Michelle Reed

Hearing

Everything you need to know about digital hearing aids

Everything you need to know about digital hearing aids

Digital hearing aids are the very latest in hearing technology and offer many advantages over the analogue devices of yesteryear. To find out the nitty gritty behind this technology, we consulted the Consumer’s Guide to Hearing Aids, Australia’s only completely independent guide to hearing care, to answer all your questions.

How do digital hearing aids work?

  • The hearing aid microphone turns sound into an electrical signal.  
  • A filter removes inaudible frequencies.
  • The electrical signal goes to the analogue-to-digital converter, which changes it to a digital signal to be manipulated by the hearing aid’s computer (DSP chip).
  • The chip is programmed to perform many operations (noise reduction, filtering, feedback, cancellation, etc.) depending on the algorithm used.
  • The digital signal is converted back into audible sound for the patient to hear. These functions are performed instantly and continually.

What are the benefits?

  • They have Automatic Signal Processing circuits which are not available with non-programmable instruments.
  • They have multiple circuit options within the single aids meaning it can achieve different sound qualities.
  • It will automatically achieve more volume for soft, high frequency sounds and less volume for more intense, low frequency sounds.
  • It can retain your complete audiometric file and preferred listening program for various environments.
  • It can adjust the prescription should your hearing loss change.

The 6 questions you should ask about digital hearing aids:

1. How many channels does it have? How many do I need?

2. What type of Automatic Signal Processing compression does it use, and what type would best suit my lifestyle?

3. Does it offer directional microphones for hearing in noise?

4. Does it have wireless capability? Do my listening situations indicate I would benefit from hearing aids with wireless compatibility?

5. How many memories does it have? How many various listening situations do I encounter?

6. Does it come with a remote control? Do I need a remote control?

If you’re after more hearing information, grab a free copy of the Consumer’s guide to Hearing aids here.

Related links:

Signs that it’s time to replace your hearing aids

Top 3 mistakes people make with hearing aids

Great apps that train and test hearing