Selecting Your Hearing Instruments

May 15, 2010

Today’s hearing aids

Hearing aids can generally be categorized according to 3 main attributes: the technology level, the style and the connectivity.

  • The technology level refers to how precisely the hearing aid’s circuitry analyzes, processes and amplifies speech and noise. The more sophisticated the technology, the more rapidly and precisely the hearing aid automatically adjusts its functions in response to the speech, noise, and other signals in the environment. The goal of these adjustments is to ensure you enjoy optimal comfort and clarity despite any distracting sounds that may be present in your environment.
  • The style refers to the physical appearance (model) of the hearing aid. Examples include completely-in-the-canal aid,  half-shell aid, behind-the-ear aid, and open-fit aid.
  • The connectivity refers to the capability of the hearing instruments to wirelessly receive an audio signal (via an interface device) from an external source such as your cellular phone or any other audio-video equipment. 

Your hearing aids

In order to select your hearing instruments the following are taken into consideration:  your hearing loss, your communication needs, and your personal preferences.

  • Your hearing loss. The results of the hearing assessment are one of the most important variables used in the selection of the style, power, and technology level of the hearing instrument that will best meet your listening needs.
  • Your communication needs. Communication needs vary from one person to the other at home, at work, at other activities, and these needs must be considered when selecting both the technology level and the connectivity of the hearing instruments that will best match your lifestyle.
  • Your personal preferences. It is essential that you are comfortable with the hearing instrument model that you will wear. After all, even the best hearing aids won’t be useful if the model doesn’t appeal to you, and you leave your instruments in a drawer.

The following tables illustrate the features and performance generally associated with various levels of technology and connectivity.

Do not hesitate to contact an audioprosthetist at one of the multidisciplinary clinics Lobe Santé auditive et communication to find out which product will best match your hearing profile.

Features typically incorporated in each technology level

Selecting Your Hearing Instruments

Performance typically observed in a variety of situations as a function of the technology level*

Selecting Your Hearing Instruments

* These scenarios assume good speech recognition abilities and the use of binaural hearing aids.

Connectivity (Bluetoothtm, FM, Infra-Red)

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Home telephone    Cellular phone     Television    Other audio-vidéo systems    Présentations