Today’s Hearing Aids are Better Adapted to Modern Lifestyle Requirements
Hearing aids have benefited from numerous advances in audio-related technology during the years since the early transistorised models that were plagued by background interference, whistling feedback loops and minimal battery life. Today’s instruments have not only successfully overcome these irritating limitations, but now provide their wearers with an unprecedented quality of sound that, in a great many cases, this new generation of devices has allowed even those whose loss of acuity is very severe to gain far more from their lives both at home and in the workplace.
The development of solid state electronics has played a pivotal role in the evolution of today’s hearing aids. In particular, the vast reduction in their average size and the greater discretion that wearers now enjoy as a result, have seen many of those who previously may have shown reservations about wearing a device, finally accepting the help that they have long needed. While a discretely concealed unit may be more important to some than to others, nothing is likely to be more important than the quality of its performance. Consequently undistorted, stereophonic sound and the ability of the user to determine its direction reliably have been among the upgraded features most valued by users of all ages.
In this case, the enhanced abilities of hearing aids are a direct result of progress in sound processing that has been made possible by leveraging the same digital audio technology used in the manufacture of high fidelity music systems. In combination with directional microphones, the result is a lifelike sound quality that was previously unattainable.
In addition to units that are so tiny that they are almost invisible when worn and the greatly enhanced performance characteristics enjoyed by the user, modern instruments have been designed with far greater attention to the everyday needs occasioned by the twenty-first century lifestyle. Today’s hearing aids are just one the many products of the digital age and many of the others have become essential to our ability to communicate and the freedom to enjoy a moment or two of entertainment. Wireless technology has not only removed all need of a cable with which to connect the microphone and speech processing unit to the earpiece, but has also opened a door to many additional and even more valuable possibilities.
Today, with the aid of wireless technology, those who might once have been unable to communicate with friends or relatives overseas may now do so via a landline or mobile phone. Alternatively, owners of this new breed of hearing aids are also free to join in a Skype conversation and may watch their favourite TV or radio programmes without setting the volume to levels that are uncomfortable for those sharing the experience.
Other options range from the more powerful units worn behind the ear that are effective for those with mild to severe auditory insufficiency and everything in between, to those worn deep within the ear canal that are best suited in cases of mild or moderate impairment. In between these extremes are models which are worn wholly or partially within the ear, moulded to fit it and coloured to blend with it. Phonak is a world leader in the technology of assisted audition and modern hearing aids for modern living.