Analog Hearing Aids Vs. Digital Hearing Aids
Date posted: February 1, 2017
When researching hearing aids you may come across two types of technology: digital and analog. Digital hearing aid technology is newer and can offer more bells and whistles. Digital hearing aids have become very popular in recent years, so fewer manufacturers are making analog instruments. However, both digital and analog hearing aids have their own advantages, choosing between the two is purely a matter of your lifestyle and personal preference.
Your hearing specialist can program both technologies to your specific needs.
A digital hearing aid is essentially a tiny computer in your ear. It samples the sounds around you at a rate of one million times per second then compares those sounds to your programmed hearing loss. After 40 million calculations (preformed in just milliseconds) the hearing aid decides how to best let you hear that sound. Digital hearing aids are able to quickly manipulate the sounds while in digital form, which gives them the ability to have more features including options like background noise cancellation, feedback cancellation, directional microphones and multiple memories.
Analog hearing aids simply make sound waves larger before sending them to the speaker in your ear. You hear the sound as is, just louder.
Analog hearing aid technology is generally cheaper than digital. Some dispensers carry digital hearing aids with prices similar to their analog hearing aids, but those instruments usually come with very few special features.
Buyers should be weary of hearing aid dispensers trying to pass certain instruments off as digital when they are not. These hearing instruments are known as digitally programmable, they are simply analog devices that have to be programmed by a computer in the dispenser’s office. A 100% digital aid will also be referred to as DSP (digital signal processor), digitally programmable hearing aids cannot be called DSP.
As always we urge you to ask lots of questions and make sure you are totally comfortable before making your purchase. You should not feel pressured to purchase any hearing instrument based solely on technology.