Digital hearing aids are better than analog hearing aids in terms of sound quality, robustness and flexibility. There are many extra features offered by digital hearing aids because of their ability to manipulate the digital signals. Analog hearing aids, on the other hand, can be thought of simple sound amplifiers and do not offer much functionality other than this. They consist of only basic components that make up a hearing aid, they are the most basic form of hearing aid that you can get. Well except for those ear horns!
Digital hearing aid have a computer chip inside them, this takes analog sound waves as an input and then coverts them into digital signals. These digital signals are formed by sampling the actual analog waves and then these are passed onto your inner ear. As a result of this sampling the quality of sound is better, or so it is said. Digital aids offer better quality because they are able to combine different functions to bring an improved final sound to the wearer.
Digital hearing aids are programmable and can be set to operate in a particular kind of environment. Digital hearing aids are set to work in multiple frequency bands and therefore the amount of processing is increased and enhanced. There are many extra add on features available for digital aids such as noise reduction, feedback reduction, sound generation, speech enhancement, directional microphone and compression. These features are briefly discussed below:
- Noise Reduction: Digital technology makes it possible for the hearing aid to determine which signals are speech-like and which signals can be discarded as noise. This is determined by studying the frequency response of digitized signals. The hearing aids are therefore programmed in such a way that they amplify those sounds only which are considered speech-like and other sounds are reduced.
- Feedback Reduction: One of the drawbacks of digital hearing aids is that they can cause feedback in received sound because of jaw movement or swallowing activity. Proper programming and adjustment helps to reduce feedback.
- Directional Microphone: This capability is also available in analog hearing aids, however, in digital aids it is easier to use and provides better functionality. You can easily turn on the directional microphone if you want to hear only those sounds which are directly in front of you. Background sounds are faded away and the wearer can concentrate on what is being said.
- Compression: Compression allows a digital aid to pass either low frequencies or high frequencies depending on the use and environment. Because of a great number of channels that can be used with a digital device, many frequencies can be set to work with the device.
Other features include automatic gain control, loud sound protection and the use of telecoil. All these features contribute to better functionality of the hearing device and give more control to the person who is wearing it. Before buying a digital hearing aid, make sure you have discussed your condition with an audiologist and see what they suggest.
Learn more information on hearing aid manufacturer and cost of hearing aids . FirstHearingAids.com is a comprehensive resource for people suffering from hearing loss to get information on hearing aid options, prices and maintenance.