At Regain Hearing, following an advanced hearing test with a qualified and experienced audiologist, you can choose your hearing aids from the industry’s most respected and trusted manufacturers.
Hearing Aid Manufacturers and Product Overview
Private Hearing Tests and Hearing Aid Advancements
It’s hard to believe the world’s first electronic hearing aid was invented in 1898. Since Miller Reese Hutchison created that first life-changing portable device, the technology that changed the lives of people with hearing loss has improved radically.
Furthermore, in the 21st century alone, a host of recent widespread technological and connectivity advancements, from Bluetooth to artificial intelligence, have been integrated into hearing aids to enhance functionality and performance. This means that in recent years, hearing aid technology has encountered a real leap in terms of comfort, convenience, ease of use, and new levels of effectiveness. These incredible features mean that the new generation of hearing aids can be tailored to meet each individual user’s unique needs and requirements.
As leading private hearing specialist clinics, we take our time to source high-quality hearing aids from a carefully selected range of specialist international suppliers. We know how important it is to ensure we always have a wide choice of hearing aid styles for meeting specific needs and all possible hearing health conditions. And just as importantly, we perform an advanced hearing test to diagnose hearing loss precisely and give us the information to help you select the best hearing aid for your degree of hearing loss.
Yet, with such swiftly evolving developments and improvements, it can be hard to know which technological advancements to select after being diagnosed with hearing loss after a private hearing test. We understand that people have differing budgets and supply hearing aids across various price points. Hence, the best quality hearing aid is always available at an affordable price point.
That is why, although additional features can make life more convenient if you use hearing aids, we believe the most significant functions of the latest high-performance hearing aids include the following:
Environmental Sound Classification
Modern hearing aids can identify and adjust to many different acoustic backgrounds, whether you’re in the library or on a bustling high street. Precise noise classification has become an essential component, and it’s a function that’s becoming ever more sophisticated. Many of today’s hearing aids now collect their own data to continually anticipate and adjust to their environments for optimum performance.
Digital Signal Processing
With the dawn of the digital age came digital signal processing (DSP). This type of hearing aid converts sound from the microphone into digitised code, improving accuracy by increasing the sample rate. Digital code is separated into bits to create clearer separation, noise reduction, compression, and directionality before being transmitted back to the user from a receiver. This hearing aid technology is ideal for those struggling with noise reduction and directionality.
Hearing aids are now often equipped with Bluetooth technology, allowing users to connect them directly to various devices such as smartphones, TVs, and computers. This connectivity enables users to stream audio directly to their hearing aids’ control settings via mobile apps and even use their hearing aids as wireless headphones.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Today, AI is making its way into innovation for hearing aids, working to enhance a range of functions, often in real-time. These include speech recognition in loud environments, identifying and amplifying the user’s own voice, using machine learning to discover and prioritise key sounds and monitoring and tracking the health of the user’s hearing.
Many people suffering from hearing loss also experience tinnitus (a range of persistent “phantom” noises), and many of today’s hearing aids are specially configured to help mitigate this debilitating condition. Solutions include creating therapeutic sounds that mask tinnitus and auditory stimulation that provides temporary relief.
How to Choose the Best Hearing Aid
Choosing the right hearing aid is an important decision. It should be strongly supported by an expert private audiologist working with data collected from an advanced hearing test.
The majority of modern hearing aids come in three main variations:
- In the Ear (ITE)
- Behind the Ear (BTE)
- BiCROS hearing aids (bi-contralateral routing of sound).
- In the Ear (ITE) hearing aids house their microphone, amplifier, and receiver in one component, fitting entirely or partially inside the ear. These compact, unobtrusive hearing aids range from the partially visible ITC style, which sits in the lower section of the middle ear (known as the concha), to the small and entirely invisible IIC style hearing aid, which fits entirely inside the ear canal.
- Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids are a more traditional, recognisable style, fitting snugly over and behind the ear within a small hard case containing a microphone and amplifier. This is connected to a receiver wire and dome or an earmold custom-made to fit the ear canal. The domes that some styles use are small cone-shaped tips similar to the interchangeable ones you find within headphones.
- BiCROS hearing aids are specially designed for those who have lost hearing in one particular ear. These devices use two hearing aids, one of which picks up sound from the deaf ear and sends it to the better ear, and another to play back the sound received. If the better ear also has hearing loss, the receiving hearing aid amplifies sound from both ears.
It’s important to remember that a private hearing specialist will always recommend the hearing aids they know will best resolve your hearing loss or tinnitus symptoms. However, there are some more fundamental tech requirements that you should ideally find as standard features in a good-quality, reliable modern hearing aid.
- Noise reduction, to filter out unwanted interference from background noise
- Directional microphones,actually “tune out” noise coming from other directions, like behind you, while catching up sound coming from a specific direction. As a result, in a noisy restaurant, you only pick up the individuals talking at your table and not all the other people in the area.
- A telecoil (T-Coil) feature, which works with hearing loop systems for greater separation of sounds
- Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries
In almost every instance, booking an advanced hearing test with an expert private audiologist will be the best way to understand which hearing enhancement solutions work best for you.
Unsure which hearing aid style you need? Book a hearing test with one of our experienced, caring audiologists today.