What Makes Modern Digital Hearing Aids Better Than Analog?

Digital Hearing Aid

Technology evolves fast: in 2005, the typical 40-inch flat screen TV would have cost you more than $1,500. Now, 10 years later, you can find a 40-inch flat screen TV for less than $230.

The same has occurred with hearing aids, even though it’s more likely to escape our attention. We take note that TVs become bigger, better, and more affordable, but we’re blind to the progress 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 considerably 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, beginning with the technology that makes it all achievable.

Digital Technology

Hearing aids, like all electronic devices, have benefited from the digital revolution. Hearing aids have become, in a way, miniaturized computers, with all of the programming flexibility you’d expect from a modern computer.

The result is a gadget that is compact, lightweight, energy-efficient, and capable of manipulating information—information being, in the example of a hearing aid, sound.

So how do contemporary hearing aids manipulate sound? Let’s use an analogy: picture 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 tagged as important and sent to the speaker for amplification. Similarly, background noise can be marked as “undeliverable” and returned.

Analog hearing aids didn’t have this “mailroom” feature. Incoming sound was delivered all at once—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 tirelessly to dig it out.

Hearing Aid Advanced Features

Digital manipulation of information is the magic formula to everything a modern hearing aid can do. Here are some of the advanced features associated with modern hearing aids that digital technology helps make 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 recognize and inhibit.
  • 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 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 impressive pieces of contemporary technology. That’s why nearly all instances 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 test drive this new technology for yourself, give us a call and ask about our hearing aid trial period.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.