The number of Channels in Hearing Aids

I have been reading all of the brochures my audiologist gave me and some of them refer to their aids having 16 channels and some with 9 channels. Does that mean that I can choose from that many settings on the hearing aid or is it about the eq type of functions?

Also, does having more mean that it is better?

The channels refers to how the hearing aid breaks up the different frequencies. For example, a 9 channel hearing aid typically breaks down the sound spectrum into 9 different areas of sound, typically breaking the sound down by each 1/2 octave.

The earlier digital hearing aids typically had 2 or 3 channels, so it could not process sound as effectively as today’s commonly used 16 or even 64 channel hearing aids.

In my dispensing experience, though, more does not necessarily mean better hearing. In fact, it is nearly impossible to distinguish any measurable difference between a 9 channel or 64 channel hearing aid.