When it comes to state-of-the-art hearing aids, digital ones take the cake. Today’s hearing aids can remove distracting background noise for a clearer listening experience, but this isn’t the only advancement that’s come along, though. While some are available with remote controls that allow the user to adjust various settings, others come with omni-directional microphones to detect sound from multiple directions. Most hearing aids manufactured today are digital and there are many reasons for that. These state of the art devices utilize the latest technology to provide filtration of background noise, connections to Bluetooth devices and provide automatic volume adjustment. Hearing aids have progressed a lot since the 1800s, which is when the first ear trumpets arrived on the scene. Since then, the advancements have come fast one after another, going from analog to digital in the present day. These devices make it easy for audiologists to program each device according to the user’s specific degree of hearing loss.
It’s not just your phones that are “smart.” Digital hearing aids are great for adjusting settings like volume automatically after a period of time according to how the user prefers it. Control is put into the hands of the person wearing it, which is yet another advancement.
Self-learning hearing aids are integral to modern devices because they have self-learning or regulating tendencies.
Single Sided Deafness
Technologies like CROS devices and bone conduction devices allow the good ear to receive signals from the bad ear to improve on amplification. Prior to big advancements in digital technology, people who had single-sided deafness had to deal with the frustration of background noise and were relegated to using their “good ear” to hear conversation.
Many manufacturers are implementing brand new technology through the use of digital magnetic wireless communication via chips in the devices that control settings like switch position and microphone modes. One huge complaint users of hearing aids have historically made is that it’s difficult to hear clearly with all the background noise. Older hearing aids amplified all sound, which was great for hearing words but this also presented an added challenge of filtering out the background noise that was also amplified. Today’s hearing aids can easily filter out that noise so that the user can hear words but not all the other stuff. Improvements in wireless technology have allowed for improved speech recognition and SNR, which stands for signal-to-noise ratio. Recent advancements mean hearing aids can actually communicate with each other, especially when it comes to left and right ear instruments.
People wearing digital hearing aids benefit from digital noise reduction and better frequency transposition due to improvements in digital hearing aids. They can also enjoy increased range. Hooking up to Bluetooth and other wireless technological services is par for the course now.
Digital noise reduction technology utilizes even better technology that incorporates directional microphones. This is because there is a concentration on the physical characteristics of noise and speech instead of the separation of space, taking into account factors like speech modulation.
The First Digital Hearing Aids
The first digital hearing aids featured DSP, ideal for digital noise reduction. DSPs, which stand for digital signal processing, first emerged onto the scene in 1996. They were great for boosting processing speeds which improved the ability to hear as well as the range of amplification for individuals wearing the hearing aid.
The future is here! For more flexibility and better overall results, hearing impaired individuals can count on digital hearing aids to take advantage of innovative wireless technology and microelectronics. As such, the future for digital hearing aids looks positive, as the technology will only continue to expand through the decades.