Types and Brands Worth Buying

MULTIPLE PROGRAMS WITH AUTOMATIC SWITCHING:

For limited noise exposure

For slightly more active user; reacts more quickly

For every active user; reacts quickly to a multitude of listening environments

Recognizes the type of listening situation and automatically switches to the best listening program. More programs with higher level of technology.

DIGITAL NOISE REDUCTION:

Limited noise reduction; designed for home use

More active noise reduction; noise reduction in multiple frequencies

Advanced noise reduction; multiple band frequency suppression and enhancement of speech in noise

Improves hearing by reducing background noise. Degree of noise reduction varies with level of technology.

DIRECTIONAL MICROPHONES:

Basic broadband directionality; typically only "in front" pattern

Multi-frequency adaptive directionality; directional feature frequency dependent

Multi-frequency adaptive and "zoom" control; allows user to determine direction of hearing

Microphones focus on the desired sound source. The microphones can automatically adapt their zoom pattern, allowing you to hear in noisy situations

FEEDBACK REDUCTION:

Basic feedback reduction

Advanced feedback reduction

Advanced feedback reduction

Controls annoying Shrieking sound caused by sound leaking out and getting reamplified.

VOLUME LEARNING:

Not available

Yes

Yes

The hearing aid remembers the manual volume changes you made depending on the situation. Over time, the hearing aid uses this information to adjust the volume automatically.

DATA LOGGING:

Limited

Yes

Yes

Provides an electronic record of hearing aid use, such as number of hours worn and type of sounds to which a user has been exposed. This helps a hearing specialist fine-tune your hearing aid for your specific needs.

WIRELESS COUPLING:

Yes

Yes

Yes

For those who use two hearing aids, this feature allows the two hearing aids to "talk" to each other and work in unison.

WIND NOISE CONTROL:

No or very little

Yes

Yes

Reduces the effects of wind noise on microphones. Useful feature for users who spend a significant amount of time outdoors.

ECHO CONTROL:

No

No

No

Reduces the negative effects that an echo has on speech perception.

WIRELESS BLUETOOTH CAPABILITY:

On some models

Yes

Yes

Allows the hearing aid to be connected wirelessly to cell phones, MP3 players, and other audio devices.

RANGE OF COST PER HEARING AID:

$1,300 - $1,800

$1,800 - $3,000

$3,000 - $6,000