Amazon’s Fire TV Cube is the first set top box to stream directly to hearing aids

·Contributing Writer
·1-min read
Amazon

Watching TV with hearing aids is about to get a little easier for Amazon Fire TV Cube owners. 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 has been around for a while, it normally requires an additional third-party device. Not all smart TVs support Bluetooth, so many hard-of-hearing 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 (which is a Google-led initiative) has been available for Bluetooth devices since 2020. Fire TV Cube will be the first streaming device in the US to support ASHA, but it’s a safe bet to say more platforms will be on board in the future.

In order to pair their hearing aids to their Fire TV Cube, users should select “Settings” from Fire TV’s home screen. Users should then select “Accessibility”, followed by “Hearing Aids” and follow the on-screen instructions to pair them.

One drawback to relying on Bluetooth is viewers must remain within a 10-feet 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 depending on spectrum congestion.

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