Analogue, digital and wireless hearing aid technology
In all hearing aids, sound enters through a microphone. It is then processed, amplified and delivered to a receiver (loudspeaker).
This sends the output either directly to the user’s ear canal, via tubing to an earmould and into the ear canal, or via a thin wire to a receiver placed directly in the ear.
There are two types of sound processing:
Analogue hearing aids
In analogue instruments, sound is processed as an electrical signal by a microphone. Analogue sound is like making a photocopy: the sound is registered and you get an overall picture. But the actual processing is like recopying a photocopy – it can only be done to a certain extent because it causes a deterioration of the original imprint.
Digital hearing aids
In a digital hearing aid the acoustic signal is converted into digits (0, 1), processed within the hearing aid, and then reconverted to an analogue acoustic signal for the listener. A digital signal can be repeated endlessly without affecting the overall quality. It is like making copies of a scanned image: each copy is a perfect duplicate of the original.
As an extension to digital sound processing, Oticon’s RISE architecture represents a paradigm shift in the hearing aid industry: it offers wireless connectivity and high-speed broadband interoperability between instruments. With RISE two hearing instruments can communicate and perform binaural processing, allowing them to work as one central processor.
This brain-like behaviour provides a more authentic listening perspective. In addition to pushing the limits of how hearing instruments process sounds, RISE allows people to connect to a number of Bluetooth enabled electronic devices such as mobile phones, MP3 players etc.
Hearing aids to suit everyone’s
tastes, situations and pockets
Oticon’s hearing aid technologies make it easier to understand speech in noisy environments, localise where sounds are coming from and much more.
Our brain stores sound patterns to recognise similar situations faster.