Features of Hearing Aids

salesperson with array of hearingaids

by David Smith, JCA Board Member

Modern hearing aids come with a wide variety of features that can help people with hearing loss improve their communication and quality of life. Some of the most common features include:

  • Bluetooth compatibility: This allows users to connect their hearing aids to their smartphone or other devices that use Bluetooth, such as TVs or computers. This may be my favorite feature as I use it for streaming music, podcasts, or audiobooks, or for making phone calls without having to hold my phone to my ear.
  • Apps: Many hearing aids come with apps that work with smartphones and allow users to control the hearing aid settings, track their hearing progress, and communicate with their audiologist. These apps can be helpful for managing hearing loss and for getting the most out of hearing aids.
  • Rechargeable batteries: Many hearing aids now come with rechargeable batteries, which can save users money on batteries and can be more convenient than having to replace disposable batteries.
  • Directional microphone systems: These systems help users to focus on the sound they want to hear, such as the sound of a speaker in a crowded room like a restaurant. This can be helpful for people with hearing loss who have difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments.
  • Artificial intelligence: Some hearing aids use artificial intelligence to learn a user’s listening habits and preferences, and then adjust the hearing aid settings automatically. This can help users to get the most out of their hearing aids and to avoid having to make manual adjustments. Some examples are the following:
    • Oticon More: This hearing aid has an onboard deep neural network that includes more than 12 million sounds. It also crowdsources sounds from other users to include a wider variety of audio recognition.
    • Phonak Audeo Paradise: This hearing aid uses AutoSense OS 4.0, an artificial intelligence algorithm, to provide you with exceptional sound quality and better speech understanding.
    • Widex Moment: This hearing aid model boasts a natural sound experience thanks to its PureSound technology. There’s no audio lag, so you won’t feel out of sync with your listening environment.
    • Starkey Livio AI: In addition to its advanced AI sound interpretation, the Livio AI comes with programs to monitor fitness, falls and signs of dementia. It also comes with a digital personal assistant application to provide you with reminders.

These are just a few of the many features that are available in modern hearing aids. People with hearing loss should talk to their audiologist about which features are right for them.