The Difference Between Basic and Advanced Hearing Aids

hearing specialist holding different hearing devices

If you’re experiencing hearing loss, the right hearing aids can enhance your hearing function and improve the clarity of sound. With numerous negative impacts associated with hearing loss, wearing hearing aids can help to minimize the effects of hearing loss and improve the quality of your day-to-day life.

Of course, the type of hearing aid you choose to wear will determine how effective it is. With various models and styles available, it’s important to get expert medical advice before you decide which ones are right for you. By working with your audiologist, you can learn more about your hearing loss and the suitability of various types of hearing aids.

One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is whether to opt for advanced hearings aids or choose a more basic option. Whilst advanced hearing aids typically have more features than basic models, even less advanced hearing aids can significantly improve your auditory experience.

Basic hearing aids

Whilst basic hearing aids may not have all the functions associated with more advanced models, most basic options will include the following features:

  • Telecoil or hearing loop compatibility
  • FM compatibility
  • Telecoil or hearing loop compatibility
  • Feedback management
  • Wind noise reduction
  • Impulse noise reduction
  • Digital noise reduction
  • Wind noise reduction
  • Direction microphone systems

Telecoil compatibility will ensure your hearing aids act as a receiver when hearing loop systems are available, for example. Often used in busier environments, this can improve sound quality at concerts, churches, and large-scale events.

Features such as wind noise reduction, feedback management, and digital noise reduction also help to improve sound quality. With a feedback management system, for example, the loud whistling sometimes associated with hearing aids can be minimized. These features ensure a better auditory experience, increased comfort for the wearer and increased sound clarity. 

When you’re deciding whether basic hearing aids are the right option for you, you’ll also need to consider the styles available. Many basic models are available in behind-the-ear styles, although this is the most visible type of hearing aid. If you would prefer to wear something more discreet, there are in-ear options which are considered to be basic hearing aids due to their functionality.

Advanced hearing aids

More advanced hearing aids tend to use more modern technology to enhance your auditory experience. In addition to this, an advanced hearing aid is generally more customizable than a basic model. This means you have greater control over the operation of the hearing aid and, therefore, receive a better quality of sound. 

With an advanced hearing aid, for example, you could benefit from the following features:

  • Enhance feedback management
  • Automated adjustment
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Binaural processing
  • Smartphone connectivity
  • Hearing aid apps
  • Tinnitus masking features
  • Customized frequency response

Of course, advanced hearing aids typically offer all of the features and functionalities associated with more basic models too. Whilst advanced hearing aids offer extra features when compared to basic models, they also offer more functionality when it comes to shared features.

Hearing aids amplify sounds, for example. Basic models may enhance the volume of all sounds so that you’re able to hear them despite your hearing loss. With an advanced model, however, you can specify exactly which frequencies are amplified. If you have trouble hearing low frequencies but don’t experience any high-frequency hearing loss, for example, this means an advanced hearing aid will only amplify low frequencies. 

Furthermore, advanced hearing aids tend to be far more compatible with newer technology. If you want to link your hearing aids to a smartphone, stream sounds directly to your hearing aids via Bluetooth or use artificial intelligence to automatically adjust your settings, an advanced hearing aid is probably the right option for you.

When it comes to the style of hearing aid you’d like, advanced models usually offer a more discreet option. From in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids to complete-in-canal (CIC) models, you can pair enhanced features with the sleekest styles when you opt for hearing aids.

If you want to confirm your hearing loss diagnosis or discuss the best hearing aid options, why not contact your audiologist today?

Seeking advice from your audiologist

Once your hearing loss has been fully assessed, your audiologist will be able to advise you which type of hearing aids are appropriate. In addition, you’ll be able to try various styles and functionalities so that you can make an informed decision about which type of model to use. 

To learn more about choosing the right hearing aids, contact The Speech & Hearing Center on (423) 622-6900 now.