Posted on Friday, January 25, 2013

Hearing Aid Reviews: What's New and Improved

Women window shopping consider their options for new hearing aids.

Hearing is not only a very personalized sense but it's also complex. Hearing technology therefore has a near impossible job, because it has to provide comfort, increase sound, decrease background noise and a hundred other small details that make your hearing unique to you. Fortunately, hearing aid manufacturers are up to the task and some of the new and improved advances in hearing aids are creating a lot of interest.

Personalized Hearing
What one person considers loud may not be loud enough for another. That's why manufacturers are developed new and improved ways of uncovering how to make hearing aids specific for each individual. As Professor Ray Meddis—who is developing customizing software for hearing aids, points out on Gizmag, “Our work has shown that, when it comes to hearing impairment, no two people are alike. That's why two people with apparently similar hearing thresholds often react very differently to their hearing aids."

Today's hearing aid technology has taken this personalized hearing into account. Not only are they programmable for a user's preference, but --and this is a little creepy, they listen and learn. According to the Hearing Aid Insider, "Input sounds are analyzed and classified before they get amplified. Sounds that don’t meet the manufacturer’s criteria to be classified as speech don’t get amplified as much as those sounds that do meet the speech criteria classification." As amazing as that bit of technology is, companies like Phonak and Widex have gone a step further in creating the ultimate in personal hearing experience. One of Widex's latest hearing aids, Inteo, has pushed the limits of hearing technology. According to Widex, "The core of Inteo is the Dynamic Integrator, which operates with the single goal: to create personally tailored sound that satisfies the individual user’s needs in any specific listening situation." Inteo accomplishes this personally tailored experience by being programmed with the user's preferences and needs at the first session and growing and adapting around those preferences. But the drive to "create personally tailored sound" doesn't stop there.

Hearing What You Want

The first job of hearing aid was to amplify sound, but that can be annoying on a windy day or startling when someone unexpectedly drops something near you. It can also cause interference when you are trying to listen to the person at your dinner table and there is background noise in a restaurant. Your ears and brain automatically tune out background noise and wind. And now hearing aids have adapted to try and do the same thing. Today's hearing aids, as Phonak says of their latest hearing aids like the Bolero Q, "... can do more than amplify a sound: A tiny processor works inside the hearing aid to optimize the sounds you just heard." In fact, the hearing aid can digest and amplify sounds that a person wants to hear and needs to hear, like speech, and can tell them apart from those sound that should be diminished, like the crashing sound of dishes being dropped. And this leap forward in technology comes atop similar advances in the past, so that today's hearing aids are even better at dealing with background noise. In addition, today's new and improved hearing aids are adapting to more than just noise, they are being designed to work with the many different ways people move.

Hearing Aids That Match Your Lifestyle

The majority of hearing aid users report they are happy with their hearing aids, but manufacturers continue to try and improve their product. One of the new ways hearing aids are adapting is anticipating individual lifestyles. Whether it's swimming, jogging, or hiking people want to be able to depend on their hearing aids. That's why companies like Widex developed hearing aids like the Bravissimo. High sound quality, flexibility, durability, dust resistance, and water proof features are all ways hearing aid manufacture's are improving today's hearing technology. According to the Better Hearing Institute, "From packaging that makes battery swaps as simple as slide and click to hearing aids that adapt to your listening preferences without you having to think about it, to hearing aids that stand up to everything from a round of golf to laps in the pool, hearing aid technology will only get better and better."

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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