Stemoscope PRO - Best electronic stethoscope for hearing impaired or hard of hearing
Stemoscope PRO is friendly to both medical professionals with mild hearing impairment who just need some auscultation sound amplification and those with severe hearing loss who wear hearing aids. For simple sound amplification, Stemoscope PRO can be used very conveniently with popular Bluetooth earbuds. If hearing aids are used, Stemoscope PRO Bluetooth stethoscope is also the best choice. There are four possible ways that Stemoscope PRO can work with Bluetooth hearing aids, depending on the hearing aids brands and models. At the end of this page, there is a flow chart to find out the best option for you.
Use Stemoscope PRO with Bluetooth earbuds
Medical professionals with mild hearing loss might not need to wear hearing aids. Amplification of the auscultation sounds from the stethoscope is good enough. With Stemoscope PRO, this can be easily achieved. Stemoscope PRO can stream the sounds directly to Bluetooth earphones – no smartphone is needed. If you want to hear very loud auscultation sounds, you can choose Bluetooth headphones, that is normally much louder than Bluetooth earbuds, because headphones normally have much higher output power than earbuds. If you want portability, high-quality Bluetooth earbuds may also be loud enough. For instance, the Apple AirPods Pro 2 has a good audio quality. You can even adjust the volume of AirPods Pro 2 directly. For the old version of AirPods or AirPods Pro, you can’t adjust the volume if they are not used with a smartphone. If you choose Bluetooth headphones, please also choose the one with volume buttons. We tested a lot of Bluetooth Earphones and this one (https://stemoscope.com/collections/shop/products/true-wireless-stereo-bluetooth-earbuds) is loud enough and has volume adjustment functions. It is more affordable than those big brands.
Stemoscope PRO also has volume boost functions. In case you have an old generation AirPods Pro that has no volume button, you may increase the output volume of the Stemoscope PRO. This can also increase the volume. If you use the volume boost feature and a loud Bluetooth earphones, you can achieve the biggest volume.
Stemoscope PRO works in two wireless modes: Earphone mode and Smartphone mode. If you don’t mind pulling out your phone to use, you can use the phone to bridge Stemoscope PRO and your earphones, when Stemoscope PRO works in Smartphone mode. By doing so, the volume of Bluetooth earphones can be adjusted by pressing the phone button. You can also use the volume boost feature of the Stemoscope PRO in the app to achieve the loudest output volume.
To test whether your earbuds can output sufficient loud auscultation sounds, you may use your earbuds to listen to these two sample heartbeat recordings recorded with normal volume boost and high volume boost respectively. Please increase your phone volume if you feel it is difficult for you to hear until the phone volume reaches the maximum. If you feel these recordings are loud enough, Stemoscope PRO and your earbuds can provide you loud enough auscultation experience. If you get any questions, you may contact us. Our technical support team can help you.
Use Stemoscope PRO with hearing aids
Though all Bluetooth hearing aids claim Bluetooth support, the supported Bluetooth protocols can be different. The Bluetooth protocols used by Bluetooth hearing aids generally falls in one of these two categories: Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth LE audio. Bluetooth Classic has a longer history, and is widely used in Bluetooth headset, car audios and most phones. Bluetooth LE audio is new. It was firstly adopted by Apple in iPhone. Now some Android phones might also support Bluetooth LE audio, but Apple and Android use different proprietary protocols. That is why some Bluetooth hearing aids that support iPhone might not support Android phone. With the Bluetooth protocols in mind, let’s see what option is suitable for your Bluetooth hearing aids model.
Option 1. Directly stream Stemoscope PRO sounds to hearing aids
If your Bluetooth hearing aids support Bluetooth Classic, your Bluetooth hearing aids works very similar to Bluetooth headset. A Bluetooth headset can not only direct stream from smartphones (either iPhone or Android), but also from computers and some TV sets that support Bluetooth Classic. Stemoscope PRO also supports Bluetooth Classic, so if your Bluetooth hearing aids also supports Bluetooth Classic, you can pair Stemoscope PRO and your hearing aids directly and stream the sounds from Stemoscope PRO to the hearing aids. Some known Bluetooth hearing aids that support Bluetooth Classic are mainly from Sonova (manufacturers of Phonak, Unitron, Audio Nova, Costco KS9, and KS10, among others). Models include Kirkland Signature KS10, Phonak Audeo Lumity, Phonak Audeo P, Phonak Naida P, Phonak Brio 4 (Costco) and Unitron Moxi Blu, to list some.
Option 2. Stream Stemoscope PRO sounds to hearing aids via your smartphone
If your Bluetooth hearing aids only support Bluetooth LE audio such as Apple MFi, the made-for-iPhone protocol, or the ASHA protocol from Google Android, Stemoscope PRO might not pair with your Bluetooth hearing aids or livestream the sounds directly to them. However, since your Bluetooth hearing aids can connect to your smartphone, your smartphone can bridge the Stemoscope PRO and your hearing aids. The Stemoscope PRO transmits sounds to your smartphone that is running the DrStemo app. The DrStemo app will automatically play the sounds to the hearing aids that connects to the smartphone. Therefore you can still stream the Stemoscope sounds to your hearing aids. What you need to do is to run the DrStemo app. The Bluetooth hearing aids are expected to work if you can use the Bluetooth hearing aids to listen to music playing in your phone.
