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Special Features in Hearing Aids

Speech Enhancement - The circuitry in today's hearing aids can differentiate speech from other sounds in the environment. The goal is to provide the optimal level of speech clarity and comfort in both quiet and noisy environments.

Noise Reduction - Varying degrees of noise reduction can be programmed into your hearing aids. This helps to reduce the annoyance of unwanted sounds, like machine noise, wind noise, and crowd noise.

Ear to Ear Communication - Information is rapidly exchanged between the left and right side devices, providing for a more natural sound quality, synchronized noise reduction, and the ability to hear phone conversations in both ears.

Comfort Enhancement - This feature reduces the annoyance of sudden non-speech sounds like the rustling of a newspaper or the sound of typing on a keyboard. The sophisticated signal processing ensures that the reduction of these noises does not interfere with the user's ability to hear conversation. Some hearing aids have features to diminish interference from echoes in highly reverberant rooms.

Multiple Memories - All of today's hearing can be equipped with multiple memories or listening programs. Hearing aid programs that are specific to a situation allow the instrument to deliver optimum performance depending on the environment. For example, a Music Program has amplification characteristics that ensure that best possible fidelity for listening to music. Other programs may include Speech in Quiet Surroundings and Speech in Noisy surroundings. The program in the hearing aid can be changed by pushing a button. In the most advanced hearing aids the programs change automatically when the instrument detects your environment has changed.

Dual Microphones - Most hearing aids are equipped with microphones that pick up sounds all around you (omni-directional) and just in front of you (directional). The microphones can be manually switched by pushing a button, or may switch automatically. In the most advanced units the circuits seek out speech sounds and "aim" the microphones in that direction. With dual microphone technology sounds other that speech are not amplified when they are loud enough to interfere with your understanding.

Telecoil - a telecoil (t-coil) is an item that can be added to most hearing aids to assist with talking on the telephone without annoying whistling. The t-coil picks up the electromagnetic leakage that is emitted from the telephone. This feature amplifies only the sound from the phone rather than the sounds in the environment. The t-coil feature can be accessed by pushing a button, or, in some units, comes on automatically when you pick up the phone. A tcoil can also help users tap into wire loop amplification systems in some churches and public venues.

Wireless Connectivity - Many of today's hearing aids can wirelessly intercept signals from television, stereos, MP3 players, or cell phones. The user can experience clear sound quality, balanced listening between ears, and amplification customized for their hearing loss.