Technology evolves rapidly: in 2006, the average 40-inch flat screen television would have cost you more than $1,500. Now, 10 years later, you can purchase a 40-inch flat screen TV for around $230.
The same has occurred with hearing aids, even though it’s more likely to escape our notice. We notice that TVs become larger, better, and less expensive, but we’re blind to the developments in hearing aids because we’re not inundated with advertising and massive store exhibits.
Nonetheless, hearing aids, along with all other consumer electronics, have advanced substantially over the past 10 years. If analog hearing aids are like the bulky 15-inch-tube-TVs of the past, modern day digital hearing aids are like the lightweight 65-inch-Ultra-High-Definition TVs of the present.
Here’s what makes modern hearing aids better, starting with the technology that makes it all possible.
Hearing aids, like all electronics, have reaped the benefits of the digital revolution. Hearing aids have come to be, in a way, miniaturized computers, with all of the programming versatility you’d expect from a modern computer.
The consequence is a product that is compact, lightweight, energy-efficient, and capable of manipulating information—information being, in the example of a hearing aid, sound.
So how do modern-day hearing aids manipulate sound? Let’s use an analogy: envision inbound sound as incoming mail and the digital hearing aid as a mailroom.
As mail is obtained, it’s identified, labeled, stored, and eventually delivered to the correct recipients. In the same manner, digital hearing aids can take incoming sound and can label certain frequencies to be delivered to the amplifier. Speech sounds, for example, can be labeled as essential and sent to the speaker for amplification. Likewise, background noise can be tagged as “undeliverable” and returned.
Analog hearing aids lacked this “mailroom” functionality. Incoming sound was delivered all at the same time—like if the mail clerk were to give you everyone’s mail and you had to sift through the clutter yourself to find your own. Speech simply gets lost in the mix with background noise, and you have to work tirelessly to dig it out.
Hearing Aid Advanced Features
Digital adjustment of information is the key element to everything a modern hearing aid can accomplish. Here are some of the advanced features associated with modern hearing aids that digital technology helps make possible:
- Speech recognition – digital hearing aids can distinguish and enhance speech with digital processing and directional microphones.
- Background noise suppression – background noise is a lower frequency sound, which the hearing aid can recognize and inhibit.
- Clearer phone calls – telecoil technology enhances the signal from your phone, leading to clear sound without interference.
- Wireless streaming – hearing aids with Bluetooth technology can connect to devices wirelessly, so you can stream music, phone calls, and TV programs straight to your hearing aids.
- Wireless control – compatible hearing aids can be controlled with smartphones and digital watches, so you can easily and subtly adjust volume and settings.
Trial Your New Digital Hearing Aids
As you have seen, digital hearing aids are powerful pieces of modern day technology. That’s why virtually all cases of hearing loss can now be effectively treated, and why the majority of people are satisfied with the performance of their hearing aids.
If you’d like to test out this new technology for yourself, give us a call and inquire about our trial period.