From time to time we are asked if there is a difference between hearing amplifiers and hearing aids. It’s a good question to ask before a person considers buying a hearing amplifier.
Amplification Versus Better Hearing
While a hearing amplifier may seem like a solution for someone with hearing loss, it often causes the user more problems than it solves. Amplifying all the sounds around you doesn’t necessarily make understanding someone’s voice easier. What you need to consider is that all the background noise, including other people’s voices, wind, and even the electronic noise generated by the device itself all get amplified. Essentially you still have the same problem except that now instead of picking out the voice from a set of barely audible sounds, you now must pick the voice out from a louder set of sounds.
Modern hearing aids emulate how our ears naturally work instead of across the board amplification
Hearing Aids Do Much More Than Amplify
Modern hearing aids selectively amplify sounds around us so that nothing is too quiet or unpleasantly loud. Because they’re fully programmable the range of amplification is tailored not only to your overall hearing needs, but is also able to switch profiles based on the environment you are in. You can have a TV mode for home, a restaurant mode, an outdoor mode that cuts wind noise and many more to meet your active lifestyle.
Understanding Speech Becomes Easier
Today’s hearing aids utilize directional microphones and digital signal processing to help the wearer “localize” where sound is coming from. High end hearing aids will sense that a person in front of them is speaking and reduce the sounds coming from the rear and sides while boosting the voice of speaker. Additionally, electronic filtering of noise and feedback greatly improve clarity when listening to a person’s voice.
Conclusion: It’s an Unfair Comparison
Comparing a hearing amplifier with today’s hearing aid is not a fair comparison. Hearing aids, while expensive, are high-tech professionally fitted and programmed devices that give wearer has the best possible hearing experience. Hearing amplifiers are generally being inexpensive, mass produced, one size fits all devices with a volume button.
To hear the difference for yourself, book a hearing evaluation by calling us at (204) 788-1083.