Hearing aids are tiny electronic devices designed to amplify sounds so those with hearing loss can hear and communicate. Now-a-days hearings aids come in a variety of shapes and sizes with an array of features and accessories. All hearing aids consist of 4 basic components, a microphone, an amplifier, a receiver and a battery.
How a hearing aid works
The microphone is responsible for picking up sound and converting it into an electrical signal. Next, the amplifier takes the signal from the microphone and increases the volume. The receiver then takes the amplified signal, turns it back into sound and delivers it to your ear. Those 3 components would be useless without a battery, which provides power to the device.
There are two types of hearing aid technology available in the United States, analog and digital. Using the 4 components above analog hearing aids helped people hear for many years. Then digital hearing aids came along and added a 5th component to the mix…
All digital hearing aids have a tiny microchip that helps tune and personalize sounds to the owner’s specific hearing loss and listening situations. The microchip is like a tiny computer constantly processing incoming sound. Within a fraction of a second the microchip will decide if a sound needs to be amplified of reduced. The sophisticated technology of the microchip can offer a number of pre-set options for different listening environments and allows the wearer to distinguish between similar sounding speech sounds. The large majority of hearing aids sold today are digital because they provide much clearer, personalized sound.
These 5 components are essential to how a hearing aid works. Without a microphone, amplifier, receiver or battery a hearing aid would be nothing more than a piece of plastic. Advancements in technology have added the microchip, allowing for a number of other superior processing features that make hearing aids the state of the art equipment they are today.