One of the most notoriously challenging listening situations for people with hearing loss is talking on the phone. Fortunately, there are many strategies you can try to improve speech clarity and boost communication. We review some of these below.
Stream with Bluetooth
If your hearing aids and phone both have Bluetooth capabilities, the best way to improve speech recognition performance is to use it to stream the audio to your hearing aids wirelessly, reports one study. Some devices even allow you to answer calls hands-free with this feature.
Place the Phone Near the Microphone
If you don’t have Bluetooth capabilities or prefer not to use this feature, another strategy you can try is placing the phone speaker near the hearing aid microphone. If you’re not sure where the microphone is located, run your finger along your hearing aid until you hear it rubbing.
Try a Video Call
One of the reasons phone calls can be so challenging is that you don’t get any visual cues. You can combat this by making a video call rather than an audio call. Some great apps for video calling include FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Skype.
Turn on Speaker Phone
We hear mixed results about using speaker phone from our patients at Hearing Advancement Center. While some say the audio is further distorted, others claim they can hear better because they’re using two ears instead of just one, and it reduces interference between the two devices.
Invest in an Amplified Phone
Designed for people with hearing loss in mind, amplified phones do just that: amplify audio, but without sacrificing sound quality.
Try a Captioned Phone
If you have severe hearing loss or profound deafness, none of these strategies may work well for you. Instead, we recommend getting a captioned phone. These provide live captions of what your conversation partner is saying on a large display. CaptionCall and CapTel are great options, and you can even get one for free if you qualify.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Hearing Advancement Center today.