Speech understanding features of hearing aids

Speech understanding features of hearing aids help you recognise and make sense of what people say, even in the presence of background noise or at a distance.

Directional microphones

Directional microphones are the part of a hearing aid that picks up sound from a given direction, often from in front of you. They are effective when you are trying to listen to sounds in noise situation because they amplify some sounds, but not noise. 

Manufacturers may use the following terms: 

  • adaptive directional microphone 

  • adaptive noise reduction 

  • automatic directional microphones 

  • binaural directionality. 

FMs and remote microphones

These features enhance the volume, clarity and quality of speech, when there is background noise or the speech is coming from a distance. 

Manufacturers may use the following terms: 

  • frequency modulation (FM) systems

  • digitally modulated (DM) systems

  • table microphones 

  • wireless remote microphone technology.

Gain and compression

This feature makes quiet sounds louder and loud sounds quieter. It makes it easier to hear speech while maintaining comfortable listening levels.

 Manufacturers may use the following terms:

  • amplification
  • prescribed gain
  • dynamic range compression
  • wide dynamic range compression
  • multichannel compression
  • compression limiting.

Noise reduction

This feature reduces noise to improve listening comfort and make it easier to hear the sounds you want to hear.

Manufacturers may use the following terms:

  • digital noise reduction
  • noise reduction algorithms
  • noise cancellation technology.

Artificial intelligence

This feature uses smart computing to mimic human intelligence and analyse information, learn, make decisions and perform tasks in hearing devices. These tasks are designed to maximise benefits to the wearer and enhance their experience.

Manufacturers may use the following terms:

  • artificial intelligence
  • machine learning
  • neural networks
  • deep learning.
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