Digital vs. Analog Technology

There has been a lot of publicity about digital hearing instruments. Digital instruments use a digital signal processor rather than an analog amplifier. The main difference between the two technologies is in the sound quality, in feed-back control, and in the flexibility of adjustment to suit different hearing losses – digital hearing instruments are much more flexible than analogs.

There has also been some confusion between digitally programmed hearing instruments (which are analog devices programmed using a computer) and fully digital hearing instruments (which are also computer-programmed.) Nevertheless, for some types of hearing losses, analog hearing instruments will give good results at a far smaller price.

Digital hearing instruments are computer software driven and are much more accurate in amplifying the sounds when the human ear has lost the ability to hear. That is, being able to hear soft sounds and not over amplifying the loud sounds. They are also of benefit to those who have problems with feedback (whistling) with their analog hearing instruments. They also have special noise reduction and microphone systems for noisy environments.

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