Option 3. Stream Stemoscope PRO sounds to hearing aids via a streamer
If your Bluetooth hearing aids don’t support Bluetooth Classic or you don't like Option 2, you may consider Option 3. Actually, you are not alone and the hearing aids manufacturers are also aware of this problem. They designed streamers to bridge a device (such as a laptop) that supports Bluetooth Classic and their Bluetooth hearing aids that support Bluetooth LE audio. Here is a list of some streamers from manufacturers of hearing aids.
- Oticon ConnectClip https://www.oticon.com/solutions/opn-wireless-connectivity
- ReSound Phone Clip+ https://www.resound.com/en-us/hearing-aids/accessories/phone-hearing-aid
- Widex COM-DEX https://www.widex.com/en/hearing-aids/accessories/com-dex/
- Rexton Smart Mic https://www.rexton.com/en/hearing-aids/accessories/audio-streaming-remote-control/
- Starkey Remote Microphone + https://www.starkey.com/hearing-aids/accessories/wireless-accessories/remote-microphone-plus
- Phillips AudioClip https://www.hearingsolutions.philips.com/support/connectivity/compatibility
- Signia SteamLine Mic https://www.signia.net/en-us/chargers-and-accessories/streamline-mic/
With such a streamer, you will not need to pull out your phone to bridge the Stemoscope PRO and your Bluetooth hearing aids. Bluetooth bring us a lot of convenience and make the wireless auscultation experience with Stemoscope PRO perfect for hearing impaired. If you are not clearly about the Bluetooth type your hearing aids support, you may consult the hearing aids manufacturers. Then you can choose the best option to use Stemoscope PRO and your Bluetooth hearing aids.
Option 4. Use wireless over-ear headphones with your hearing aids
If your hearing aids do not support any Bluetooth function or you don't want to use a phone or a streamer, please do not worry. You can use wireless over-ear headphones with Stemoscope PRO. Over-ear headphones are larger than on-ear headphones as they cover your whole ear. When you want to do auscultation, wear the headphone. Normally, the over-ear headphones have high volume output, so you can hear very loud auscultation sounds. You may also choose over-ear headphones that have noise cancelling, providing you very quiet and immersive auscultation experience. Some of our customers use Stemoscope PRO this way.
Based on above information, here are answers to some common asked questions.
Can I use hearing aids to hear auscultation sounds?
There is no doubt that Stemoscope PRO can sense the heart and lung sounds. However, the hearing aids have the capability to reproduce the auscultation sounds. This capability depends on the hearing aids hardware design and parameter settings/tuning. Some hearing aids may be configured by the manufacturer or the audiologist to attenuate low frequency (low pitched or low tone) sounds because low frequency noise contributes to a substantial part of environment noise. While such kind of attenuation of low frequency sound does not affect the listening of speaking voice or even music except Rock’n’roll, it does affect the listening of auscultation sounds, because the heartbeat sounds are mainly composed of low frequency components (<200Hz). To determine whether your hearing aids are tuned to output auscultation sounds loudly, you may use your hearing aids to listen to the two heartbeat recordings below. You may continuously increase your phone volume if you feel the volume is not loud when you listen. When your phone volume reaches the maximum, if you still feel it is difficult to hear the heartbeat clearly, your hearing aids were not tuned to output auscultation sounds well. It is not very fair to blame the hearing aids manufacturers or the audiologists because listening to auscultation sounds is not a typical application before Stemoscope PRO is available. However, you need to contact the hearing aids manufacturer or the audiologist to adjust the parameters to enable the hearing aids to output low frequency sounds. If you can hear the heartbeat sounds clearly, at least your hearing aids are capable to output auscultation sounds. If you have any questions on this, welcome to contact us.
A Mini "Hearing Test" for Your Hearing Aids
Heartbeat sound recorded with Stemoscope PRO at normal volume level
Heartbeat sound recorded with Stemoscope PRO at maximum volume boost level
The whole process flow to find the best option suitable for you
Based on the above information and options, here is a process flow you may follow to find the best options that are suitable for you. It is important for you to test the auscultation sound reproducing capability by listening to the above sample recordings.
What is the best stethoscope for hearing impaired or hard of hearing?
The best stethoscope for hearing impaired or hard of hearing depends on the level of hearing loss. For mild hearing loss, a stethoscope with amplification (normally earphones) can be good enough. For people with severe hearing loss using hearing aids, a stethoscope can stream the sounds to the hearing aids is the best. Stemoscope PRO has all the functions, so it is the best stethoscope for hearing impaired.
How to use stethoscope with hearing aids?
To use stethoscope with hearing aids has three options. 1. Stream stethoscope sounds directly to hearing aids. 2. Stream stethoscope sounds to hearing aids via a smartphone. 3. Stream stethoscope sounds to hearing aids via a streamer, normally manufactured by the same hearing aids manufacturer. 4. Use over-ear headphones. Stemoscope PRO supports all four options depends on the hearing aids model.Some Tips:
When you get your Stemoscope PRO and you may check whether it works well. Sometimes when the device does not work as expected, you may feel something wrong. To test the Stemoscope PRO, you may use headphones and check if you can hear heartbeat with the Stemoscope PRO. Try to increase the phone volume or try volume boost and just make sure the Stemoscope deice works normally. You may also ask your family members or friends to check the sounds for you.
For hearing impaired, no matter using amplification feature of Stemoscope PRO or streaming the auscultation sounds to Bluetooth hearing aids. The good news is that you can say goodbye to the cumbersome classic stethoscope.
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