New Hearing Aids: Digital Technology and Tiny Microphones
Today’s hearing aids are much smaller – virtually invisible, and they are pretty high tech! Most hearing aids today contain a microcomputer that is much more sophisticated in responding to noise in the environment, so you don’t get feedback and echoes.”
Like an excellent stereo sound system, these new hearing aids filter out background noise, clean up and clarify the sound quality, automatically adjust the volume. Plus, they are computer-programmed to match the nuances of each person’s hearing loss. It’s like the equalizer on a radio. There are 16 bands to match hearing loss at every pitch. These hearing aids are tailor-made to match their hearing loss.
“The directional microphone has been one of the biggest improvements in hearing aids,” says David Fabry, PhD, an audiologist with Mayo Clinic for 15 years. He is now the director of clinical research at Phonak Hearing Systems, a company that specializes in wireless communication devices.
Directional mics don’t fit into the tiniest hearing aids that nestle hidden in the ear canal. But if you’re looking for better satisfaction with your hearing, then you need a directional mic. “That is the single factor that will preserve speech understanding and filter out noise – and those are the No. 1 concerns that people have — they want to hear better in a noisy environment,” said Fabry.