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'digital signal processors'
What’s the difference between analog and digital hearing aids? Analog hearing aids basically take sounds and make them louder, just as cupping your hand behind your ear amplifies sound. Some analog hearing aids include a programmable microchip, but the functions are relatively basic. Digital hearing aids take in sound waves (in themselves, analog signals, for the tech folks out there), translate them into digital format, process, filter, distort, amplify and ultimately deliver a sound signal into your ear canal that is custom-tailored to your needs. In order to perform all these wonders, digital hearing aids contain a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) chip. To better understand digital versus analog, consider the difference between analog vinyl records and digital CDs. Vinyl records require fairly simple methods for playback, and a simple turntable and needle will do the trick. CDs take a little more hardware, as the digital information has to be processed and reproduced. While there is a greater amount to do, CDs provide clearer, high fidelity sound. Some people prefer the warm crackle of a vinyl record, but that fuzz simply won’t do when it comes to your hearing!
What are hearing aids? In its most basic form, a hearing aid is a device that amplifies the frequencies that you have trouble hearing. Most devices nowadays are digital, consisting of a microphone, digital signal processors, amplifiers, and speakers. Hearing technology has undergone a radical rate of evolution in recent years. The introduction of digital signal processing technology has allowed chips to process multiple millions of calculations per second, resulting in unparalleled sound quality. The durability has improved dramatically, and comfort, as well as aesthetics, have been thoroughly addressed. Modern devices have shrunk so much in size that they are barely noticeable.
Hearing Aid Compatible Some hearing aids have a feature called a "telecoil" built into them. The telecoil allows the hearing aid to hear magnetic signal representing an audio signal instead (or in addition to) just an audio signal. A device that is "Hearing Aid Compatible" is designed to output the required magnetic signal that the telecoil can hear in additon to an audio signal. The term "Hearing Aid Compatible" is usually used to refer to telephones, but may also apply to headphones. Also, hearing aid users who have a telecoil in their hearing aid may use an ALD with a neckloop or with a silhouette to allow them to hear devices that are not by nature "Hearing Aid Compatible". Headphones: Not all headphones are "Hearing Aid Compatible", but those that use powerful magnets to drive the speakers may be. The most common headphone that people may encounter that is "Hearing Aid Compatible" is the "PhonicEar" Headphone (really an ALD which many movie theaters have to loan free to patrons who would like to hear the movie better. Many users can simply use that ALD acoustically, but users with a telecoil in their hearing aids may benefit from switching it on, since that particular headset is "Hearing Aid Compatible". Telephones: Most non-portable telephones, some remote phones, and a few cell phones sold in the United States are now "Hearing Aid Compatible". This means that the telephone speaker in the earpiece not only outputs the sound of the person you are talking to, but it also outputs a magnetic signal representing the sound. All early telephones were automatically hearing aid compatible, because they used magnets to drive the speaker in the earpiece. Telephones built a few years ago were probably not hearing aid compatible, because they frequently didn't use magnets to drive their speakers. Using a equipped hearing aid with a Hearing Aid Compatible telephone can dramatically improve your ability to hear on the telephone. Shop carefully, however, since the strength and effectiveness of Hearing Aid Compatible phones and of telecoil varies greatly. If you have more than a minor hearing loss, you may want to check out the several Hearing Aid Compatible telephones and especially those Amplified Telephones designed especially for hard of hearing people.
How hearing aids work Hearing aids use the same basic parts to carry sounds from the environment into your ear and make them louder. Most hearing aids are digital, and all are powered with a hearing aid battery. Small microphones collect sounds from the environment. A computer chip with an amplifier converts the incoming sound into digital code. It analyzes and adjusts the sound based on your hearing loss, listening needs and the level of the sounds around you. The amplified signals are then converted back into sound waves and delivered to your ears through speakers.
How Does A Hearing Aid Work In order to understand things better, you need to understand how a hearing aid works. A hearing aid is a digital sound processor, NOT AN AMPLIFIER, Someone suffering from hearing loss does not need the sound of everything around them to go up, which is what an amplifier does. So this means the person sitting next to you, as well as the crowd around you, is louder. This isn’t going to help you hear better. This is what going to make everything louder. What do you need is a better signal to noise ratio, and this is what hearing aids do…20 times a second. Adding strength to the voices close to you while minimizing the background noise.