20 Features to Consider When Choosing Your Hearing Aid

March 18, 2022

There are a number of features to consider when picking your hearing aid devices. Some features may be useful for you, while others may be less so. We’ve put together this guide to help.

Up to 15% of Americans aged 18 and over have some degree of hearing loss. Most hearing loss can be helped with hearing aids, yet according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), out of all the adults who could benefit from hearing aids, very few seek treatment.

It can be difficult to ask for help with your hearing. If you are one of the 29 million American adults who could benefit from using a hearing aid (NIDCD), you might be  worried about making the right decision when it comes to purchasing a hearing aid.

There are a number of features to consider when picking your hearing aid devices. Some features may be useful for you, while others may be less so. We’ve put together this guide to help.

How Do Hearing Aids Work?

When you’re choosing a hearing aid, you may first be asking yourself, “how do they work?” Hearing aids use small microphones to capture sound from your surrounding environment, and deliver this into your ear. The sounds are converted into digital code by a computer chip with an amplifier in the hearing aid.

The incredible thing about hearing aids is that they analyze and adjust the sounds in your environment based on your hearing loss, listening needs and the volume of your environment.

Hearing Aid Features to Consider

The hearing aids available today are quite advanced pieces of technology and have many high-tech features. Just as the new hearing aids have advanced, their features have as well. Learning about the different hearing aid features can help you make an educated decision about which type of hearing aid fits your needs and your budget.

We will help you along the way with our expert advice so that you can make the most of your investment and get the best options available for your hearing health.

20 Different Hearing Aid Features

When you choose a hearing aid type, you might be influenced in your choice by the features that are available. It is a good idea to learn about the different types of features available so that it will help you in your decision as to which hearing aid type and model are ideal for you. Some features come with the hearing aids and some are available add-ons. If you have specific questions or needs about your hearing aid or listening needs, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our hearing professionals. Here is a list of 20 common hearing aid features.

  1. Programming is a feature available in most hearing aids. This means that your preferred settings can be programmed into it. This can include settings for certain situations that might be more challenging to hear, like restaurants, parties, concerts, or the movies.
  2. Feedback Management is an important feature because it stops the whistling noise that is actually feedback and was common in many older model hearing aids of the past. This problem gave hearing aids a bad reputation. Those annoying noises can be completely prevented with the feedback management feature.
  3. Learning Technology is also called “self learning” technology and is a feature where the hearing aid learns your preferences for settings in each different situation and will automatically adjust your hearing aid settings for you as you enter different types of listening environments. It reduces the need to program or manually adjust your hearing aids.
  4. Data Logging is a similar type of technology that collects data while you are wearing the hearing aids. The data collected includes the time-worn, the programs that are used, volume increases or decreases, and environmental sounds. Based on this information that is logged, your hearing professional can adjust and program your hearing aids to best fit your specific needs.
  5. Noise Reduction and Suppression is an important feature that helps reduce or suppress background noises in loud situations. It is an important feature for hearing aids, since many people with hearing loss have background noise interference as a main complaint as a symptom of their hearing loss. This feature amplifies what people are saying to you while tuning out the other background noises.
  6. Impulse and Transient Noise Reduction is a feature that is similar to the noise reduction and suppression feature; however, this works specifically to buffer the harshness of sudden, loud noises. These are noises that would normally be too loud and even scare you when amplified by your hearing aids such as a dish falling, a crash, or a gunshot.
  7. Omnidirectional Microphones and Directional Microphones  are features that help the hearing aids pinpoint where sound is coming from and amplifies that sound by aiming the microphone in that direction. This also helps to eliminate distracting background noises.
  8. Wind Noise Reduction is a feature that helps reduce wind sound. Hearing aids amplify all sounds and in some cases, as with wind, that is not beneficial. It makes riding in the car with the windows down or being outside on a windy day an option again with your hearing aids.
  9. Fully Automatic/Environmentally Adaptive is a feature that allows your hearing aids to automatically adjust to your surroundings according to the preset settings you prefer. This provides an optimal listening experience without having to constantly adjust your hearing aids.
  10. Remote Control is an accessory feature that allows you to adjust your hearing aids without having to take them out or touch them.
  11. Channels are used to process different incoming sound signals. Some hearing aids have different channels available that can be switched to for better sound processing.
  12. Frequency Shifting is a feature used for those who have a more profound hearing loss; it helps them hear higher pitched sounds better.
  13. Open Fit Acoustics is a feature that utilizes newer technology for a more natural listening experience. The feature uses very thin tubes that allow sounds to pass naturally into your ear canal.
  14. Binaural Synchronization/Linkage is a feature that helps both of your ears hear in conjunction with each other and is for people who use hearing aids in both ears. Normally, your ears work together to process sounds, so this feature helps synchronize the sounds through the hearing aids to provide a natural listening experience.
  15. Sound Generators or Tinnitus Maskers is a feature that helps mask the sounds produced if you suffer from tinnitus. Tinnitus is a condition commonly known as “ringing in the ears” and people with it can hear ringing, hissing, or buzzing noises even though no real sound is present.
  16. Connectivity to Mobile Devices and Entertainment Systems are add-on features available for hearing aids that connects them to different devices including: smartphones, televisions, and other entertainment systems to provide better listening experiences.
  17. Telecoil is a wireless hearing aid feature that works in conjunction with compatible telephones or looped rooms and helps the wearer to hear.
  18. FM Compatibility is another wireless feature that allows your hearing aids to connect to FM systems that improve the signal-to-noise ratio without causing a feedback loop and allow the user to hear better.
  19. Bluetooth Compatibility is yet another wireless feature that enables hearing aids to connect to devices such as mobile phones and other technology that use Bluetooth technology and then will allow the users to hear better.
  20. Telephone Adaption is a hearing aid feature that helps users hear phone conversations better. It works for both landlines and mobile phones.

Contact Us Today!

Still have questions about hearing aid features? If you would like to speak with one of our hearing care professionals, get in touch today. Contact the Audiology Professionals team a call at (541) 228-9233. Alternatively, click here to contact us online.

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Audiology Professionals

Audiology Professionals