Technology evolves quickly: in 2005, the average 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 around $230.
The same has taken place with hearing aids, even though it’s more likely to escape our notice. We notice that TVs become bigger, better, and more affordable, but we’re blind to the advances in hearing aids because we’re not bombarded with advertising and giant store exhibits.
Nonetheless, hearing aids, together with all other consumer electronics, have advanced dramatically over the past 10 years. If analog hearing aids are like the cumbersome 15-inch-tube-TVs of the past, modern digital hearing aids are like the light 65-inch-Ultra-High-Definition TVs of the present.
Here’s what makes modern hearing aids significantly 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 become, in a sense, miniaturized computers, with all of the programming versatility you’d expect from a contemporary computer.
The result is a device that is compact, light-weight, energy-efficient, and proficient at 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: imagine 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 appropriate recipients. In the same way, digital hearing aids can take incoming sound and can label specific frequencies to be delivered to the amplifier. Speech sounds, for example, can be tagged as important and delivered to the speaker for amplification. Likewise, background noise can be tagged as “undeliverable” and returned.
Analog hearing aids didn’t have this “mailroom” functionality. Incoming sound is delivered all at one 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 becomes lost in the mix with background noise, and you have to work hard to dig it out.
Hearing Aid Advanced Features
Digital handling of information is the magic formula to everything a modern hearing aid can accomplish. Here are a few of the advanced features associated with contemporary hearing aids that digital technology makes possible:
- Speech recognition – digital hearing aids can recognize 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 inhibit.
- Clearer phone calls – telecoil technology amplifies the signal from your phone, producing 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 subtly adjust volume and settings.
Trial Your New Digital Hearing Aids
As you can see, digital hearing aids are formidable pieces of modern day technology. That’s why nearly all instances of hearing loss can now be successfully 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.