Incredibly, it’s been about 200 years since the first inventions that explored the science of personal sound amplification, with the introduction of ear trumpets in the early 1800s. One would think digital technology has been around longer than that, but not so. Now, these state of the art devices utilize the latest technology to provide filtration of background noise, connections to Bluetooth devices and provide automatic volume adjustment. Advancements have come fast one after another, going from analog to digital in the present day. 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. Most hearing aids manufactured today are digital and there are many reasons for that.
It’s possible for your digital hearing aid to learn on its own! 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.
Many manufacturers are implementing brand new technology through the use of digital magnetic wireless communication via chips in the devices that control settings like switch position and microphone modes. One huge complaint users of hearing aids have historically made is that it’s difficult to hear clearly with all the background noise. 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. Today’s hearing aids can easily filter out that noise so that the user can hear words but not all the other stuff. Improvements in wireless technology have allowed for improved speech recognition and SNR, which stands for signal-to-noise ratio. Recent advancements mean hearing aids can actually communicate with each other, especially when it comes to left and right ear instruments.
With the intro of digital hearing aids, users can now connect to Bluetooth and other wireless technological services to make it easier to use the device. Users can also benefit from digital noise reduction, better frequency transposition, and increased range.
Single Sided Deafness
Before these big advancements in digital technology, those with single-sided deafness fell victim to greater background noise and were relegated to using their “good ear” to hear what was being said. Now, items like CROS devices and bone conduction devices, the good ear receives signals from the bad ear to improve on amplification.
Digital noise reduction technology surpasses that of directional microphones because it is based on the physical characteristics of noise and speech rather than the separation of space, taking into account speech modulation.
For top-notch flexibility, hearing impaired individuals can count on digital hearing aids to take advantage of innovative wireless technology and microelectronics to bring about more sophisticated abilities. The future for digital hearing aids is superior over other types, as the technology will only continue to grow and improve.