You may have noticed that over the years, hearing aids have drastically improved. They’re sleeker, smoother and more form-fitting to your actual shape these days. Hearing aids are more personal now than they ever have been before, with molds that are taken to get you fitted correctly at your hearing aid appointments with your audiologist. The improvements that are being made with hearing aid technology has means that users are able to access smarter features, hear better and feel more comfortable all at the same time. 

Hearing aids are made up of four main parts:

  • The power source
  • The receiver
  • The microphone
  • The processor

While these have never changed, our advancements in digital technology have meant that we now have more sophisticated components to work with. There are more features, more colors and even more brands to choose from than ever before. Hearing aids are no longer just decided based on hearing needs, but on lifestyle. Hearing loss may be a difficult thing to deal with, but we now have the capability to keep living the active lives we lead with the newer hearing technology. 

All hearing aids have slight differences, with some being more unique than others. They are grouped into two areas: basic and advanced. There are some subtle differences between the two groups, but more significant differences between the two hearing aid types when laid out in front of you. Let’s explore both:

Basic hearing aids

We are more used to seeing digital hearing aids that embrace technology than we are seeing basic ones. But the hearing aids on the market today are useful and more impressive than ever before. There are still a lot of useful features in the basic hearing aids, even if they don’t have as many useful features as the advanced hearing aids out there. The basic hearing aids are more manual in nature, and so you’ll have to adjust programs and volumes by hand manually. You may also have to push buttons to reduce any noise that comes from behind you. 

Basic hearing aids are still computer programmable, but they’re limited in their customization. There are also far less hearing aid features that can control any feedback or whistling in the background. Most basic hearing devices are equipped with directional microphones which increase sounds from straight ahead, and they soften the sounds from other directions. Another feature of wireless models that are basic such as these include the hearing aid being able to connect to FM systems. This is done with a boot attachment. It’s important that a basic hearing aid has FM compatibility for hearing aids with children. This is because these systems are mostly used with educational settings.

Advanced hearing aids

With technology consistently improving, it was only a matter of time before hearing aids were touched by tech. Audiologists are always seeing new advancements in hearing aid technology, and the features are there to make the lives of those with hearing disorders better. The more technologically advanced the hearing aids, the better the features and the more automatic they are. Things like comfort listening and improved speech recognition are just two of the features that you can expect from more advanced hearing aids. 

The more advanced models out there often have eight channels and these work to separate the sounds to offer a better signal resolution. Advanced hearing aids are also better able to link to Bluetooth, and that ensures that they can connect to other devices – like smartphones. There is also much less feedback and a better signal to noise ratio. There are even advanced hearing aids out there that come with wind noise reduction capability.

There are hearing aids out there that your audiologist will tell you about that will be equipped with data logging. This helps to store information like the volume you listen at, different environments for a customized fit and even self-learning features. These can adjust automatically by learning your settings preferences, and the overall result is better patient satisfaction with their hearing aid choices. 

Your audiologist will work with you to ensure you get the right device for your specific needs. That means helping you determine what style is best for you, in addition to the features you will benefit most from.

If you want to know more about your hearing technology options, contact one of our friendly team members at Affordable Audiology & Hearing Service today by calling (920) 267-5220.