Digital vs. Analog Hearing Aids: Heard Every Word?

  • By reComparison Contributor
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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.

Digital Hearing Aid
Analog Hearing Aid

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.

Performance

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

Which hearing aid do more people wear today?
  • Digital Hearing Aid
  • Analog Hearing Aid
 
 

Discuss It: comments 9

  • Guest
  • hearing aid wrote on February 2011

Glad to see this information.its very useful for eneryone.thanks for sharing this post.

Hearing Aid

  • Guest
  • hearing aids wrote on April 2011

This blog Is very informative , I am really pleased to post my comment on this blog

Thanks

Regards

Hearing Aids

  • Guest
  • Hearing Aid Accessories wrote on May 2011

Thanks for adding your valuable information here. Really nice of you. Keep in touch and have a nice day ahead.

Hearing aid accessories

  • Guest
  • hearing aids wrote on August 2011

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.

hearing aids

  • Guest
  • hearing devices wrote on September 2011

This is the wonderful information about the digital and analog hearing aid. You describe each point clearly. 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.

hearing devices

  • Guest
  • digital hearing aids wrote on October 2011

Analog hearing aids are types of circuitry which are set by the manufacturer and give little adjustment to the Audiologist to control. Analog hearing aids were used for many decades until around 2000-2008 where the manufacturers stopped requesting and making parts for these devices. Because of the lack of parts available for these devices, it is essentially not repairable and needs to be replaced.

digital hearing aids

  • Guest
  • Hearing Aid devices wrote on December 2011

It is a well-known fact that hearing aids can bring back the sounds of life to a person who has been suffering from hearing loss. Over the past ten years, my mother began to experience hearing loss issues, and as you can imagine the situation had deteriorated over that time.

  • Guest
  • Hearing Aids fresno wrote on December 2012

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  • Guest
  • James Marsh wrote on June 2014

Hi thanks for sharing valuable views on comparison between digital hearing aids and analog hearing aids. I also want to share some views that digital hearing instruments clean sounds as they come into the hearing aids so that there is less noise and distortion. The sound is then sent to the amplifier, where your digital hearing aids measure the sound and decide how much power to add in order for you to hear.

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