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How to Use a Soundbar and Hearing Aid at the Same Time!

While hearing aids can really turn your life around, they certainly aren’t perfect. It can be a struggle to listen to things even when you’ve got the volume fully maxed out. If you’re trying to watch TV with your family or friends, it might be hard for you to listen together at a comfortable level. And you might be curious if there’s a tech-savvy way to solve this problem. So, is it possible for you to use a soundbar and hearing aid at the same time?

You can use a set of hearing aids and a soundbar at the same time. For this method, you’ll need to use a signal converter and Bluetooth to connect. With just a few minutes of setup and some extra hardware, you can listen at the same time as audio is playing from the speakers.

At this point, you’re probably wondering how you can make this happen. Well, since some hearing aids utilize Bluetooth anyway, you can leverage this to connect without much issue. But how do you do that? Can you use this method for other hearing devices? Read on to learn more!

How To Use a Soundbar and Hearing Aid at the Same Time

If you’ve got a hearing aid, you might be wondering how you can listen to your favorite TV shows without blasting the speakers and annoying your neighbors. Moreover, you might want to watch a movie with everyone else, so you can’t just crank up the sound. So, in these situations, what are you to do? Can you use both a soundbar and a hearing aid at the same time?

While it’s definitely possible to do this, it does require a bit of setup beforehand. Moreover, you’ll need to source some specialist equipment to get things done. Lastly, you’ll need to make sure your hearing aid can connect using Bluetooth.

What You’ll Need:

Here’s what you need to get the job done:

Luckily, you’ve probably got half of that list already. By that, we mean the TV and the soundbar. But you’ll still have to check to make sure that everything has the right ports required for this job.

The most important element of the equation is going to be the audio converter. This is the heart of the whole project. Without one, you won’t get anything connected to each other. Simply, the converter helps you by adding more ports and connections via inputs and outputs. The goal here is to create an additional audio channel so you can then route that via the Bluetooth transmitter to your hearing aids. But how do you adjust all these components into a working solution?

Making it Work:

  1. Use a multi-function audio converter with multiple simultaneous outputs to connect your soundbar and TV. It will need at least an AUX or RCA input. Digital Optical in or HDMI ARC in are preferred for higher quality audio going to the soundbar. It also needs an RCA and AUX out, but a Digital Optical output would be preferred.
  2. Connect from the TV’s HDMI ARC port or Digital Optical out to the audio converter’s input. You don’t have to do both, just one of them. If using HDMI, make sure you connect to the port labeled HDMI ARC on the TV.
  3. Connect from the audio converter’s Digital Optical Out into the Soundbar’s Digital Optical In. Then connect from either the RCA or AUX output into a Bluetooth Transmitter.
  4. Pair the Bluetooth Transmitter and hearing aid. (Pairing process will differ depending on the Bluetooth transmitter and hearing aid).
  5. Audio will now play through the soundbar and hearing aid at the same time.

These are just basic instructions. If they’re giving you a headache, it may be time to call your local electronic appliance expert. They may have the solutions you need to get this process done correctly.

Can You Use a Soundbar and Headphones at the Same Time?

Here’s the thing, Bluetooth is tricky. While it might seem like an easy fix to connect multiple devices onto the same source quite, the reality is much farther from the truth. You might be wondering why this is the case and if anyone has come up with a clever solution. I mean, it seems like a no-brainer kind of idea.

If you use an audio converter interface, it is possible to connect Bluetooth headphones and use the soundbar at the same time. You can also accomplish this with a wired connection using the converter.

If you plan on only using the headphones, you should be able to use them and the soundbar simultaneously with the method we mentioned earlier. If you have Bluetooth headphones, it’s almost the same process as connecting the hearing aids. For wired headphones, you’ll just need access to the converter’s interface so you can route a line to an AUX cable that is 3.5 mm, like this one (on Amazon).

But, if you want to connect both a pair of Bluetooth headphones and your hearing aids to your soundbar, you may be out of luck. While some Bluetooth systems can get around this problem, many don’t have multi-channel support for various devices. In most cases, you can’t have more than one device actively connected to the source at once. This is changing with the advancement of Bluetooth standards, but it has yet to become what we use on a day-to-day basis.

Wrapping Up

When it comes to connecting your hearing aids to a soundbar, it can be done quite easily. You will most likely need to get a hold of some extra pieces of hardware, but overall you won’t need much. Bluetooth and a signal converter are the key elements here. You can also use this method to connect a set of headphones, either wired or Bluetooth. Keep in mind, though; you won’t be able to connect them all that way.

Old Guy

Thursday 3rd of November 2022

My hearing aid manufacturer tells me my streaming is not regular bluetooth. Said that hearing aids largely use Bluetooth Low Energy, and that it should be discoverable to a device that transmits using Bluetooth Low Energy.

Afaik, sound bars today do not have such capability, but future models might. A quick search makes me think some specs related to hearing aids were determined relatively recently.

In the meantime, if your hearing aids use bluetooth low energy, you have to buy the hearing aid company's streaming device, and use an optical audio splitter or such as you suggest, so send the audio to both the streaming device and to the sound bar.

Lynn

Friday 14th of October 2022

I was able to connect to my hearing aids although the Bose sound bar doesn’t work at the same time. Not sure what I did wrong.