Are Digital Hearing Aids Better than Analog?
There is a log of talk about whether analog or digital hearing aids are better. Some people with hearing impairment prefer the older style analog hearing aids, while some have made the switch to digital or have never experienced analog before.
Their experiences are as different as they are. Some people love their analog hearing aids and never want to try digital. Some people have tried digital and didn't like them. Still others love their digital hearing aids and can't ever imagine going back to analog hearing aids.
Much of this may have to do with the differences in their type and severity of hearing loss, as this will affect the way in which the hearing aids perform for each individual and how they affect certain noises and listening situations.
Digital Hearing Aids
Digital hearing aids work by converting sound into digital signals. Almost all digital hearing aids are programmable for various environments and situations.
Benefits of Digital Hearing Aids:
- Can filter noises
- Programmable for different environments
- Clearer sounds, especially speech
The thing that distinguishes the ability of digital hearing aids from analog hearing aids is that they can detect noise from speech. Because of this, digital hearing aids are able to suppress background noise unlike analog hearing aids. They can also compress louder sounds into something that is much more tolerable for the wearer.
For many people, digital hearing aids perform better in noisy environments and deliver clearer sounds. A downside to digital hearing aids is that they can be quite a bit more expensive than their analog counterparts. Cost is a factor when people choose the type of hearing aid they will buy, so this keeps many people from making the switch.
Analog Hearing Aids
Even though digital hearing aids are truly a great advancement, some individuals still prefer their analog hearing aids for several reasons.
As mentioned above, cost is probably the biggest factor why people do not make the switch to digital hearing aids. Analog hearing aids are much less expensive than digital and work well enough for people to still use them.
You may think, if it's not broken why fix it? However, I suggest you also ask yourself how digital hearing aids may improve your quality of life. Switching to digital hearing aids is a decision only you can make, but you should make it wisely.
Some analog hearing aids can also be programmed, which is a nice option for those who don't want to switch to digital.
The downside to analog hearing aids is that they make all sounds louder instead of filtering sounds like a digital hearing aid would. This makes for a lot of background noise and static.
There is one last thing you should consider when deciding between digital or analog, and that is that many hearing aid manufacturers are not longer making analog hearing aids. This means that your options may be limited and the brand you buy now may not be available in a few years. Digital hearing aids however will be around for a long time to come.