Modern hearing aids are impressive little gadgets, seamlessly pairing with phones and tablets via Bluetooth Low Energy to give their users unfettered access to digital audio. Windows laptops and desktops have lagged behind in this area, but Microsoft is correcting that with the latest Windows 11 Insider build, 25977 Canary. While Windows has supported Bluetooth for over 20 years, it’s the Low Energy addition in May that makes the connection to high-end, long-lasting hearing aids possible.
According to the Windows Insider blog post (spotted by The Verge), the Bluetooth LE support will come to “a growing market of devices in the coming months.” Whether your specific laptop or desktop supports it probably comes down to the specific Bluetooth radio included in the hardware — some generic Bluetooth chips support Low Energy mode even without spelling it out in the spec list, while others do not. A USB adapter should be able to add the capability if your PC’s internal Bluetooth doesn’t have it already. The ability to adjust audio presets on aids directly within Windows is planned for a future update.
The Windows 11 Insider 25977 Canary build also includes improvements to app-by-app location privacy settings, SMB over QUIC for remotely managed machines, and the usual UI tweaks and bug fixes. As always, when these features will make it to the release version of Windows 11 is a bit of a question mark, depending on Microsoft’s testing procedures and user feedback.
Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.