Digital Confusion--Channels, bands & programs

I have normal hearing in lower frequencies and loss in high frequencies and find myself needing hearing aids. I have been researching & have definitely decided I want digital, but am becoming increasingly confused. When I look at Channels, Bands, and Programs…What does each do and how many of each is necessary??? I don’t find anything to really guide me. I first was looking at the brochure for Radius 12 and now see online they have all different levels of Destiny.
Was also looking at brochure for Resound Metrix.
Anybody had any experience at any comparisons and pros and cons. I really need some guidance so I don’t just sit here and spin my wheels and my brain!!!
Thanks a bundle for any help!!!

Look at your audiogram loss curve and you will see that you need different amounts of amplification at different frequencies (tones) to bring you back to normal. Not shown on the audiogram, you may need different amounts of compression at different frequencies as well.

If you divide the hearing aid’s amplification, compression, and general control into several parts, each such band of frequencies is called a “Channel” This allows the aid to be adjusted to maximize comprehension in each channel. The manufacturers will tell you that more channels equals better hearing comprehension…BS, bunk. For the most typical types of loss 4 channels will do the job and 8 channels is overkill. Some high end models have 20 channels, but this is only needed by a tiny percentage of the hard of hearing (hoh) with unusual types of loss.

A band strictly speaking, should refer to what’s called the frequency response Equalizer. The Equalizer just controls the gain (amount of amplification) at each of a number of bands of frequencies. It does not control the compression or other parameters. Sometimes mfg literature deliberately confuses this with the more expensive Channels.

Most modern aids have 3 or more programs available to meet the need for special types of amplification and control for different sound environments. For example, in a noisy restaurant you need the aid to exclude certain sounds and emphasize others. And very importantly to provide highly directional microphones to pick up in the direction of the person you are listening to, and exclude sound from other directions. Also you need a special program to help you understand sound from a telephone. There are of course, can be other specialized needs. Hope this helps…Ed

true. there are some tech literature which suggest
speech intelligibility is maximize with 4 channels for the most part,
i think i read a paper a couple of years ago


Krissy

I agree to a point, more is not necessarily better. Especially with some manufacturers where the channels are not completely independent from one another.

However what I have found is that 6-8 channels and 10-12 bands are more effective at filtering background noise. A good hearing aid with more channels and bands can more effectively isolate a specific and unwanted background noise and therefore filter it. For example a 4 channel hearing aid may have to reduce one or two channels to filter a sound, which could account for 25-50% of the sound. Double the channels and the same filter may only affect 12.5-25% of the sound, depending on what it is.

So I am not part of the camp that thinks more channels automatically equates to better hearing, but to claim it is total ‘BS’ as you claim is also unreasonable.

From the posts I’ve seen you make, you seem to have quite a beef with the industry. But without them some of the latest innovations in hearing technology wouldn’t exist. So I don’t know why you have this hostility towards them.

there are other features worth considering,
noise reduction, life learning, etc


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I don’t dispute that noise reduction in a specific case can possibly be improved by more noise repeat noise reduction channels. I was talking about amplification and conditioning channels. Obviously if a hoh has an unusual loss curve sometimes they need more channels and Eq bands.

But remember, each channel’s edges overlap the adjacent ones and if set markedly different some sound smearing will be introduced thereby reducing speech cues. More channels can mean more smearing. I think this phenomena is well documented in several papers. Ed