Every year, hearing aid manufacturers release new models. These products always have upgrades of some sort, including improvements to how well they perform in complex environments. The best hearing aids now have sophisticated features that can optimize noise minimization, so you can spend less energy fussing with your device’s settings and more time engaging with the people and experiences that matter most to you.
There are many things to consider when evaluating your hearing aid options, including the type of hearing aid that will fit your lifestyle and the features and functionality that will define the right hearing aid for you.
A great place to start evaluating your options and learn about the features you should be looking for is to consult the latest hearing aid technology and reviews from reputable sites like Consumer Reports. Among the most-important features in their hearing aid buying guide are rechargeable batteries, smartphone capabilities, tinnitus masking, automatic noise level adjustment, multiple program settings, directional microphone, wireless connectivity, telecoil, feedback suppression, digital noise reduction, and more.
We’re taking a look at how hearing aid technology continues to evolve, so you can make an informed decision about your hearing.
Examples of cutting-edge hearing aid technology include Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone apps, as well as the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Bear with us, this isn’t as scary as it might sound!
A majority of newer hearing aid models make use of wireless Bluetooth technology, which allows for the exchange of data between different devices. Bluetooth features allow hearing aid wearers to stream music or audio from a phone or other device straight to the hearing aid. You can also use apps to remotely control hearing aid volume and other settings in real-time, without having to remove and reprogram the hearing aid itself..
Modern hearing aid manufacturers have also increased hearing aid features and versatility through the development of specific software applications for smartphones.
For example, some hearing aids—like the Signia Styletto X—connect to an app that takes environmental adjustment to the next level. Users can configure preferences like directional hearing control (which can pick up audio from a specific area or direction) and audio troubleshooting features that can prevent you from needing an audiology appointment.
The most cutting-edge hearing aid technology makes use of artificial intelligence (AI) for sophisticated features that transform the device into your own personal hearing concierge. These include features like:
When it comes to a question like this, it is essential to point out that there is not a one-size-fits-all answer. The truth is, there are several cutting-edge technologies and advanced hearing aid types to consider. It’s all about finding the right option for you and your lifestyle.
Reading reviews is an excellent way to get an idea of what features and technologies are available. It’s not difficult to find websites like Health.com’s 12 Best Hearing Aids of 2021 or Healthline.com’s Best Hearing Aids of 2021.
These types of lists are especially useful, as they break down “best” into unique categories based on criteria like being the “most tech-forward” hearing aid, the “best hearing aid for natural sound,” “best features,” and so on.
One hearing aid in particular, Starkey’s Livio AI appears on both lists we’ve mentioned, as it is Health.com’s pick for “best features” and Healthline.com’s pick for “most tech-forward” hearing aid. Its features include everything we’ve discussed and more: Bluetooth connectivity for streaming, AI-enabled environmental adjustment, background noise suppression, language transcription and translation, and fall detection. Paired with the Thrive smartphone app, the hearing aid can also do activity tracking, assistive features like Find My Phone and Self Check hearing testing, and even a “Mask Mode” feature designed to make it easier to understand speech from a speaker wearing a mask.
Hopefully the latest in hearing aid technology excites you, but we understand if you’re a little overwhelmed. This blog’s not meant to be your one-stop guide; we just wanted to preview some of the features you can look forward to in your next hearing aid.
Technology moves fast, and while it isn’t necessary to have every cutting-edge feature available, you do want to choose a hearing aid with the features that will provide you with the best experience.
Alpaca Audiology’s independent clinics provide comprehensive assessments and utilize the latest technology to create customized hearing solutions that fit our patients’ lifestyle and budget. A few of our unique innovations include a system for hearing loss measurement (called HearScore), a proprietary self-assessment tool for patients to take the first step in learning about their hearing loss, and a pro-led assessment that provides patients with personalized and accurate hearing test results.