Digital hearing aids make up a whopping 90 percent of all hearing aids on the market right now. That’s a pretty big feat, and there’s a reason for that. Technology has spurred this need on, allowing everything from filtration of background noise to connections to Bluetooth devices. Additionally, audiologists can now program each device according to the user’s specific degree of hearing loss. They have the ability to remove fuzzy and loud background noise, but this isn’t the only advancement around. Today’s hearing aids have come far since the 1800s, which is when the first ear trumpets arrived on the scene. 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.
Hearing aids were originally analog in nature but are now mostly digital.
Did you know that hearing aids can actually communicate with each other? They’re “smart.” Improvements in wireless technology have allowed for improved speech recognition and SNR, which stands for signal-to-noise ratio. A major issue for users of hearing aids is that it can be tough to properly hear with all the background noise going on. 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. Many manufacturers, incorporating brand new technology through the use of digital magnetic wireless communication, use chips in the devices that control settings such as switch position and microphone modes.
Digital noise reduction technology contains 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 initial digital hearing aids were great for boosting processing speeds which improved the ability to hear as well as the range of amplification. This still rings true today. The first digital hearing aids featured DSP, ideal for digital noise reduction. DSPs, which stand for digital signal processing, were first available in 1996.
Single Sided Deafness
Things like CROS devices and bone conduction devices allow the good ear to receive signals from the bad ear to spike up amplification. People who had single-sided deafness prior to big advancements in digital technology were frustrated with background noise and were relegated to using their “good ear” to hear conversation.
Did you know your digital hearing aid to learn on its own? It’s true. Self-learning hearing aids are integral to modern devices because they have self-learning or regulating tendencies. 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.
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 hearing aids represent the future of these types of devices, bringing increased versatility and comfort to their many users around the globe. Now, hearing impaired individuals have innovative wireless technology and microelectronics at their fingertips at all times to improve their daily lives.