Analog Hearing Aids

Analog hearing aids convert sound waves into electrical signals and then make them louder. They’re usually less expensive and have simple volume controls.

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The Difference Between Analog and Digital Hearing Aids

What exactly makes a hearing aid “digital” anyway? Analog hearing aids basically take sounds and make them louder, just as cupping your hand behind your ear amplifies sound. Some analog hearing aids include a programmable microchip, but the functions are relatively basic. On the other hand, digital hearing aids take in sound waves (in itself an analog signal, for the techie folks out there), translate it into digital format (read: loads of 1’s and 0s), process, filter, distort, amplify and ultimately deliver a sound signal into your ear canal that is custom-tailored to your needs. In order to perform all these wonders, digital hearing aids contain a so called Digital Signal Processor (DSP) chip.

To better understand digital versus analog, consider the difference between analog vinyl records and digital CDs. Vinyl records require fairly simple methods for playback, and a simple turntable and needle will do the trick. CDs take a little more hardware, as the digital information has to be processed and reproduced. While there is a greater to do, CDs provide clearer, high fidelity sound. (Some people prefer the warm crackle of a vinyl record, but that fuzz simply won’t do when it comes to your hearing!)