A hearing aid is a valuable investment in your health, but it can be daunting not knowing which to choose and what to expect. Even long-term users can find it hard to keep up with fast-changing technology in devices.
At Australian Hearing, we’re commonly asked what the best hearing aid is. This is difficult to answer as everyone’s hearing loss is unique and everyone’s lifestyle and situation is different.
When you have an assessment with us, we can accurately measure your hearing and work with you to find the best strategy to help—which will often involve hearing aids. As part of this process, we’ll ask you about your hearing needs, where you are having trouble hearing and the activities you enjoy. This conversation is important, as it helps your audiologist identify the best hearing aid for you that has the features to meet your daily listening activity needs.
It is worth knowing the level of technology available so you can go into choosing the suitable hearing aid with some knowledge ahead of time.
Level 1 technology:
If you enjoy spending much of your time at home, level 1 hearing aids may be the best solution. Available in smaller sizes, these hearing aids are ideal in situations where there is minimal background noise, such as when you’re watching television or having a conversation with a friend.
Level 2 technology:
If you often find yourself in noisy environments, level 2 hearing aids ensure you remain in touch with all the sounds you don’t want to miss. These hearing aids can be accompanied by the smartPocket remote control, so whether you’re at home watching television or attending an important meeting at work, you can easily adjust the volume or sound quality according to the situation.
Level 3 technology:
Catching up with friends and family is important, which is why level 3 hearing aids are designed to help in these situations. Well suited to moderate background noise, these hearing aids assist you at small get-togethers and family gatherings, when you’re dining out at restaurants, or when you’re relaxing in front of the television. If you don’t want to miss a word when you’re having a conversation with your loved ones, level 3 hearing aids may be right for you.
Level 5 technology:
If you’re a social butterfly who enjoys a convivial lifestyle with friends and family, level 5 hearing aids can help you to stay in the loop, no matter where you are. Taking the kids to Saturday morning soccer? Tick. Catching up with friends in a busy cafe? Tick. This level of technology makes life easier by enabling you to hear in noisy environments. You’ll never have to refuse a social invitation again!
Level 7 technology:
The top-of-the-line technology, level 7 hearing aids are the best there is. These hearing aids automatically adapt to your surroundings. So, if you’re at a concert, seeing a play or watching a live sports event, you can focus on the sounds you want to hear without adjusting your hearing aids. Plus, these hearing aids reduce unwanted noise from other directions, even if it’s behind you. Level 7 hearing aids help you to keep your finger on the pulse all the time.
Hearing Aid Features:
As there are many different models and types of hearing aids, you can think of them as being like cars. You can start with the base model, which will reliably do the job you want it to, or you can upgrade to a higher level model with additional features to suit your needs.
- Directional microphones reduce the distraction of background noise, so that you only hear sounds that are coming from in front of you.
- Remote controls for those who have trouble managing the controls found on hearing aids.
- Telecoils, a special circuit in your hearing aid that makes it easier to hear on the telephone by removing the other sounds from your environment.
- Several programs that can be set for specific listening situations, such as noisy environments, talking on the phone or watching the TV.
- Ear-to-ear technology allows both units to work together, so you can control both from just one unit. This means you only need to adjust one hearing aid, and features on both aids will work together.
- Advanced remote controls, which can operate both aids and can also connect wirelessly to Bluetooth devices, such as phones, music players and computers.
- Transient noise managers, which reduce impulsive sounds like clanging dishes.
- Data learning, which records the hearing aid wearer’s preferences and automatically applies the changes to the hearing aid programming.
- Autophone, which allows you to automatically switch to the telephone program.
- Wind noise reduction, which reduces the wind noise.
- Real ear effect, which assists in distinguishing sounds from the front rather than sounds from behind.
- Sound quality enhancers that give a richer, fuller and more natural hearing experience.
- Rechargeable batteries that mean you can place your hearing aid in a recharger overnight.