Hearing aids today use micro-computer chips to digitally process sound signals and selectively amplify the most important sounds for a greater listening experience. Sounds are converted into digital signals, then the micro-computer chip can effectively identify pitch and frequency as well as whether the sound is music or background noise. Modifications are then automatically made to offer clear and amplified sounds.
Due to the influx in improvements in hearing aid technology, there’s never been a more exciting time to search for hearing aids. With so many different features and options available today thanks to digital signal processing, you can find the right hearing aid with the right technology that meets your requirements.
1. Wireless connectivity
New wireless connectivity in hearing aids is a game changer. It offers many advantages. First, both hearing aids can now communicate with each other, rather than functioning independently; this reflects the benefits of two normally hearing ears and allows for better hearing in any environment.
Second, wireless connectivity also allows wearers to connect to their personal devices, such as telephones, televisions, and MP3 players for crystal clear hearing when using these external electronic devices.
2. Smartphone application
Some hearing aids, like Widex Beyond, can be connected to the wearer’s smartphone through a dedicated app. This app allows for greater ease of use and customization. Once the hearing aids are connected to the app, the wearer can not only use their heading aids as headphones to listen to videos and music and to make calls, but also to adjust settings quickly and easily. Through the app, the wearer can adjust settings such as volume, bass, and treble to improve hearing in any new listening environment.
Telecoil is a highly beneficial hearing aid technology feature. This feature uses the magnetic telecoil found on telephones, public sound systems, and other telecoil-compatible assistive hearing devices to connect the hearing aids directly to the other devices. Once connected, the microphone on the hearing aid can be turned off, allowing for the elimination of the frustrating whistling sound associated with the use of external devices. Thus, wearers can hear better.
4. Adaptive directional microphones
The development of automatic directional microphones in hearing aids has allowed for improved listening and speech processing in noisy environments. The microphones switch between omnidirectional and directional based on the type of environment that you’re in and the programs that were set by your audiologist.
Having to continuously adjust hearing aid settings can be frustrating. New self-learning hearing aids, however, eliminate this frustration. They monitor and learn from past wearer behaviors (such as when they turn up the volume or turn down the bass), and then automatically adjust when similar hearing situations occur.
6. Noise reduction
It can be frustrating to be wearing hearing aids but still not be able to hear your loved ones very well when you’re in a noisy environment. This occurs because the hearing aids cannot effectively distinguish background noise from speech, so you hear more sounds than you need to. Thanks to digital signal processing, noise reduction algorithms have gotten more complex, allowing unwanted noises to be effectively controlled. This allows for improved speech recognition, even in loud environments.
Request an appointment with Associated Audiologists. One of our doctoral-level audiologists will gladly explore the various options in hearing aid technology features and help you choose the best hearing aid for you.