Technology changes fast: in 2005, the average 40-inch flat screen television would’ve cost you over $1,500. Now, 10 years later, you can purchase a 40-inch flat screen TV for around $230.
The same has taken place with hearing aids, even though it’s more likely to escape our recognition. We take note that TVs become bigger, better, and more affordable, but we’re blind to the enhancements in hearing aids because we’re not bombarded with advertising and giant store exhibits.
Nevertheless, hearing aids, along with all other consumer electronics, have improved dramatically over the past 10 years. If analog hearing aids are like the cumbersome 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 electronic devices, have reaped the benefits of the digital revolution. Hearing aids have evolved into, in a way, miniaturized computers, with all of the coding versatility you’d expect from a modern computer.
The result is a device that is compact, lightweight, energy-efficient, and capable of manipulating information—information being, in the instance of a hearing aid, sound.
So how do modern-day hearing aids manipulate sound? Let’s use an analogy: visualize inbound sound as incoming mail and the digital hearing aid as a mailroom.
As mail is received, it’s identified, labeled, stored, and subsequently delivered to the correct recipients. In the same way, digital hearing aids can take incoming sound and can label certain frequencies to be delivered to the amplifier. Speech sounds, for instance, can be identified as essential and sent to the speaker for amplification. Likewise, background noise can be tagged as “undeliverable” and suppressed.
Analog hearing aids didn’t have 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 sort through the clutter yourself to locate your own. Speech simply gets lost in the mix with background noise, and you have to work hard 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 state-of-the-art features associated with contemporary hearing aids that digital technology makes possible:
- Speech recognition – digital hearing aids can distinguish and boost speech with digital processing and directional microphones.
- Background noise suppression – background noise is a lower frequency sound, which the hearing aid can identify and suppress.
- Clearer phone calls – telecoil technology amplifies the signal from your phone, leading to clear sound without interference.
- Wireless streaming – hearing aids equipped with Bluetooth technology can link 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 smart phones and digital watches, so you can effortlessly and inconspicuously 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 almost all cases of hearing loss can now be effectively treated, and why most people are pleased 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.