What is it about analog sound you like best?

As a hearing instrument practitioner, I hear people telling me how they like the sound of the analogs better, amongst many other things.

I am doing a study about the specific reasons why people liked their analog hearing aids better. The purpose is to determine if anything can be done with digitals that isn’t being done currently.

So, if you have any experience with the transition from analog to digital, or if you tried digital and went back to your analog, I want to know what you have to say.

I look forward to reading the responses in this forum.



I wish I could help you but I don’t know how to explain it. I have one of my old analog HAs for my right ear (wish I had it for my left now) and the sound almost brings tears to my ears with it in. I have seen on many posts where it has been said that is foolish and digital can be programmed to be like an analog. I have never tried that and don’t know if it works. I have very good programmed Widex Divas I still use, tried my left one a couple days ago and it almost blew my head off before I could shut it down :slight_smile: (has not been reprogrammed). I really think you have to have the experience of being HOH and have used different aids or be able to explain it (which I can not) so as to understand it. I would like to see someone explain it. All I know the analog produces a most pleasant sound to me.

Thanks for your reply JW. Is there any way you can articulate what it is that you get with your analogs, that you don’t get with your digitals?

On a side note, I am surprised that there hasn’t been more posts on this topic.
Interesting to say the least, as I thought there were going to be a huge mass of people posting their experiences.

Probably, digital has been around long enough and has proved to be so suprerior to analogue that there many people left who like analogue. I did, and I some trouble getting used to digital, but even as I missed the rich sound, I can’t deny that I could hear (comrehend) better with the digital.

I have a music program which, while not linear, has no compression. Sound exactly how I remember analogue.

Hi John,

Thanks for your reply.

The sound of your Destiny 1200 can be programmed in a linear way with ease. Can I assume correctly that you like your music program better than your other settings?

Mr. Austin (the boss at Starkey) fits hearing aids in a linear fashion a considerable amount of time rather successfully.


I wouldn’t say I like the music program better, except for music. With my degree of recruitment, I could not stand being with out compression, except for the controlled enviroment when listenting to music.

And even in the musi program, I would not want linear. I want to hear the highs that an analogue (linear) would not permit me to hear.

Over the last four years I really feel as though I have heard my favorite music for the first time again.

Analogue is archaic , and I wouldn’t go back.

Great, thanks for sharing.

Perhaps I can add some food for thought and see if anyone responds to it.

Those seeking replacement hearing aids, should not consider paying top dollar for their ‘premium’ hearing aids. Instead, they should buy the entry level hearing aids as they may in-fact find them more appealing with respect to how they process the sound, and offer similar types of controls like a traditional volume control.


Being able to fine tune the hearing aids like a graphic equalizer used to do for a stereo system might be bit of overkill especially for someone with a profound loss. I don’t really seem to benefit from that all that much. What I do appreciate about the digital aids is their ability to better manage loud sound. The digital aids handle the loud sound better keeping them clear and sharp like the sounds should be , whereas the older style aids would distort the sound making it sound garbled. Again this may be something only those with a severe or profound loss would be aware of.

Thanks for your input Hask12.

I am quite surprised that so few people who say they love their analog hearing aids have not replied to this post… Maybe there aren’t so many of you left?

Folks, I am still looking for your input if you have some. For those people who love analog sound, what is it about your analog sound that you prefer over digital hearing aids???


Hi there, I would love to tell you all about digitals - it would take me forever to type it all in - so I would be happy to construct a long clear explaination of this as I have worn analogues for over 35years and have been trying out digitals for the last 4 yrs without any success. The sound is just so processed - hence I have to have the most powerful aids as my hearing is so poor but I have perfectly normal speech etc and no-one would ever know that I am deaf. Would you mind if I typed a long list of all the problems of digital aids v analogues and send it to you via email?? I’m happy to let you have my personal e-mail address julia@uwclub.net and then you can if you wish send me your e-mail address as this would take me some time to compile a good list that would help you and hopefully would help others too.

Many thanks

Thanks Julia, I sent you an email. I would love to hear your input. Let me know if you recieved my email.

WOW. There is no real short answer to this and I am not known for short answers.

I have a lot of experience with hi quality audio having worked in hi end audio shops since the '70’s and in large room sound reinforcement. Sorry to say it was my constant exposure to high sound pressure levels for long periods for many years that is a major reason I can no longer enjoy that interest due to my hearing loss. But you don’t forget what you learned.

