A digital hearing aid is a hearing aid device that receives sound and digitizes it (breaks sound waves up into very small, discrete units) prior to amplification. A traditional analog hearing aid simply makes the sound wave larger to amplify sounds. Like their analog counterparts, digital hearing aids are available in a range of prices, and with a corresponding range of capabilities.
The most sophisticated digital hearing aids have built in intelligence that allows them to discern between soft, but desirable sounds, and louder, but unwanted noise. Such devices can amplify the former, while neutralizing the latter for better performance in a variety of environments. A digital hearing aid can be programmed to adjust itself to the current environment millions of times each second. Digital technology also makes it possible for technicians to create customized programs that address each individual's specific hearing difficulties.
Digital hearing aids are expensive, but they offer great flexibility in both programming and sound processing when compared with analog hearing aids. Some features of digital aids, include:
• speech enhancement :
• noise reduction :
• feedback elimination :
Digital hearing aids have all the features of analog programmable aids, but they convert sound waves into digital signals and produce an exact duplication of sound. Computer chips in digital hearing aids analyze speech and other environmental sounds. The digital hearing aids allow for more complex processing of sound during the amplification process which may improve their performance in certain situations (for example, background noise and whistle reduction). They also have greater flexibility in hearing aid programming so that the sound they transmit can be matched to the needs for a specific pattern of hearing loss. Digital hearing aids also provide multiple program memories. Most individuals who seek hearing help are offered a choice of only digital technology these days.