Hearing Aid technologies have enhanced significantly over the last few of decades. Although all hearing aids essentially consists of four parts - a microphone, a power source, a processor and a receiver, yet different types of Hearing Aids offer different customized features. Indeed, even the present computerized hearing aid devices offer significantly more advantage than the best listening devices of past ages.
Based on the technology used, there are two types of hearing aids, namely Analog and Digital. While the Analog amplifies each and every sound signal that it receives, which is often annoying for the user. It is because, suppose the person using Analog hearing aids wants to listen only to the speech of the person that he/she is talking to in a noisy environment. But the person unfortunately cannot listen to the conversation properly due to the disturbing background noises being amplified equally by the device. However, the Digital hearing aids are much more technologically advanced, as they can determine your requirements and amplify only the speech by reducing background noise. This is a great advantage over the Analog ones. Today, most of the Digital types of hearing aids offer many more customized features and programmes that can be regulated by the user according to his/her needs based on the surrounding sound environment.
Different types of hearing aids, mostly the Digital ones, have different number of channels. The hearing aid channel is characterized by the scope of sound frequencies or the arrangement of advanced channels inside the listening device. The more the channels in different types of hearing aids, the more is the adaptability in programming, and more is the flexibility to control the different sound frequency ranges in the hearing aid. The quantity of channels speaks to the number of discrete segments that can be utilized for preparing diverse parts of the approaching sound signal. This customization of the listening device is called its frequency reaction.
To understand channels better, let us first discuss what bands are, and how are they different from these channels. Let us take a simple example by visualizing the distribution of water from the overhead tank. The tank distributes water to various lines or channels, which are then controlled by respective taps fitted at the end of every channel. These taps are like bands in different types of hearing aids, which control the flow of water (or sound frequency range). We adjust the taps according to our needs. If we do not need a heavy flow, then we naturally turn down the tap regulator, and vice versa. Similar is the case with the types of hearing aids, in which the channels are controlled or regulated by bands. In other words, the different sound frequencies received by different types of hearing aids can be controlled by regulating the bands as per the requirements of the user. There are many ranges of hearing loss in a person. If a person having no hearing loss in one frequency range and has severe to profound hearing loss in another frequency range, then he/she will adjust the bands accordingly, with absolutely reducing it or switching it off altogether (as required) at the first range, and making it higher at the second. Therefore, bands can be used to control the hearing frequency ranges as per the type and degree of hearing loss, and other hearing requirements of the user.
Before channels turned out, the listening device would just amplify all the sounds the same.
Inside the aid, there is a PC chip inside which has the ability to store multiple programs which can be customized according to different listening environment that the user may come across. The channels will do their part to conform to your hearing prerequisites naturally. They will work together to give you the correct level of volume that you will require for a perfect hearing experience.
There are various benefits of hearing aid channels provided by different types of hearing aids, some of which are listed below :
More channels imply that your device has more breathing space for modifications as per your hearing needs.
More channels imply that different types of hearing aids can perceive more sounds and hence distinguish different sounds all the more rapidly. The digital aids with various channels would thus be able to recognize and change settings for multiple conditions making way for a more agreeable and natural listening experience.
- More Features
More channels frequently correspond with more features. Further developed functions and calculations can have a significant effect on the clearness of specific sounds.
- Noise versus Discourse
Multiple channels implies that the different types of hearing aids are better ready to figure out which sounds are commotion and which sounds are discourse, empowering the listening device to reduce or even cancel-out undesirable sounds while amplifying the sounds you need to hear.
In the end, however, it depends totally upon you and obviously your Audiologist about your requirements and accordingly your audiologist will decide which device to opt for and how many channels you will really need. Whatever the case, you must have that satisfaction that you are getting what you expect and not restricting yourself on what different types of hearing aids have.