The hearing aid industry wasn’t always so technologically savvy. Taking a look back, we see that the precursor to modern hearing aids was called the ear trumpet, emerging in the 1800s. Today’s modern digital hearing aids have remote controls that allow the user to adjust various settings, and some have omnidirectional microphones to detect sound from multiple directions. You get benefits such as background noise filtration and Bluetooth hook ups. Digital hearing aids are great at removing fuzzy, loud and distracting background noise, but they can also do a whole lot more. This gives doctors the opportunity to program each device according to the wearer’s degree of hearing loss. Only around for about 15 years, digital hearing aids replaced analog hearing aids which used to be popular.
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.You may realize that modern hearing aids can easily filter out that noise so that the user can hear words but not all the other stuff. Well, improvements in wireless technology have allowed for improved speech recognition and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). A main complaint users of hearing aids have historically made is that it’s difficult to hear clearly with all the background noise. Many manufacturers, implementing brand new technology through the use of digital magnetic wireless communication, use chips in the devices that control settings such as switch position and microphone modes.
Digital noise reduction technology utilizes even better technology that incorporates directional microphones. This is because there is a concentration on the physical characteristics of noise and speech instead of the separation of space, taking into account factors like speech modulation.
The First Digital Hearing Aids
The first digital hearing aids, introduced into the medical community, came out initially in 1996. They utilized DSP, which stands for digital signal processing. Ideal for digital noise reduction, DSPs provided a boost in processing speeds which improved the ability to hear as well as the range of amplification for individuals wearing the hearing aid.
People wearing digital hearing aids benefit from digital noise reduction and better frequency transposition due to improvements in digital hearing aids. They can also enjoy increased range. Hooking up to Bluetooth and other wireless technological services is par for the course now.
It’s not just your phones that are “smart.” 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.
Self-learning hearing aids are integral to modern devices because they have self-learning or regulating tendencies.
The future has arrived. For added convenience, hearing impaired individuals can count on digital hearing aids to take advantage of innovative wireless technology and microelectronics. As such, the future for digital hearing aids looks positive, as the technology will only continue to expand as the years wear on.