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Hearing Aid Technology

Technology Today

Forget about hearing aids from 10+ years ago. Whether you’re a tech-savvy individual or feel intimidated by computers, our patients are impressed with the simplicity and ease of hearing aid use!

Today’s hearing aids are miniature computers, adjusting millions of times a second to give you the best speech signal possible in the various listening environments you encounter. Hearing aids reduce your listening fatigue and do all the hard work for you. You can put your hearing aid on in the morning and forget about it throughout your day!

Technology level within a hearing aid refers to the intelligence, features and background noise suppression available inside your computer chip.

Levels of Technology

Every hearing aid manufacturer offers entry-level, mid-level and high-end technology. As the level of technology increases from basic to high-end, the number of features within the device also increases, and therefore, so does price.

Entry-level hearing aids benefit you if your daily routine involves quiet environments where there is not a lot of competing background noise. In contrast, mid-level and high-end hearing aids further benefit you if you live a more active, social (noisy) lifestyle.

It truly comes down to the personal listening environments you encounter.

Entry-level technology offers less noise reduction compared to high-end technology, which provides maximum noise suppression features to give you the best speech signal possible when in complex, noisy environments.

What is noise?

Background noise is any noise that interferes with your ability to hear, understand, and/or pay attention to the signal that you want to hear.

Realistically, we live in a busy, noisy world. People experience multiple incoming auditory signals at various input levels, often simultaneously, which change from moment to moment.

Consider the possibilities of noise while eating dinner at your favorite restaurant. Your brain hears other patrons talking, the voice of your waiter, music playing overhead, dishes clanging nearby, a baby crying, the group behind you laughing loudly, the sound of the door opening and closing, just to name a few, let alone the person you actually want to converse with across the table. Hearing aid technology is keenly aware of all the incoming speech and noise signals in your environment.

The more complex your listening environments, the more beneficial mid-level and high-end hearing aid technology becomes for you.

Since the computer chip capability is so flexible, we can continue to adjust your hearing aids in the future if your lifestyle and/or hearing loss changes, but it is important to select upfront the amount of noise suppression desirable for the lifestyle that you want to live.

Other Considerations

Today’s hearing aids have finally entered the era of Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a wireless communication platform that allows for the transfer of data between two or more electronic devices. This technology amplifies meaningful sounds to your hearing aids, such as speech, while reducing unwanted background noise. You can now wirelessly connect your hearing aids to your cell phone, TV, and iPod to name a few. Streaming allows for hands-free conversation and the ability to listen to the TV at the volume you want, while those around you can listen at the volume most comfortable for them. During your consultation, we discuss whether you would like to stream phone calls or music to your hearing aids, or use accessories to improve your signal-to-noise ratio.