Digital Hearing Aid Styles & Technology
Hearing aids come in a variety of shapes, styles and technologies. Which one is right for you? That answer depends on your individual hearing loss and your personal listening needs. We will work with you to determine the very best solution for you, your lifestyle, and your budget.
It’s important to us that you know hearing aids are a lot different than they were even five years ago. If you’re picturing a really obvious instrument that sits on your ear and whistles, you’re in for a very pleasant surprise!
Modern hearing aids are tiny, sophisticated devices with an array of special functions that can “zoom in” on sounds you want to hear and “cancel out” noise that makes it difficult to understand conversation. Plus, they can be programmed to suit your personal listening needs.
If you like to attend the theater, eat in restaurants, have a family barbecue, go to a basketball game, run marathons—we can work with you to find a hearing aid that fits YOUR lifestyle.
RIC hearing instruments feature the same barely visible, comfortable fit as “open fit” instruments. However, the receiver that delivers the sound is inside the ear canal, resulting in a more natural sound. Traditional “open fit” or BTE devices channel the sound from the hearing instrument through an acoustic tube, which can cause distortion.
Open Fit or Open Ear
Open Fit (or BTE) devices are tiny instrument that sit behind the ear and delivers sound through a thin acoustic tube.
Completely in the Canal (CIC)
These instruments are tiny and fit, literally, completely in the ear canal.
Canal Style or In The Canal (ITC)
These instruments fit in the ear canal and are somewhat visible.
Full Shell – In the Ear (ITE)
These instruments fit slightly in the canal and fill the ear with a shell. This style is a good option for those with dexterity issues.
Behind the Ear (BTE)
These instruments sit behind the ear and have a tube that connects the instrument to a custom-made mold that fits in the ear.
For many years, analog devices were the only kind you could get. Analog hearing aids amplify all sound equally. They are unable to separate foreground and background noise.
Digital hearing aids work by passing sound through a DSP, or Digital Signal Processor. This is a tiny computer chip which can process and manipulate sound waves in many ways. These signals can then be refined to perform a variety of functions and allows for more features in the hearing aid.
The biggest advantage of a digital hearing aid is its ability to filter noise. The digital amplifier consistently works to distinguish speech from irrelevant and distracting background noise. This feature makes it much easier to hear in challenging environments so you’re able to focus on the conversation.
Hearing aids with directional microphones take this one step further and focus on amplifying the sounds directly in front of you. This is extremely helpful in noisy places like restaurants, large church services or outings with friends. Even more advanced are automatic directional microphones which automatically adjust the noise depending on your surroundings. As you move from a quiet setting to a loud room, the hearing aid adapts to the sound level without you having to do a thing.
Digital hearing aids offer some other advantages like:
- Customizable settings for different environments or circumstances
- More adaptable to your specific listening needs
- Less prone to feedback, such as whistling or whining
- Usually smaller and lighter than analog hearing aids
- Constantly monitor your environment to automatically determine the best sound quality
- Many are now smartphone and tablet compatible, giving the user even more control by using an app.
- More rechargeable options
We dispense a variety of hearing instruments from the top 5 leading manufacturers. This helps us to ensure that we provide our patients with the most options based on their lifestyle, needs and budget.
Please ask us if you have a question about a specific manufacturer or option.
What often keeps people from reconnecting with conversations and the other sounds of life they have been missing out on is a concern that they can't afford hearing aids. We will work with you to find the best solution for your budget.
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Professional Audiology is the longest-running, family-owned practice in New Hampshire.
Providing the Best Audiological Care to Individuals in the Seacoast Area for Over 40 Years