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What is the difference between analog hearing aids and digital hearing aids?

The latest statistics indicate that more than 90% of all hearing instruments sold in the United States are digital. Digital refers to the way the hearing aid processes signals. A digial processor turns the incoming signal into a series of numbers, or digital code. This code can then be processed by the hearing aid in very sophisticated ways – enabling advanced types of noise reduction, digital feedback cancellation (cancelling whistling that can sometimes occur), and other features that is not possible with analog devices. Analog hearing aids maintain an analogous signal to the original, however, the hearing aid can still amplify, filter and perform other more basic types of signal processing as compared to digital. The same way that other industries– such as sound recording (MP3 and cd instead of records and tapes), cell phones, televisions, and more - have moved from analog to digital, so has the hearing industry. Digital no longer means more expensive, either. In fact, due to the limited availability of analog parts as well as the fact that only a few hearing aid manufacturers still sell and service analog hearing aids, it is forseeable that analog hearing aids will be more expensive to buy and maintain for the long term. Hearing aid manufacturers have full portfolio of digital instruments now, with technology at all levels and all price points.

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