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Converting Bluetooth headphone to hearing aid.

Alchemysa

Oct 6, 2015
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Hello all from Australia. This my first post. I can solder and do basic repairs to electrical stuff but I'm no electronics whizz so I'm hoping you can offer some advice for an idea I have. I want to convert a bluetooth headphone to a hearing aid.

A little background might help. My 93 year old mother has a couple of expensive hearing aids that work nicely 'when they work' and when she has them 'installed'. But the trouble is, at her age, fitting them can be a hassle, they can cause pain and infection when worn constantly (because 'old skin' is very delicate), and they are fiddly to adjust. So it occurred to me that if she had a simple headphone style hearing aid that she could easily take on and off as required it would give her ears a break from having to wear the real hearing aids all day long.

A search on ebay found the following headphones that appear to have all the basics for the hearing assistance gizmo that I have in mind. They have built in microphones and speakers, a volume control, and are rechargeable with a USB cable. They are only $12 a pair so I have 2 pairs on the way to play with. Normally of course these would be used for hands free phone communication but I want to convert them into a very simple 'all in one' hearing aid that even a 93 year old with failing comprehension can operate.

My idea is to somehow route the incoming sound (e.g. my voice) directly from the built-in microphones to the earpiece speakers. I'm wondering if this can be done, either by simple hard wiring, or by some wireless method that transmits the microphone pick up instantly back to the earpieces.

I hope thats all explained well enough to get your interest. When the headphones have arrived I'll open them up for some photos if that would be helpful.

In the meantime have a think about it. I don't know if it can be done, maybe I'm dreaming, but I look forward to your thoughts anyway.

Cheers.
\Headphone 1.jpg Headphone 2 .jpg
 
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Alchemysa

Oct 6, 2015
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ZA17804-D-03-10.jpg I just found an advt for these things that shows a pic of the circuit board.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Sports-Wireless-Bluetooth-Handfree-Stereo-Headset-Headphone-4-Colors-Newest-BU/251990427954?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIC.MBE&ao=1&asc=20140106155344&meid=56722b9b7e38403e946cff32d0a7445c&pid=100005&rk=2&rkt=6&mehot=pp&sd=181833428209

I'm guessing that the blue/green wires are to the earphones, and the red/black is for a single microphone.

Only $4.50 each! It wont be expensive to experiment with them.

Can I strip this board so I'm just left with the mic input, amplifier, output to speakers, and off/on/volume controls?

Just found another advt. Only $2.50 each!!

ZA17804-D-03-10.jpg
 
Last edited:

Edwardw35

Jun 16, 2015
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Wireless headphone users always say there is a drop in quality when using wireless headphones so if your shopping for great sound quality you should probably stick to wired.
 

davenn

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Sep 5, 2009
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Wireless headphone users always say there is a drop in quality when using wireless headphones so if your shopping for great sound quality you should probably stick to wired.

not really relevant for the application the OP has in mind

to the OP
Greetings and welcome to EP :)

Can I strip this board so I'm just left with the mic input, amplifier, output to speakers, and off/on/volume controls?

I suspect it will be a little more difficult that that ;)
Also suspecting the red and black go to a battery

you need to buy one and open it up to see EVERYTHING inside


Dave
 

Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
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Wireless headphone users always say there is a drop in quality when using wireless headphones so if your shopping for great sound quality you should probably stick to wired.
I have a fantastic pair of wireless headphones..

Did you actually read the post?
A tethered "mother" is not a nice image! ...Well, not in this particular case!:eek:

http://www.healthyhearing.com/help/hearing-aids/bluetooth

There is obviously a reason why the hearing aid goes into the ear..
So I would be surprised if this works, even if you get the unit to work,.

Martin
 

davenn

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There is obviously a reason why the hearing aid goes into the ear..
So I would be surprised if this works, even if you get the unit to work,.

not sure what you were getting at there ?

D
 

(*steve*)

¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
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Jan 21, 2010
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You have to be aware of the danger of feedback. Depending on the gain required, it can be quite easy for some audio from the headset to reach the microphone. The resulting squeal can be very nasty.

Because hearing aids are well fitted to the ear canal (typically) they only exhibit feedback if you remove them (my sister informs me).

headphones have a poorer seal and also typically have ports.

An option is to move the microphone further from the headset. In this case the fact that the headphones are Bluetooth is an advantage because you may be able to pair it with a device that is essentially a microthone.

Another issue is that the headset may B limited in volume to prevent hearing damage. It is possible the may not be loud enough. This should be easy to check though.
 

Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
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I meant they normally go inside the ear, rather than sat on the outside like typical headphones.
I know nothing about hearing aids. That is why I said "there is obviously a reason they go in the ear". Or all people using hearing aids would just have headphones?

Martin
 

GPG

Sep 18, 2015
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Been looking for something like this. TV has Audio out both raw and volume controlled. Bluetooth? TX at TV, RX headphones? And I'll meet your 93 and raise you one:D
 

(*steve*)

¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
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You'd have to confirm it, but this device can act as a bluetooth transmitter and has a microphone.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/391298379979

If you can pair it with a headset and use the microphone, *maybe* it will do all you need.
 

Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
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:oops: (nah, that's just a comfy ball of foam):D

I am having a problem processing images today! A tethered mum has ruined it!:eek:

Martin
 

Kany

Jan 6, 2021
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I have the same problem with hearing aid, but simple headphone won’t work with your idea due to: 1. Poor gain of the microphone, it only work near the mouth 2. In case if the mic. hear something, feedback cause oscillation. I am doing experiments with the new Sony wh-1000xm4 with 5 build in microphones and noise cancellation tech. (Jan. 2021)
Your idea was in right direction, headphone, Bluetooth and iPhone have much more resources than ear bugs. Someone should develop hearing aid application for these headphones.
Please let me know your thinking, thanks!
 

Audioguru

Sep 24, 2016
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Most old people like me have high frequency hearing loss but low frequency hearing is normal. At 75 years old my hearing needs a lot of programmed high frequency boost so the electronics of my hearing aids with the microphones are on top of my ears and the tiny speakers are inside my vented earmolds which are in my ear canals. The tiny speakers cannot and do not produce low frequencies, the vents pass live low frequencies. Then wireless voices and music have no bass.
 
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