A hearing aid is not just a sound amplifier. It’s a highly sophisticated communication device that can empower you to live life to the very fullest.
Inside hearing aids
In all hearing aids you’ll find 5 basic components: microphones, an amplifier, a loudspeaker, a battery and a computer chip that is programmed by the hearing care professional to suit individual needs.
Although all hearing aids have a similar construction, there can be significant differences in the quality of sound capture and speech understanding between different devices. The higher the quality of the hearing aid, the more natural the listening experience will be. This is because they offer features like bandwidth, automatic volume regulation, noise management and feedback suppression.
The most advanced hearing aids also have a wide range of personalisation options and the ability to connect wirelessly to a number of devices, such as mobile phones.
You’ll find the most advanced technology in the newer hearing aid models, and these improvements come at a cost. But you can feel assured that there are hearing aids available to suit all tastes and budgets. A hearing care professional can recommend a model based on the result of a hearing test and a conversation about your lifestyle and budget.
In today’s digital hearing aids, the acoustic (natural) sound from the microphone is converted into digits (0, 1), processed within the hearing aid, and then reconverted into an analogue signal for the listener.
Here is how a hearing aid works step-by-step:
- Microphones pick up sounds
- Sounds are analysed by the processing chip
- Processed sounds are sent to the amplifier
- Amplified sounds are sent to the loudspeaker
- Sounds are transmitted by the loudspeaker into the inner ear, via tubing in an ear mould in the ear canal, or via a thin wire to a receiver in the ear
- In the inner ear the sounds are transformed into electrical impulses
- Impulses are picked up by the brain where they are processed
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