What’s the difference between analog and digital hearing aids?
Analog hearing aids basically take sounds and make them louder, just as cupping your hand behind your ear amplifies sound. Some analog hearing aids include a programmable microchip, but the functions are relatively basic. Digital hearing aids take in sound waves (in themselves, analog signals, for the tech folks out there), translate them into digital format, process, filter, distort, amplify and ultimately deliver a sound signal into your ear canal that is custom-tailored to your needs. In order to perform all these wonders, digital hearing aids contain a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) chip.
To better understand digital versus analog, consider the difference between analog vinyl records and digital CDs. Vinyl records require fairly simple methods for playback, and a simple turntable and needle will do the trick. CDs take a little more hardware, as the digital information has to be processed and reproduced. While there is a greater amount to do, CDs provide clearer, high fidelity sound. Some people prefer the warm crackle of a vinyl record, but that fuzz simply won’t do when it comes to your hearing!