People have confusions about hearing aid channels, In this article will introduce what is hearing aid channel, and pros and cons of multiple hearing channels.
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What are hearing aid channels?
A channel is a filter that covers a wide frequency range and is processed, analyzed, and reproduced by a hearing aid in the same way. A broadband hearing aid, or a single channel hearing aid, has a bandwidth of 100 Hz to 8000 Hz. It treats all sounds in that frequency range as one sound.
It is used to compute (or analyze) the average sound level across all frequencies (100-8000Hz). Furthermore, it is processed using the same gain across all frequencies and produces (or outputs) the same sound with its original details, except that it is louder.
Multichannel hearing aids do not necessarily mean hearing aids with greater bandwidth, i.e., more frequencies. It simply means that the hearing aid splits the incoming sound into different frequency areas for processing, analysis, and reproduction.
A 3-channel hearing aid might treat sounds below 1000Hz as the low frequency channel. Sounds between 1000 and 3000Hz are the mid-frequency channels. All sounds above 3000Hz are the high frequency channel. It will calculate (or analyze) the average sound level in each region of low, middle, and high frequency.
And a 16-channel hearing aid will adjust the sound from low frequency to high frequency, divided into 16 different points. The more channels, the more precise the sound compensation will be, which will be closer to the original sound.
About hearing aid adjustable channels
The hearing aid debugging interface displays adjustable channels (also called frequency bands), and the real compression and amplification of the sound is achieved through the processing channel. Similar to a mobile phone, you can increase or decrease the sound output through the volume buttons, but the actual playing music, the operator can’t adjust the low, middle and high tones.
Therefore, in actual operation, the hearing aid can only be changed by adjusting the gain on the adjustable frequency band. The refined parameters on the processing channel depend on the performance of the hearing aid itself. The better the performance, the more refined the processing channels.
However, a flat listening curve does not require many channels to adjust gain and compression, and even an uneven listening curve only needs 3 to 8 channels to adjust.
For patients with flat or non-rapid hearing impairment, hearing aids with more channels may not necessarily hear better than those with fewer channels.
Studies have shown that the speech recognition rate of 8-channel hearing aids is not significantly different from that of 12-channel and 16-channel hearing aids. Which also reminds us that different brands cannot directly use the number of channels to compare the good and bad of hearing aids.
So don’t limit yourself to the number of channels. Because besides the hearing aid channels, hearing aid’s output power, chips and algorithms, are the key factors when choosing your best hearing aids.
Benefits of hearing aids with more than 12 channels
Every user is different, and each person has to have their hearing aid adjusted according to the audiometry results. The more channels a hearing aid has, then the greater the precision and customization during fitting.
Additionally, state of the art audiological solutions work better with hearing aids that have more channels, such noise reducers. A hearing aid with 12 channels may be an option. However, this will depend on your type of loss. We recommend that you consult your audiologist. AcoSound self-fitting Hearing Aid has 12 channels and 16 channels, they’re all good options. We invite you to browse our Online Catalog, which allows you to compare different types of hearing aids.