Hearing aid technology is always advancing and modern hearing aids come with more added features. All hearing aids contain the same basic parts, like a microphone, amplifier and a speaker, but there are many added extras that you need to consider when choosing hearing aids.
During an appointment with an audiologist, they will discuss the various options with you and ask questions about your lifestyle to determine which features are most important for you and your hearing loss. These are some of the most common hearing aid features to consider.
A telecoil is a small magnetic coil, which can pick up sound in place of the microphone. Many telephones are telecoil-compatible and you will often find telecoil systems installed in places like theaters and on televisions. This is a useful feature for most people with hearing aids.
Many modern hearing aids use wireless connectivity as an alternative to telecoil systems. You can connect them to your phone or television via Bluetooth, so the sound is transmitted directly into the hearing aid, improving the quality.
Anti-phase feedback, sometimes called feedback management, is a feature present in most modern hearing aids. It detects whistling or hissing sounds and then cancels it out so it doesn’t interfere with your hearing.
Directional and adaptive microphones
There are a number of microphone features available in modern hearing aids but directional and adaptive microphones are some of the most common, and the most useful. Directional hearing aids have one microphone in the front and one in the back. When needed, you can switch off the back one to limit background noise.
An adaptive microphone does this for you automatically. They work by identifying where the sound is strongest and then amplifying that while also dampening other noise. So, if you are in a busy restaurant, you can easily hear the person sitting opposite you because the back microphone automatically switches off.
Customizable listening programs
New hearing aids have multiple features that allow your audiologist to adjust them and optimize them for different situations. That is why a lot of hearing aids come with customizable programs that you can easily switch between. So, you can have settings for general use, crowded areas or driving. This ensures that your hearing aids are always working as best they can.
The wealth of features on modern hearing aids means that they often have a remote-control function, so you can avoid repeatedly taking them out to adjust. In some cases, you will get a dedicated remote control for your hearing aids but they are often controlled using an app on your smartphone. This is a feature that you should definitely look for when choosing hearing aids.
There are a range of different hearing aid features to choose from and your audiologist will help you decide which ones are applicable to you. Some of those features are only useful to certain people because of the lifestyle that they lead. However, these common hearing aid features are useful for the majority of hearing aid users.