Speech understanding features of hearing aids

Features that help you recognise and make sense of what people say, even in the presence of background noise or at a distance.

Directional microphones

Part of a hearing aid that picks up sound from a given direction, often from in front of you. The microphone can focus on the voices and sounds you want to hear from the direction you want.

Manufacturers may use the following terms:

  • adaptive directional microphone
  • adaptive noise reduction
  • automatic directional microphones
  • binaural directionality.

FMs and remote microphones

Devices that pick up and send sound directly to your hearing aid. They improve the volume, clarity and quality of speech. Often used when there is background noise or speech 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

Automatically make soft sounds louder while not making louder sounds uncomfortable. This makes it easier to hear quiet sounds and speech.

Manufacturers may use the following terms:

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

Noise reduction

Allows hearing aids to detect sounds at very high or low pitches, or very loud or soft levels. Can tailor the sound quality for better music enjoyment.

Manufacturers may use the following terms:

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

Artificial intelligence

Uses smart computing to find patterns to help find settings or solutions you like. It can also help make decisions about your hearing aids for you. Uses information such as your location or past settings choices.

Manufacturers may use the following terms:

  • artificial intelligence
  • machine learning
  • neural networks
  • deep learning.
Date last updated:

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