Technology evolves fast: in 2006, the average 40-inch flat screen TV would have cost you over $1,500. Today, 10 years later, you can buy a 40-inch flat screen TV for around $230.
The same has occurred with hearing aids, although it’s more likely to escape our attention. We notice that TVs become bigger, better, and less costly, but we’re blind to the advancements in hearing aids because we’re not inundated with advertising and massive store displays.
Nevertheless, hearing aids, along with all other consumer electronics, have progressed drastically 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 considerably better, beginning 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 emerged as, in a way, miniaturized computers, with all of the programming versatility you’d expect from a modern computer.
The result is a product that is compact, light-weight, energy-efficient, and capable of manipulating information—information being, in the instance of a hearing aid, sound.
So how do modern 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 consequently delivered to the appropriate recipients. In the same way, digital hearing aids can capture incoming sound and can label specific frequencies to be delivered to the amplifier. Speech sounds, for instance, can be identified as important and sent to the speaker for amplification. Likewise, background noise can be tagged as “undeliverable” and suppressed.
Analog hearing aids lacked this “mailroom” functionality. Incoming sound was 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 locate 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 handling of information is the magic formula to everything a modern hearing aid can do. Here are a few of the state-of-the-art features associated with modern hearing aids that digital technology helps make possible:
- Speech recognition – digital hearing aids can recognize 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 suppress.
- Clearer phone calls – telecoil technology enhances the signal from your phone, resulting in 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 smart phones and digital watches, so you can effortlessly and inconspicuously adjust volume and settings.
Trial Your New Digital Hearing Aids
As you can see, digital hearing aids are formidable pieces of modern 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 check out this new technology for yourself, give us a call and inquire about our hearing aid trial period.