How Do Digital Hearing Aids Work?
Digital hearing aids transform the sound waves that hit their microphone into digital binary code (0's and 1's).
Once in the digital domain, the information can be manipulated in many sophisticated ways by the signal processing chip within the hearing aid. Noise reduction, anti-feedback control, automatic switching to different listening programs and digital sound streaming are just a few of the features that can be provided in small, nearly invisible hearing aids because of digital technology. Once the signal processing is completed, the digital signal is returned back to an analog signal that is sent to the speaker of the hearing aid, and heard by the wearer.
Some Background on Digital Hearing Aids
Much like the technology advancements in computers and cell phones, hearing aids are not immune to the ever-evolving changes in technology. Prior to 1987, hearing aids featured analog technology. By the time the 1990's rolled around, most hearing aid manufacturers were offering digital hearing aids. As of present day, analog hearing technology is nearly obsolete.
Digital technology has brought much advancement to hearing aids. For example, today's digital hearing aids offer more than just one listening program. The different programs can help in a variety of listening situations such as hearing when there is background noise, listening to music and hearing on the telephone. Even more impressive, digital hearing aids can automatically change between the programs as the wearer moves from one listening situation to another.