When you’re diagnosed with hearing loss, hearing aids are the most commonly recommended treatment. As the technologies develop, we’re given more and more choices on what type of hearing aids are available to us and this makes it even more difficult for the patient to choose due to the number of unique features and advantages each one comes with.

We aim to help make the decision easier for our patients by helping with the process, but we do understand that you might have some personal requests or requirements for your hearing aids. As a result, we’ve written this article that explains some of the differences between basic and advanced hearing aids and their features so that you can make a more informed decision when it comes to your appointment with your audiologist.

Basic hearing aids

Hearing aids today, even the basic ones, are far more advanced than what they used to be in the past. They all come with a wide range of unique and interesting features, but one of the differences with basic hearing aids is that a lot of the settings will likely need to be adjusted manually. This means that you will need to press or utilize different buttons on the side of the hearing aid and you may need to program them to compensate for noises coming in different directions. For instance, if you find that the noises behind you are a nuisance, you’ll need to manually switch profiles or program your hearing aids so that it shifts the sounds away from the back and amplifies sounds coming in other directions.

Basic hearing aids will also have a limited range of frequencies that it can modify. Since it can only process a limited number of frequencies at once, it will only offer a limited amount of sound customization. Most basic hearing aids also do not come with advanced processing engines which can automatically make certain sounds clearer such as speech or reduce background noise during busy environments.

However, the advantage of this is that basic hearing aids are much simpler to operate and do not require the user to fiddle with advanced settings or request their audiologist to manually change the settings. This ease of use makes basic hearing aids pick-up-and-go which is convenient for users. A lack of advanced options also means less chance of accidentally modifying something and requiring a trip over to your audiologist to have it fixed. In short, if you prefer simplicity then a basic hearing aid is the choice to go with.

Advanced hearing aids

If your audiologist suggests advanced hearing aid technology then it’s likely because you’ve requested a more customizable experience. Advanced hearing aid technology uses multiple different processing programs and microphones that give you access to multiple different sounds processing options. This means that you can modify the sounds picked up by the hearing aid, such as raising the clarity of speech while reducing the background noise or increasing the sound of noise in front of you while reducing it to the sides and behind you. This is incredibly useful if you’re going to be using your hearing aids in a number of different situations that require different processing of sounds around you.

Some advanced hearing aids also support Bluetooth functionality. This means that you can wirelessly connect your hearing aids to other devices such as mobile phones and stereo devices for music playback and for answering your phone. This is one of the most-requested features because it allows you to utilize technologies that you are already used to without having to change how you use them. Many people find that taking off their hearing aids just to answer their phone and not being able to use their headphones as conveniently anymore can be a huge problem when adjusting to hearing aids, but with Bluetooth technology, this eliminates one of the biggest inconveniences.

However, advanced hearing aids may not be necessary for you if you don’t require multiple programs and features. There can be an adjustment period which will take a little bit of time to get used to but with practice and with help from your audiologist, you can quickly learn how to take advantage of the more advanced features.

Contact us today

At Baker Audiology & Hearing Aids, we understand how vital hearing aids can be to your life if you have hearing loss. If you’re interested in learning more about basic and advanced hearing aids or would like to book an appointment with us, then don’t hesitate to contact us on (605) 610-3466 to speak to one of our friendly representatives.