If you watch TV with hearing aids, this is great news. Assuming you are an Amazon Fire TV Cube owner. The second generation of the Fire TV Cube will now support Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA) for compatible Bluetooth-enabled Starkey hearing aids. While the ability to stream TV audio to hearing aids is not new, it normally requires an additional third-party device. Not all smart TVs support Bluetooth, so many hearing aid users are forced to connect their hearing aids to their smartphone or a special adapter. But Fire TV will now allow users to directly pair their hearing aids with the streaming box.
ASHA has been available for Bluetooth devices since 2020. Fire TV Cube will be the first streaming device in the US to support it, but it is likely that more platforms will get on board soon.
To pair hearing aids to their Fire TV Cube, just select “Settings” from Fire TV’s home screen, then select “Accessibility”, followed by “Hearing Aids” and follow the on-screen instructions to pair them.
We should note that there is a downside to relying on Bluetooth. Viewers have to remain within a 10-foot distance to still pick up Fire TV’s signal. Amazon recommends that viewers connect over their hearing aids over a 5Ghz wifi network, within 10 feet and in line of sight to Fire TV Cubes. Viewers with 2.4GHz wifi can still connect to Fire TV but should keep in mind that the strength of their signal will vary.
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