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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
  • Digital

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.

Wireless communication

As an extension to digital sound processing, Oticon’s latest quad-core signal processing platform, Inium, delivers the unique combination of exceptional performance, incredibly small size and low power consumption. This is how Oticon raises the bar in speech understanding, sound quality, wireless connectivity and listening effort, and opens a wide range of personalisation opportunities.

This brain-like behaviour provides a more authentic listening perspective. In addition to pushing the limits of how hearing instruments process sounds, Inium 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
Inside Oticon hearing aids

Oticon’s hearing aid technologies make it easier to understand speech in noisy environments, localise where sounds are coming from and much more.

Did you know?

Our brain stores sound patterns to recognise similar situations faster.