Finding a good hearing aid can be difficult. Each device has different features, styles and advanced technology that can leave you quite at sea. Here are the top six features you need to consider if you’re about to buy your first hearing aid.
The Number Of Processing Channels
A processing channel filters sound through a range of sound frequencies. The number of channels you need depends on your unique hearing which can only be determined by a good audiology exam conducted in a soundproof room by a trained professional. Each channel in your hearing aid is amplified specifically to the specification in your hearing test giving you exactly what you need for good hearing. The human brain reaches its capacity for telling the difference between sounds from various frequencies. In a typical test, audiologists program up to 24 channels. This is why a good hearing aid is not necessarily one with the highest number of channels.
This refers to the hearing aids capacity for directing sound and filtering it down to what you need to hear, sort of like a 360-surround sound effect. Some technologies enhance sounds coming from the front and reduce those coming from the back, which helps when you’re driving. Look for a hearing aid with dual direction microphones.
Feedback suppression cuts out the loud whistling noise that comes from electronic devices. This is a very important feature since feedback can be unpleasant in a hearing aid since the speaker is near the ear canal.
Noise reduction carefully separates what you need to hear from all sounds in the environment around you. It will, for instance, tune out the sound of someone mowing their lawn or the hum of multiple conversations in a crowded restaurant.
On a particularly blustery day, a good wind suppression technology will limit the sound of the wind that you hear through your hearing aid. This feature is especially important for people who are outdoorsy or spend a lot of time hiking and walking.
The telecoil switch, or the T-switch, acts as an electromagnetic field picking up signals and improves the quality of sound in places like movie theatres, sports stadiums, and any other ADA compliant public space. It even works on the sound quality when you pick up your phone to talk to someone.