Hearing aid technology has come a long way in the last 10 years and because of this you are seeing some extremely advanced digital hearing aids on the market today. Almost every single hearing aid manufacturer is taking advantage of all the important information in regards to building the most effective hearing aid devices ever made. What does this mean for the consumer? If you’re in the market for digital hearing aids, get ready because you’re going to have a lot of hearing aids and hearing aid manufacturers to choose from.
So let’s say you want to narrow the field down a bit and look for a digital hearing aid that will suit your needs but not break the bank. If you’re looking for something that will provide years of usage as well as excellent performance, you probably want to know just exactly what a digital hearing aid is, how it works, and what makes it better technology than analog. These are some very important questions and if you are a senior citizen or 55 years and older, you’ll appreciate the reasons some of the newer technology available today will allow you to hear things you never before thought possible.
Digital Hearing Aids
Before digital technology was incorporated in hearing aids they were all analog. Both analog and digital hearing aids amplify sound but there are differences in the way each of these processes are allowed to happen. Analog hearing aids work on a three-step process that looks like this:
- Sound is received through a receiver
- The sound is then amplified
- The sound is then delivered to your ear
The analog process is fairly simple and has operated this way for decades. This can be compared to an early stereo receiver-amplifier system in your home. Many systems were built with an amplifier and components such as a record player, tuner, or tape player. These components would send an analog signal to the receiver-amplifier; the amplifier would amplify the sound and then send it to your speakers.
Digital hearing aids use many of the same steps; however, there are some additional steps that have been added. The digital process is as follows:
- Sound is received through a receiver
- The sound is processed
- The sound is amplified
- The sound is re-converted to analog
- The sound is delivered to your ear
As you can see, digital technology has added a couple of steps to the process. These steps are what differentiate analog and digital technology. With digital hearing aids, now that there is a ‘processing step’ almost anything can be done with the sound. Just as it says, the sound can be processed into anything a person wants to hear. This can be compared to a digital sound system in the way that when a component such as a Blue-Ray or DVD player sends a signal, the sound is received in the digital sound system, it is then processed, amplified, and converted to analog and sent to 5 speakers and a subwoofer. When processing digital signals they can be manipulated in any way the processing unit has been setup.
This is why digital hearing aids are the way of the future because the sound can now be converted in ways never before thought possible. With digital technology you are seeing hearing aids that have multiple programming modes, and some of the more expensive hearing aids can manipulate the sound as if you were mixing music with a sound equalizer. The features are limitless and for this reason people with hearing trouble will begin to hear things they never heard before as well as being able to cut sounds out.
Now you know a little about digital hearing aids, how they work, and why they are so much better than analog. Now it’s time to find a hearing aid that will best suit your needs as well as not leaving you financially strapped. The key is to work side by side with your audiologist because they know exactly what is available as well as the extent of your hearing loss. When making a decision about digital hearing aids just remember that if it’s digital and the price is right, take advantage of the opportunity and experience something truly unique.