The Differences of Digital Hearing Aids, Analog Hearing Aids, and Programmable Hearing Aids

Sep 23, 2010 by

Many people do not know the difference between digital hearing aids, analog hearing aids, and programmable hearing aids.  Hearing aids generally have three classical definitions for the circuitry inside the hearing aid device:  Analog, Programmable, and Digital.

Analog hearing aids are types of circuitry which are set by the manufacturer and give little adjustment for the audiologist to control.  Analog hearing aids were used for many years until the manufacturers stopped requesting and making parts for these devices.  Because of the lack of parts available for these hearing aid devices, analog hearing aids are not repairable and need to be replaced.

Programmable hearing aids were the beginning of the revolution to allow the audiologist to change the settings of the hearing aid device to better suit his/her patient’s specific needs.  These were used in the 1990’s primarily and now are virtually unavailable for any repair issues because these parts are also not made anymore.

Digital devices began and started to be used more commonly in the 1970-1980’s but became more popular in the late 1990’s.  Now all hearing aid devices are digital.  But do not be fooled by sales people telling you that all digital hearing aids are the same because they are not.  Digital hearing aids could have as few as 10 individually adjustments to around 100 separate adjustments that your audiologist can effectively control. Many hearing aid users do not realize that hearing aid devices can be modified to accommodate any lifestyle according to the type of hearing loss a person has.

We all hear sounds we do not wish to hear, such as a yelling child in a restaurant, but we all still have to deal with this problem.  What can be fixed is the comfort of that noise to make it not exceed your ability to tolerate that sound and hurt your ear.

Manufacturers are creating new hearing aid devices every year to accommodate the difficult lifestyles of people with hearing loss. With all the newly developed hearing aid technology, hearing aid users are now able to buy a hearing aid that can reduce environment noise, whistling and other unwanted sounds. 

At Hear Florida, we offer a variety of hearing aids from different manufacturers including: Lyric, Oticon, Unitron, Phonak, Starkey, and more. Contact us at one of our south Florida hearing care centers and ask our audiologists what new hearing aid technology might be available for you or your loved one.