Old analog hearing aids were manual, allowing the hearing aid user to select a program for listening with the push of a button or remote control. The programs were customized to suit the needs of the customer. This set of choices empowered the user. But today’s hearing aids automatically tune into the best program for the listening environment for ease of use and convenience. Phonak’s AutoSene OS provides such an automatic selection.
Basically, no one combination of frequency response, gain, and compression is best for the varied sound environments experienced by users. An automatic response saves users from having to push a button or selecting the best sound environment. Many users would often only select one listening environment, anyway, on the analog type of hearing aids.
Analog hearing aids had a button for most situations, a button for noise, a button for comfort, and so on. Hearing aid users seemed best suited for selecting a program, at first. But many users would only select one setting. So, it turns out the automatic selection process is best.
The automatic program selection process uses automatic sound classifiers, which uses acoustic characteristic to determine what the sound environment is--such as music or speech in noise. Settings switch automatically based upon the situation. Studies actually show that users prefer the automatic selection over the control of manual selection; that is, people preferred having the program chosen automatically, rather than choosing manually themselves. So, hearing aids do know best, contrary to previous beliefs of experts.
If you would like to know more about program selection for the best listening environment, please contact your hearing instrument specialist at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.