Difference between Digital Hearing Aid and Analog Hearing Aid
There are now a number of technological remedies that seek to address the issues related to deafness. Hearing aids are some of the more commonly used of these innovations, and they come in two types: analog hearing aids and digital hearing aids, both are still widely used to this day, and this comparison article goes into depth about each type of device.
How They Work
Digital hearing aids utilize digital processing technology, which makes them quite a bit more sophisticated than analog hearing aids. When sound is picked up by the device, it is converted into a digital signal that undergoes a recalculation process. The sound is then reproduced for the wearer. In theory, digital hearing aids produce a sound that is more accurate than what you would get with an analog hearing aid.
Analog hearing aids utilize older analog technology, with which sound waves are converted into electrical signals. In these devices, the sounds picked up aren't treated as separate sounds, but are amplified in its entirety. The result is that some sounds may be too loud while others are barely audible or not at all.
Analog hearing aids work by simply making every sound louder. Transistors in the device amplify the sound and modify it before sending it to the speaker. Unfortunately, users of analog hearing aids will frequently have to adjust the volume of the hearing aid, although there are models that come with different program settings to compensate for close distance conversation or for watching movies, for example. Without these options, background noises might be disproportionately loud compared to what you actually want to hear.
Digital hearing aids on the other hand tend to pick up and reproduce sound more "intelligently". Because of the more precise technology that utilizes microcomputer chips and mathematical formulas, there is a lot more control with regard to how sound is reproduced. This allows most digital hearing aids to differentiate between human voices and background noise, and emphasize the former while minimizing the latter.
Relative Advantages And Disadvantages
While the digital technology that drives digital hearing aids may make them seem like better options, there are many advanced analog hearing aids that produce excellent sound quality as well. Of course you can expect to pay a lot more for better sound quality, although the more advanced digital hearing aids aren't exactly cheap either. In general however, you can expect to pay less for an analog hearing aid than you would for a digital model. Analog hearing aids also tend to use less power than digital hearing aids, which means that you will get longer battery life from analog models.
Similarities and Differences
Digital hearing aids
- Utilize digital processing technology
- Offer a lot more control with regard to how sound is reproduced
Analog hearing aids
- Utilize older analog technology
- Users will frequently have to adjust the volume of the hearing aid
- Use less power than digital hearing aids resulting in longer battery life