If you are in need amplification to compensate for an audio loss a hearing aid offers a viable solution to your problem. These devices come in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes to solve whatever need you may have. They do differ, though, in three major areas, design, the technology used for amplification and special features. Because there is no industry standardization, the features and technology utilized in amplification can vary widely from company to company.

Of the different styles available, one is the behind the ear or BTE devices. In this system most of the component parts are contained inside a case that rests behind the ear. The case is connected to an earpiece that rests in your ear. This type is noted for its durability and is a common choice for children because of it can be easily cleaned and changed out as the child grows. There are also miniature types of this device for those that want a less noticeable solution. A recent advancement is the introduction of in the ear and in the ear canal devices. These types are noted for their small inconspicuous size. With respect to the in the device device this particular model is completely invisible as it resides inside your ear canal. This device in particular is impossible to detect and no one will ever know that you are wearing a hearing aid.

Another factor to consider is do you want to opt for an analog device or a digital device? Analog amplification works by making any continuous sound detected louder. The downside is that this can be a problem with background noise. Analog devices, unlike your ear, do not have the automatic ability to discriminate between garbage noise and what you are trying to concentrate on. All sound is simply amplified at the same volume. Manufactures of analog devices have tried to compensate for this by making some models programmable.

Digital devices have all the features of programmable analog but process sound in a new way. They produce a digital duplicate of what you are actually hearing. In addition they are capable of more complex processing power, which can translate into better discrimination of background noise over speech.

While any sort of help for a problem relating to the disruption of your audio function is a blessing, there are still some unresolved problems when it comes to the hearing aid. One of these issues is the ability to control the volume of background noise levels. Background noise is the random noise you might hear in a room full of people like you would find a restaurant. This random noise could include people chatting across the room, coughing, and waiters carrying trays to tables. This would include all the noise of clanking glasses, complaining patrons, and air conditioners turning off and on. While the human ear and your brain have the ability to filter these background noise levels out or at least down, many amplification devices, especially the analog ones, are unable to do this effectively. What this condition sounds like to the wearer of an analog hearing aid is a jumble of unintelligible sound that is as loud as the speaker's voice you are trying to concentrate on. For this reason many people opt for the new digital devices.