Which Hearing Aid Technology is Better, Analog or Digital?

In the past few years at Lawrence Hearing Aid Center we have seen many technological innovations, including those in hearing technology. The hearing instruments of today are far different than those used by your grandparents, or even your parents. The main distinction being that the latest hearing aids use digital technology instead of analog.

In years past only analog hearing instruments were available, but these days hearing aids have entered the digital revolution. Analog hearing aids are still available, but are not being used as often. To some extent they still have their similarities. In both, microphones still pick up the sound and both can amplify it using a receiver, delivering it into the ear. The difference between the two is the type of technology used for amplifying the sound.

Hearing Aid Technology

With analog technology the sound is amplified in ways that make it louder. Transistors are used in a circuit that increases the sound coming in. To change this a volume control device is used, and certain models actually have some programming ability. The benefits of analog hearing aids are they typically don’t cost as much as digital ones and analog can be more powerful.

With digital hearing aids, the sound is converted into digital signals, which produces an exact duplicate of each and every sound instead of just amplifying or making it louder. Digital hearing devices are made with a processing chip that digitizes signals, which allows the technology to process more complex sounds. This is why digital hearing aids have better sound quality in some situations than analog ones. They have the ability to amplify speech, but at the same time reduce background noise. Analog technology cannot differentiate as well between sounds either.

With digital instruments you can program them to adjust for varying environments as well as needs. The programming can easily be done right in the office of your provider. The latest technological innovations allows for wireless connectivity so you can effectively use them with televisions, telephones, MP3 players and other types of electronic devices. You can even get them with Bluetooth capability. Some types of digital hearing aids are so small they can fit right inside your ear canal and hardly be seen.

As mentioned earlier, one big disadvantage of digital hearing aids is the price. They are much more expensive than analog hearing aids. Although digital hearing aids have gained in popularity, the latest technological advancements are not for everyone. People who have relied on analog hearing aids for a long period of time have become used to them and may prefer to stay with what they know.

There are pros and cons with everything and that holds true for analog and digital technology. Whether you prefer to use analog or digital hearing aids depends on your specific needs and of course your budget. Lawrence Hearing Aid Center a San Diego family hearing aid center invites you to come in and allow our specialists help you decide which type of hearing aid would work best for you. For more information or to schedule an appointment please give us a call at 760-729-8581.