We as a hearing impaired society have certainly come a long way since the early 1800s when ear trumpets were first invented. Two hundred or so years later and digital hearing aids are the popular option, featuring remote controls that allow individuals to set their own settings. Some perks include omnidirectional microphones which can pick up on sound originating from many directions. It may seem hard to believe, but digital hearing aids have only been on the scene for fewer than 20 years. Now, each device can be programmed according to user preference and hearing loss degrees. Analog hearing aids were formerly the popular option. With flexibility and versatility for hearing impaired individuals at the forefront, wireless technology and microelectronics have produced the capacity to control background noise filtration and connect to Bluetooth.
Digital Noise Reduction (DNR)
Digital noise reduction technology surpasses that of directional microphones because it is based on the physical characteristics of noise and speech rather than the separation of space, taking into account speech modulation.
In 2014, digital hearing aids can ban background noise so that the user can hear clear words but not all the background din. Improvements in wireless technology have allowed for improved speech recognition and SNR, which stands for signal-to-noise ratio. Did you know that hearing aids can actually communicate with each other? A main complaint of users is that it’s tough to hear clearly with all the background noise. Older hearing aids amplified all sound, which was great for hearing words but this also presented an added challenge of filtering out the background noise. Many manufacturers, implementing brand new technology through the use of digital magnetic wireless communication, use chips in the devices that control anything from switch position to microphone modes.
Featuring self-learning or regulating tendencies, so-called smart hearing aids can adjust settings like volume automatically after a period of time as far as user preferences go, allowing the wearer to be in control.
Digital noise reduction technology, moving beyond that of directional microphones, draws its basis from physical characteristics of noise and speech rather than the separation of space, particularly in regards to speech modulation.
People who incorporate digital hearing aids benefit from increased range, digital noise reduction and higher frequency transposition. Users can even make a connection to Bluetooth and other wireless technological services to expand their ease of use.
The First Digital Hearing Aids
Only in 1996 did the first digital hearing aid come about within the medical community to great applause. These models featured utilized DSP, which stands for digital signal processing. Ideal for digital noise reduction, DSPs provided a boost in processing speeds which improved the ability to hear as well as the range of amplification for individuals wearing the hearing aid.
Single Sided Deafness
Background noise is a big thing for those with single sided deafness. People who had single-sided deafness before digital technology was introduced were frustrated with background noise and had to resort to leaning with their “good ear” in conversation. Factors like CROS devices and bone conduction devices allow the good ear to receive signals from the bad ear to boost amplification.
Hearing impaired individuals can now trust digital hearing aids to offer innovative wireless technology and microelectronics for improved ease of use and flexibility when they wear hearing aids on a daily basis.