Every year, numerous new hearing aids are added to the market, each with an array of flashy new features. You have narrowed down the type and style of device you want, but the “extras” keep you stymied from making your final choice. What kinds of options do you need on a hearing aid, and which can you live without?
What Features Should I Look for in a Hearing Aid?
Just because a hearing aid can perform a certain function does not mean that the device is right for you. When choosing a new device, you should carefully consider the uses of some of the more common high-tech hearing aid features—and whether they will make your daily life easier.
- Wireless connectivity. Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids allow a patient to hear sounds from their electronic devices directly in their ears. A signal connects the wearer to his or her cell phone, television, radio, and other wireless audio systems.
- Directional microphones. If you regularly interact with employees or family members in social environments, you may benefit from microphones that automatically reduce background noise. Many digital hearing aids offer multi-directional microphones, or contain two microphones that work together to isolate and amplify only the sounds you want to hear.
- Wind and feedback reduction. High-pitched noises and rushing noises of the wind over the microphone can detract from a hearing aid user’s experience. Some hearing aids focus on reducing feedback and wind noise, and can even drown out repetitive or distracting background sounds during conversations.
- External controls. Some people have no trouble adjusting the volume and programming on their hearing aids manually, while others may have trouble seeing and gripping the small controls on their devices. Some devices come with a remote control, giving the patient a better handle on adjustments—and allow the wearer to program the device and control volume without taking the hearing aid off.
- Telecoils. Many hearing aids contain a Telecoil system that can be connected to compatible telephones and public induction loop systems. These audio systems are used in many churches, theaters, museums, and other public buildings, enhancing a social listening experience.
Your Perfect Hearing Aid Will Suit Your Lifestyle and Condition
The easiest way to narrow down your search for a hearing aid is to ask your hearing care provider which devices will correct your specific hearing condition. With this starting point in mind, you can test out each device for the usability and connectivity features that work for you. Call or visit us today to have our hearing care providers help you find your perfect device!