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The Inner Life of Hearing Aids



 

We all wonder how our electronics work, but we usually do not have the option of taking them apart to see how they tick. Despite the complexity of their functions, the inner life of hearing aids can be visualized quite easily.

In the simplest sense, hearing aids consist of two microphones, an amplifier, and a receiver. But that description doesn’t quite do them justice. Hearing aids are innovative pieces of technology – mini sound computers in effect – that allow hard-of-hearing people to hear clearly. A lot of work goes into creating a device that not only lets people hear, but lets them experience noise in a natural, enjoyable way.

We have created a two-minute video to show you the magic ingredients that combine to form Signia hearing aids:

An inside look into hearing aids

What do hearing aids look like inside?

Underneath the casing and screws, a hearing aid is made up of several layers. These layers contain its inner workings, which consist of microphones and other high-tech parts. Unlike traditional microphones, hearing aid mics are extremely small and precise. Once sound is picked up and converted by the microphone, the hard work begins.

The processor inside the hearing aid, which is much smaller than anything you’d find in a smartphone or laptop, begins to translate the sound back to the wearer. The sound is tailored according to the user’s specifications, which can vary in tone and volume. From there, the sound is conducted through an electrical cable in the thin tube to the receiver, which is put in the wearer’s ear canal.

State-of-the-art hearing aids also work wirelessly in a way that we cannot see. When two hearing aids are in use, they communicate with each other to sync together and exchange data. This ensures that the user is getting a realistic sound. Some Signia hearing aids can connect with smartphones to offer direct streaming and remote control via Bluetooth.

Inside vs. outside

Many hearing aids share a similar appearance. This leads many people to ask, “why do hearing aids look like they do?” The answer lies in hearing aid design. By arranging the internal components in a certain way, the shape of the hearing aid contributes to how the user wears it. During previous generations, hearing aids were hard to wear, which led many people to decline offers to be fitted with the devices. The challenge was to arrange the components so they work in harmony without interfering with each other, requiring minimum distances between components. On the other hand, the housing has to have an ergonomic shape so that it is comfortable to wear and as discreet as possible.

How do hearing aids work?

Depending on the level of hearing loss, the details might change. However, the basic idea of hearing aids remains the same. The microphone picks up the sound, the processor converts it, and the receiver plays it back to the wearer. The hearing aid can be outfitted with additional software for extra features, including Signia’s unique OVP (Own Voice Processing) or with technology for direct streaming via Bluetooth.

While this is a simplified explanation of how hearing aids work, you can learn more online. If you have questions, try searching for information on your hearing aid’s specific model, or try asking an audiologist. Knowing how your hearing aid works can give you valuable insight on how it helps you. It’s also important to remember that technology is always evolving. Signia is devoted to constant advancement, and who knows what improvements lie in the near future?