NextGen Hearing Center offers all currently manufactured models by the best of the world’s hearing aid brands. We carry a top-quality hearing aid for every hearing need and lifestyle. If you are in need of hearing aids, make an appointment for a hearing test today and get started on your journey to better hearing!
There is a wide variety among hearing aids in terms of style, functionality, and technology. Here we have put together a list of some of the broader categories of options you may wish to consider, before looking at specific models and brands.
Rechargeability has become an incredibly popular option and is usually the best choice for most people with BTE (behind-the-ear) or RIC (receiver-in-canal) hearing aids. Rather than using a new battery every 9–20 days, the batteries that come in your hearing aids will last the lifetime of your aids, themselves. Rechargeable batteries now easily provide a full day’s worth of power on a single charge, even while using Bluetooth. At night, simply wipe your hearing aids with a clean, dry cloth and place them in the charger while you sleep.
Aside from ease of use, rechargeable hearing aids have the advantage of not requiring an accessible battery compartment. This means they have less opportunity to accumulate moisture and debris, which can damage hearing aids over time.
Rechargeable batteries may not be right for everyone, and they cannot yet realistically provide enough power in a small enough size to work with smaller hearing aids. (Though the Starkey company now offers the world’s first rechargeable ITE (in-the-ear) hearing aid, there are still smaller models that require disposable batteries.)
Disposable zinc-air batteries work by a reaction between zinc and oxygen. By pulling the sealing tab and exposing the battery to the air, the reaction begins and will power a set of hearing aids for anywhere from three to twenty days, depending on the battery size, hearing aid, and usage.
Zinc-air batteries come in four color-coded sizes. The size your hearing aids require will depend on the size of the hearing aids themselves. In general, the largest battery size that a set of hearing aids will accommodate is most desirable.
We all remember the old, whistling hearing aids from the 1990s and before. Thankfully, hearing aid technology has more or less kept pace with computer technology. Hearing aids have incorporated digital sound processing (DSP) since the early 2000s, and are now capable of never-before-dreamt enhancements to sound quality and functionality.
Nearly all hearing aids are capable of recognizing the sounds of human speech and elevating them above the level of background noise. This is especially useful in more crowded areas, and can sometimes improve speech comprehension to better than normal. Other speech-enhancing features of many hearing aids include special programs for directionality, spatial location, and connection to wireless microphones.
One of the biggest technological advancements that hearing aids have made is their ability to connect wirelessly, via Bluetooth, to smartphones, tablets, computers, and other devices. This allows you to stream phone calls, video conferences, and media directly to your hearing aids! Manufacturers also provide smartphone apps that allow you to control the volume, programming, and other functions of your hearing aids directly from your phone.
Some manufacturers’ apps even allow you to carry on a telehealth conference with us, so we can adjust your hearing aids’ programming without an office visit! This is useful, especially in the first month or two of wearing your hearing aids, when you are likely to require regular adjustments as you get more comfortable with your hearing aids.
Invisible hearing aids are an attractive solution for many people with mild to moderate hearing loss. They fit deep in the ear canal, making them effectively invisible to the naked eye. Some even sit so far into the ear canal that you can wear a set of earbuds at the same time!
Invisible hearing aids use your ear’s natural shape to help reduce wind noise and improve directionality. Typically, they are lighter on DSP than their BTE or RIC counterparts, though most models retain Bluetooth connectivity.
While hearing aids are incredibly powerful hearing instruments, sometimes they can use a little help to reduce the distance between a sound source and your ears. Not everyone benefits from accessories, but most people will find at least one or two to be of use. Types of accessories include:
- Wireless TV streamers
- Remote controls (for those who do not use smartphones)
- Wireless microphones