The debate of digital vs analog has been going on since digital hit the audio and recording industry. At first it was thought it was going to be the end to all problems but little did they know that it would usher in it’s own problems.

Generally speaking, digital has more of a harsh and processed sound. Grammy award winning recording engineers have expressed this. Digital audio is literally small bites or samples of the analog wave taken one bite at a time like a snap shot or picture. The more bites or samples a second, the smoother the sound. I would be interested in seeing the sample rate for my HAs

Natural sound is analog as it moves through the air. It is not a simple pure tone sine wave. Sound as we hear it, especially music is a complex wave. If you saw it displayed on a scope you would see what I am talking about. Sound produces a complex wave of over tones and harmonics that result from the combining of different frequencies and tones. For example, in a simple example when two tones at different frequencies go through a system, you will not get out just the two tones that went in, you will get four tones out. You will get a tone that is the sum of the two, (a 60 hz tone and a 80 hz tone will sum to 140 Hz) you will also get a tone that is the differance, (80 minus 60 is 20). The 140 Hz and 20 Hz tones are called harmonics. So just consider all the harmonics you have in music. That makes this sampling and processing all the more complex. It has to go through a analog/digital converter for the processing then a digital/analog converter to be used by the speaker to make sound waves that your ear hears.

To try to sum this up, you have to consider what you are dealing with. Your digital HAs are small and often offer multiple channels of compression and feed back supression. The circuitry that does this just can not compare with that used in audio recording studios and hi end sound reinforcement systems and yet even those in the industry will say that they can tell the differance between an analog recording and a digital one.

Over the years, oddly enough, it has been the general opinion that digital recording and sound reproduction works better for classical and orchestral type music and rock works better in analog. In a recording industry trade magazine I subscribe to, one engineer actually was going to record a few tracks of a song in analog and the rest in digital because of the instruments involved.

Sorry for taking so much time to offer my 2 cents worth on this but to expect such a natural sound from digital devices that are so limited in what is capable in such a small package is unrealistic. Digital precessing equipment in sound systems and recording studios literally take up racks of equipment space and take considerable training and experience to operate properly.

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Hey Sky King,
Thanks for your input. Do you currently wear analog or digital hearing aids? Did you transision from analog to digital? If so, did you go through any auditory hardships as a result?

I’d love to know.


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Actually I wear Rexton Cobalt’s. They are digital. They are my first experience with hearing aids. When I went to my audi after a thorough evaluation with a Ear Nose and Throat specialist, (which she is part of their practice), these are what she reccomended and I actually never really gave it much thought. Like I said, I didn’t have any experience with HAs before and really didn’t know what was out there.

I have long known I had a significant loss in both ears. My work with audio systems had long since gone by the wayside because of the loss. Fortunately it was not my actual profession, but a VERY serious hobby/sideline.

Actually when I read about the processing capabilities, the multiple compression channels, feedback supression, multiple programs and the blu tooth capabilitys, I was pretty impressed that so much could be packed into such a small device.

Because I know what to listen for, I do notice the harshness of the digital processing. But again, given the level of improvement in my overall hearing experience with them, I am pretty satisfied. No hearing aid will fully restore what has been lost due to years of abuse so the fact that I don’t have to say “HUH” all the time anymore in conversations, I am pretty satisfied. (my actual profession is an aircraft mechanic for a major airline. 30+ years of being around jet aircraft has not helped either.)

Thanks again for your input Sky King.
I have heard more than one person say that the Siemens products (rexton included) sound harsh compared to some other brands. Try out some other brands when you are considering your next hearing aids. There is a difference.


To me digital seems processed or some one is mucking around with the sound.
But I would not go back to analog

Jallopy, what is it about your digitals that are better or worse than your analogs? Can you be descriptive? I am looking for the details that people experience.


I have had analog and now the digital and can tell absolutely no difference in the sound.

I find that my analog Acoustitone Pros sound more natural and open than my digital Phonak Xtras, even though my speech comprehension is somewhat better with the Phonaks. If you wear hearing aids all day and overall sound quality is important like it is for me as opposed to mainly speech comprehensibility, then I think analogs are superior. There is a lot more to hearing than merely understanding speech, especially if you are visually impaired like me. Gerald