Directional Microphones help you focus in on what you want to hear by reducing what’s coming from behind. It’s a bit like a camera lens, zooming in on what you want to hear.
Phonak hearing aids have digital AudioZoom as a standard feature. Their advanced products have VoiceZoom, which is currently the best directional microphone system on the market because it is able to handle more than 1 noise source and has been shown to drastically improve speech intelligibility in noisy situations.
Telecoils are tiny inductions coils. When a hearing aid has a T-coil, it allows the hearing aid to pick up a magnetic signal. This allows for better hearing on the telephone and in rooms that are “looped” such as theaters, auditoriums and some churches.
Many hearing aids allow for a combination of “M”(microphone)/”T”(telecoil) so that you can use both at the same time – hearing through the induction coil and also hearing what’s coming through the regular microphone. An example of when someone would use this is at a meeting, to hear the speaker who is coming through the “loop” and also to hear nearby conversation through the regular microphone.
Bluetooth capabilities are standard on most Phonak hearing aids and allow for wireless coupling with Bluetooth devices such as cell phones. Phonak’s iCom interface is a wireless device that picks up the Bluetooth signal and transmits it to the hearing aids. This makes it so that you don’t have to hold the phone up to your ear – it simply sends the signal directly to your hearing aids so you hear the phone through your aids without holding the phone up to your head.