Technology evolves rapidly: in 2006, the typical 40-inch flat screen television would’ve cost you over $1,500. Today, 10 years later, you can purchase a 40-inch flat screen TV for less than $230.
The same has happened with hearing aids, even though it’s more likely to escape our awareness. We take note that TVs become larger, better, and more affordable, but we’re blind to the developments in hearing aids because we’re not bombarded with advertising and giant store displays.
Nevertheless, hearing aids, along with all other consumer electronics, have progressed significantly over the past 10 years. If analog hearing aids are like the bulky 15-inch-tube-TVs of the past, modern digital hearing aids are like the compact 65-inch-Ultra-High-Definition TVs of the present.
Here’s what makes modern hearing aids considerably better, starting with the technology that makes it all achievable.
Hearing aids, like all electronic devices, have reaped the benefits of the digital revolution. Hearing aids have come to be, in a way, miniaturized computers, with all of the coding versatility you’d expect from a modern computer.
The consequence is a gadget that is small, light-weight, energy efficient, and proficient at manipulating information—information being, in the case 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 subsequently delivered to the correct recipients. In a similar manner, digital hearing aids can capture incoming sound and can label specific frequencies to be delivered to the amplifier. Speech sounds, for instance, can be tagged as important and delivered to the speaker for amplification. Likewise, background noise can be labeled as “undeliverable” and suppressed.
Analog hearing aids didn’t have this “mailroom” function. 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 find 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 manipulation of information is the key to everything a modern hearing aid can accomplish. Here are some of the advanced features associated with contemporary 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 identify and inhibit.
- Clearer phone calls – telecoil technology enhances the signal from your phone, leading to clear sound without interference.
- Wireless streaming – hearing aids equipped with Bluetooth technology can connect to devices wirelessly, so you can stream music, phone calls, and TV programs directly to your hearing aids.
- Wireless control – compatible hearing aids can be operated with smartphones and digital watches, so you can effortlessly and discreetly adjust volume and settings.
Trial Your New Digital Hearing Aids
As you can see, digital hearing aids are robust 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 pleased with the overall performance of their hearing aids.
If you’d like to check out this new technology for yourself, give us a call and inquire about our hearing aid trial period.