Personalized Hearing Care

Hearing Aid Features to Consider

hearing aid inside model ear canal

Hearing aid technology has advanced so much in the last few decades. Modern hearing aids come fitted with a wide variety of features designed to improve hearing in different situations. For some that have never used hearing aids before, it can be difficult to know which ones to choose. Your audiologist will be able to take you through the different options but ultimately, you need to consider your lifestyle and what features are most important to you. These are some of the main features to look at when selecting your hearing aids

Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable batteries are a great feature that makes maintenance much easier. If you have hearing aids with standard batteries, you will need to change them periodically, but you don’t need to worry about that as much with rechargeable ones. However, they can still wear out over time, so if they are not holding their charge, you will need to talk to your audiologist. 

Noise Reduction

Most modern hearing aids have some kind of noise reduction feature, but the level of reduction varies. Some are well suited to busy areas and will filter out a lot of background noise. So, if you like to go to a lot of restaurants and bars where background noise makes it difficult to follow conversations, this should be a priority. Some hearing aids also offer wind noise reduction, which is an incredibly useful feature. 

Directional Microphones

Directional microphones can be calibrated to pick up and amplify sounds coming from in front of you while minimizing sounds coming from behind you. This means that you are able to hear somebody talking to you when you are in a busy environment with a lot of background noise. Some hearing aids can focus in one specific direction and can be adjusted to perform better in certain situations. 

Telecoils 

Telecoils are used to improve hearing when speaking on the phone. The small coil inside the hearing aid works as a receiver and picks up the signal from the phone. When in use, the hearing aids will only amplify the sound coming through the coil and minimize the rest of the background noise. You will also find induction loops to connect your telecoil to in public places like theatres.

Direct Audio Input

Direct audio input functions can act as a good alternative to telecoils. Hearing aids with this feature can plug directly into a television, computer or music playing device with a simple cable, allowing you to get clear sound and shut out background noise. 

Wireless Connectivity

More models are being developed with wireless connectivity options to be used in place of direct audio input. Instead of using a cable, these hearing aids will connect to Bluetooth to a range of devices including phones, music players, computers and televisions. In some cases, they use a secondary device that picks up the signal and passes it on to the hearing aids, but some have it all built in. 

Remote Controls

With an increasing number of settings and features on hearing aids, many use a remote control. This allows you to change the settings easily without having to take the hearing aids out every time, making life much easier for you. Some models with wireless connectivity can connect to your smartphone so you can use an app as the remote control. 

Variable Programming

Variable programming is an incredibly useful feature for hearing aids that are very customizable. They allow you to change the settings and then save several presets, which you can switch between easily. So, for example, you can increase the background noise reduction and target the directional microphones to a more specific area for loud social settings. However, when you are at home, you can adjust the settings for a quiet environment and change between the two. 

Synchronization 

Synchronization allows the two hearing aids to work together so when settings are adjusted on one, the same changes automatically apply to the other one. This helps with calibrating your hearing aids and getting the most out of them. 

Some of these features, like noise reduction, directional microphones and telecoils are a priority for most people. However, when considering the other features, think about your lifestyle and which ones will be most useful daily. 

Speaking to your audiologist about your needs is the best way to compare different hearing aids and find ones that have all of the right features for you. If you need advice, get in touch with Lowe Audiology at 260-222-7925 to learn more about how we can help you find the perfect hearing aids.