Hearing aids have come a long way in the past decade. Today's hearing aids come with a variety of helpful features that dramatically improve your hearing experience much more than simply turning up the volume. Find out more…
In Part 1 of this article, we discussed Adaptive Feedback Cancellation, Automatic Gain Control for both Input and Output, and Digital Signal Processing in hearing aids. But there are even more hearing aid features available that improve your hearing in a variety of situations.
Directional Microphone TechnologyUsing special microphones, hearing aids can now amplify sounds coming from in front of the user more than sounds coming from behind. This technology is most useful in noisy listening situations like crowded restaurants when the talker is in front of, and close to, the listener and the room has low reverberation. The hearing aid will amplify the speech more than the background noise to improve speech understanding.
Multiple ChannelsEach channel on a hearing aid represents a portion of the frequency range needed to understand speech. The advantage of having multiple channels is that different features can be programmed for different frequencies, so as the noise levels change, your hearing aids will automatically adjust to give you optimal hearing no matter what's happening around you.
TelecoilsTelecoils are extremely helpful for people with hearing aids who have trouble understanding speech over the phone. These special circuits pick up electromagnetic signals from the handset of a phone and deliver the sound directly into the hearing aid. At the same time, the hearing aid's microphone is automatically shut off to avoid feedback. Telecoils can work with both landlines and cell phones, making them that much more useful in today's wireless world.
Remote ControlsMany hearing aids can be adjusted using remote controls, giving users instant control and flexibility. You can change the channel or adjust the volume of your devices without having to touch them, and while automatic adjustments on many new hearing aids has reduced the need for manual adjustments, many people still like the option of having that control at their fingertips.
There are so many features available for hearing aids today, that not all features will be suitable for everyone. But there are always a few special features that make a hearing device perfectly suited for its user. Talk to your audiologist today about which features make sense for your and your lifestyle, and get the hearing aids that work best for you.