Home is where the heart is, but you can’t spell “heart” without “hear.” Despite home being a place of comfort and respite, you still need to be aware of your surroundings, even when you’re curled up under a blanket.
For someone with hearing loss, this can be easier said than done. That’s why there are several smart home products available for anyone suffering from hearing loss. Here, we’ll be going over some of the best pieces of smart home tech that can benefit someone with hearing loss.
If you don’t think you need any of this fancy equipment and you’d rather just get by with traditional hearing loss tech, then that is certainly an option! If you fill out our quick form, you’ll be able to set up a free hearing test, and gauge your need for hearing aids.
What is “smart home technology”?
As simple a word as it is, “smart” has become a bit of a buzzword over the past decade or so. Smartphones – sure. Smart fridges – okay? Smart water – that can’t be real, can it?
So when we talk about smart home technology, what are we really saying? Another term that refers to the same concept is “home automation,” which might be a bit easier to grasp. It is defined as the use of devices in the home that connect through a network – which can be a local wired network, or a wireless internet network.
So how can an interconnected home work wonders for an individual with hearing loss? Let’s look at the different devices and technology that can improve the lives of the hearing impaired.
Smart home technology for the hearing impaired
There are several pieces of smart technology that can be implemented into a hearing-impaired lifestyle. Here are some of the biggest and most popular:
If you were asked to think of a solely sound-based household appliance, you might find yourself stuck. But a doorbell fits that description quite nicely – you just don’t see it as often as your toaster or showerhead.
Maybe it’s because you can’t see it that it’s a great candidate for this list. Hopefully you can see how a sound-based appliance with no visible physical form might need some restructuring for anyone who is experiencing hearing loss.
This is where smart doorbells come into play. You can buy smart doorbells that, when pressed, use the house’s lights rather than sound to alert their owners to the arrival of a visitor. These devices can also connect to the owner’s phone, sending an alert whenever they’re rung.
Smart doorbells can also come with video feeds, allowing you to communicate with your visitor without sound, like using sign language.
Finally, and possibly most impressively, if your hearing aid can connect to the internet, you can actually set it up so that you receive an audio alert in your hearing aids when someone rings your bell, no matter where you may be.
Most (if not all) televisions and stereos produced these days are smart. As the name would imply, these things have a lot more capabilities than regular televisions or stereos. They pack a lot of useful tricks, but one that we’ll be looking at in relation to hearing loss is Bluetooth.
A lot of hearing aids today have Bluetooth capabilities, meaning they can connect to phones, cars, and even your TV. This means that, rather than turning the TV up to wage sonic warfare on your friends and family, they can keep the volume at a comfortable level while you receive the TV’s audio through your hearing aid.
This can also cut out background noise and poor speaker quality, since the hearing aids act almost like headphones. In a way, you have it even better than your family, since you have a nice personalized sound source.
Smart security systems
A regular security system calls the police or raises an alarm when it’s triggered. So does a smart system, but it also sends an alert to your phone, or even your hearing aid.
This isn’t just about break-ins, either. If carbon monoxide or smoke is detected, it will similarly alert you and the appropriate authority. It may even flicker the house lights on and off, just in case you’re asleep and need to act quickly!
We’ve all been there – even those of us without hearing loss. You’re checking out the new fancy restaurant in town, and in their effort to seem trendy and chic, the owners have turned the lights down to one notch above off.
If you have hearing loss and somewhat rely on lip reading, then a darkened room might not be the best environment to talk in. That’s where smart lights come to the rescue – they can be dimmed and brightened through the owner’s phone, without even having to stand up.
It’s not just for talking, either. Like we said above, your lights can flicker on and off in the event of an emergency, but they can also do it when the oven is done, when the phone rings, or for any number of other alert systems. The possibilities are endless… well, there are a few dozen at least.
Smart hearing aids
While not really an example of home technology, we’d be remiss not to talk about smart hearing aids. Nowadays, many hearing aids can connect to their own apps. These apps can help you do things like stream phone calls, audiobooks, and music, as well as check on the status of the hearing aid battery – or even locate your lost hearing aids on a map.
Some ReSound and Signia models even allow you to connect remotely with your hearing health care professional, so they can provide real-time adjustments to your hearing devices! The best part about these features is that you can really get creative in seeing what you can connect to, and how you can maximise the possibilities.
Smart tech overall
Smart tech can be a huge help to anyone, whether they have hearing loss or not. These pieces of smart tech all have several functions beyond the ones we’ve listed, so it’s not difficult to see how a smart TV is more helpful than a regular one (for example).
If smart hearing aids have piqued your interest, then a good first step would be to assess how much you need one. To do this, fill out our quick form, and you’ll be matched with a hearing specialist near you.