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Analog vs. Digital Hearing Aids and Amplifiers: What’s the Difference?

Analog or Digital Hearing Aids

Hearing aid technology is improving at light speed. Units used to be bulky and had limited battery life. Today’s devices are smaller, more powerful and more efficient in every way. Digital technology has taken over almost everything in our society. However, some hearing aids are still out there that use analog methods of amplification.

But does digital automatically mean better? Many people justifiably wonder what the difference is, and whether one is better than the other. Discover the difference between analog vs. digital hearing aids. Each hearing aid amplifier has something unique to offer.

Digital vs. Analog Hearing Aids

The first step in understanding the difference between digital vs. analog hearing aids is to understand how each kind of technology works. Analog hearing aids were the original technology. They have advanced a great deal and the core technology still functions the same. Analog hearing aids use a standard microphone to amplify sounds, before sending them to speakers in your ear.

On the other hand, digital hearing aids take sound waves that are picked up by the microphone. Digital hearing aids then translate the waves into a computer code. This allows the sounds to be cleaned up, clarified and balanced before delivering them to your ears. The difference is subtle, but distinct. Analog aids simply take existing sounds and make them louder. Digital aids process the sounds and clean it up. Then, it delivers a clear sound intended to give you exactly what you need.

Is Digital Better?

Digital technology is ultimately superior. Around 90 percent of hearing aids that are currently being sold in the United States are digital. Analog hearing aids, however, do continue to be somewhat popular due to the greater affordability they offer. In addition, some people claim that analog amplifiers deliver a “purer,”. For these people, analog is simply preferable.

wave shapes of amplitude and frequency modulation

However, most experts in the field recommend digital technology. Its ability to manipulate sounds digitally, and thus offer greater flexibility and features, makes it supremely configurable to the individual user. You can store environmentally-specific settings in a digital hearing aid, or select specific voices to follow with special directional microphones.

This means you can set your hearing aid for different settings to remove background noise in loud restaurants, to remove feedback, and to change settings for, say, a library or a large auditorium. While analog may sound more “natural” to some people, digital does technically deliver a better experience.

The Cost Factor

In summary, analog hearing aids tend to be more affordable than digital aids. However, the good news is that there are a lot of high-tech digital aids hitting the market at an affordable price. Again, this is a factor of advancing technology, making more features less expensive to produce.

If you are interested in upgrading your hearing aid, Otofonix offers an affordable option. Ontofonix is a  powerful amplifier that’s perfect for various levels of need. Learn a bit more about us, and get in touch! Find out how our digital hearing aids can change your world today!

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