest advantage of doing this means being able to hear conversations on your phone more clearly — meaning using your phone will be significantly less frustrating.

This is only the most basic functionality, though. Many hearing aids can also be directly connected to your smart home through a bevy of other specialized apps. Do note, however, that not all Bluetooth hearing aids are created equal, and some will offer more functionality than others when paired. 

Pairing your Bluetooth hearing aid with devices other than your smartphone is a bit more complicated. Streaming audio from a smart TV to a hearing aid, for instance, generally requires specialized equipment. Some hearing aid manufacturers, such as Oticon, sell a specialized transmitter/adapter designed to pair with your hearing aid.

If your manufacturer doesn't sell a gadget like that, don't fret. There are plenty of third-party Bluetooth transmitters available for sale online. Most of them should pair just fine with your hearing aid with a bit of configuration, which you should be able to handle via your hearing aid's app.

Streaming music, TV audio, and phone calls aside, there are also specialized microphones that can connect to a hearing aid via Bluetooth. These small devices can be worn or carried by a conversation partner, ensuring that you're able to hear them even in the loudest environment. 

There's one other thing worth mentioning about Bluetooth. Even though 5.0 is significantly more energy-efficient than older versions, you're still looking at increased battery drain. And if you're using a Bluetooth hearing aid with a version of the technology other than 5.0, the battery drain will be even more significant. 

Older-style hearing aids typically require costly, finicky batteries that require constant replacement or recharging. This is another way hearing aid technology has dramatically evolved. Newer models of hearing aids do not suffer from this shortcoming, and most are equipped with quick-charge reusable batteries. 

In most cases, your hearing aid should have shipped with either a charging cable or charging dock. Simply make sure everything is plugged in and leave your hearing aid charging overnight. Some charging docks even take things a step further, with extra features that include UV light sterilization dry box style dehumidification.

We've come a very long way since the early days of hearing aids. Today's devices are more powerful, more intuitive, and packed with a ton of unique and exciting new features. They do more than simply address hearing impairment; they actively improve one's quality of life, as well.