Modern hearing aid technology is about as exciting as it gets to someone like me. Inconceivably fast and accurate sound processing that is programmed specifically for each individual. These microprocessors are discreet, portable, and last for years with minimal maintenance. They operate in the worst weather, after the accidental shower encounters, and are so comfortable they can be worn 16 or more hours without a moment of awareness. And now they can act as Bluetooth receivers.

So what’s the big deal about Bluetooth?

Think about this. Hearing aids are one of the most sophisticated prosthetic devices available today. But they are next to useless when you’re talking on the phone. They are fine for general conversation, but leave a lot to be desired when trying to listen to distant speech. They are second to none when it comes to better clarity and speech understanding, unless you are in the car trying to listen to an audiobook. Bluetooth changes all of that.

With the addition of a small converter, you can stream cell phone calls and home phone calls directly to your hearing aids. No more speaker phones and obnoxious public phone conversations. Even better, you get the benefit of being able to hear the phone conversation with both ears, which allows for unprecedented ease. And a bonus – all conversations are hands-free, which means you can drive safely or finish doing the last load of laundry while you talk.

Is the TV too loud for everyone else in the house? Just stream the television show directly to you hearing aids. Peace at last! Now you can watch at your preferred volume and those who love you will actually watch TV in the same room. If you are up late, you can turn the TV volume off completely and still hear through your hearing aids just fine.

There are now discreet little Bluetooth microphones that you can give to the person you want to hear and they can wear them on their collar. Enjoy intimate conversations in noisy restaurants, lectures from your preferred seat, as well as stress-free conversations in the car or from the back of the camper.

Love music, but hate ear-bud cords? Stream music from your smartphone directly to your hearing aids. Audiobooks and podcasts are a breeze. And you can use Facetime or Skype from anywhere.

If you haven’t already, ask your audiologist about Bluetooth compatible hearing aids. They will open up a whole new listening world.