If you are like the many millions of people who have bought digital hearing aids, you probably did not fully understand all of the mechanisms at play inside of that new hearing aid. You had your hearing tested and were told which hearing aids would work best for your hearing loss. So, just what are digital hearing aids and what makes them different?Digital hearing aids use computer technology. The comfort and sound level that you hear can be custom-tailored to your unique hearing loss. This is accomplished by connecting the digital hearing aids to a computer and programming them to your loss. But, there are non-digital / analog hearing aids that can be programmed this way too. So, what are the differences between digital hearing aids and analog?
Hearing aids receive sound through the microphone. Distortion and noise are added to the sound from the microphone. This is because microphones make noise. Analog hearing aids pass the sound on to you with the noise and distortion. Digital hearing instruments clean sounds as they come into the hearing aids so that there is less noise and distortion. The sound is then sent to the amplifier, where your digital hearing aids measure the sound and decide how much power to add in order for you to hear.
After being amplified the sound is sent to the receiver (the speaker) and is then cleaned up again before being sent to your ear. This is also where digital hearing aids look for feedback (whistling) and work to cancel it before the feedback happens. Digital hearing aids actually perform millions of complex calculations in less than the blink of an eye, so fast you cannot even tell it has happened. The entire process is extremely complicated. Digital hearing aids are able to be set more precisely to your hearing loss. Digital hearing aids also have a wide array of circuitry inside them that control the comfort of the sound and make speech easier to hear in noise.