Advances in hearing aid technology have transformed the hearing aid’s basic core components into sophisticated mechanisms that significantly improve speech recognition, listening comfort, and ease of use. The latest hearing aids help people with hearing loss hear better, with more options and features to suit unique needs, lifestyles, and hearing requirements.
Read on to find out about the latest game-changing improvements in hearing aid technology.
1. Audible Indicators
Audible indictors notify you when changes occur in your hearing aids, such as the volume changing or the battery power getting low. Some of the latest hearing aids, like Widex products, now employ real speech in many languages as audible indicators, rather than a beep or melody sound.
Though a small change, this can increase your confidence that your hearing aids are working exactly as they should be. For example, you will be certain that the volume has changed when you’ve entered a new listening environment.
2. Automatic Programs
Listening programs are pre-set listening situations that can be programmed into the latest hearing aids. Each program has its own unique settings (acoustic telephone, music, speech, and speech in noise), which are optimized for the different sound environments that you may enter.
With the latest hearing aids, you no longer have to manually select a different program via a push button or remote control. Instead, your hearing aids automatically select the best settings based on an analysis of the current sound environment.
These programs can lead to better hearing and the best possible sounds in different environments and greater customization of your hearing aid.
3. Binaural Synchronization
Binaural synchronization is one of the latest developments in hearing aid technology, brought upon by the advent of wireless communication. With this technology, both of your hearing aids can wirelessly communicate with one other. This allows for synchronized settings across the two hearing aids. Any changes made in one hearing aid will automatically be made in the other, so both hearing aids are always on the same settings and you receive the best listening experience. Used with binaural compression, which was first brought to the market by Widex, you also benefit from hearing the most natural sounds.
4. Data Logging
Data logging essentially means that your hearing aids automatically record the different information sets selected during their use. This information can then be analyzed by your hearing healthcare professional in order to offer deeper understandings of your listening experiences and allowing for fine-tuning of your devices to your preferences.
5. Feedback Cancellation
Feedback consists of the terrible whistling sound that you hear when using your hearing aids. It is caused by amplified sounds being re-processed, and sounds similar to when a microphone is put too closely to a speaker.
Feedback cancellation technology has improved in the latest hearing aids. This technology identifies and stops the feedback from occurring to eliminate the whistling, leading to better listening comfort.
6. Directional Microphones
The microphones used in hearing aids have come a long way in recent years. Directional microphones have completely revolutionized the way that users can hear in noise. Two microphones are used to determine which sounds are coming from in front of you and which are coming from behind. Then, the sounds from behind you are softened to improve speech recognition in noise.
Many of the latest hearing aids are now equipped with adaptive directional microphones, which follow the noise source wherever it goes and automatically adapt to reduce your perception of unwanted noise.
7. Wind Noise Reduction
Many technological advances have been introduced to reduce background and transient noises to improve speech recognition and listening comfort in noisy environments. The latest, wind noise reduction, is an ideal hearing aid feature for users who spend a lot of time outside. This noise reduction system reduces the sound of wind on the microphones, making it more tolerable to be outdoors.