The Synergy of Hearing Aids and AI

AI technology built into hearing aids can help you hear even better

You might think of your favorite sci-fi movie when somebody starts talking about artificial intelligence (AI). But today, AI is a reality that we all better get accustomed to. With regard to hearing aids, this is especially true. The days when hearing aids simply increased the volume and were one-size-fits-all are gone forever. AI is at the root of contemporary hearing aids.

Artificial intelligence – what exactly is it?

AI is a sophisticated computer algorithm that utilizes data inputs to produce new results. AI is capable of using an algorithm to participate in a type of learning called “machine learning”. With AI the user doesn’t have to program every individual result because the algorithm does that on its own.

In the instance of hearing aids, AI algorithms can help your hearing aids adapt to your personal needs based on your behaviors, lifestyle, habits, and level of hearing loss. This makes your hearing aid more effective at improving your hearing.

How can you hear better with AI?

This might feel a bit abstract initially. After all, hearing aids appear to have a rather basic function. How can adding AI to the mix enhance things? Well, imagine a recording studio with the soundboard full of buttons and dials. (Perhaps you’ve seen them in movies.) Your hearing aid has one of those! (It’s tiny.) Changing these settings can produce better sound quality. AI-powered hearing aids move these digital dials and switches automatically, enhancing how you hear without any hassle by you.

These smart devices use a rich neural network to imitate human brain responses. Without even being programmed to, these devices respond to real-time conditions because of this.

This is the same technology that lets streaming services suggest movies based on your viewing history, though it most likely sounds like futuristic technology initially. Newer cars utilize this technology to help you drive more safely and your email supplier uses it to auto-sort emails into your inbox. These devices become more expert at making appropriate decisions the more you use them.

New improvements in AI hearing aids

Presently, hearing aids are incorporating several brand new improvements in AI to help you hear even better. Some of the best examples include the following:

  • Acoustic environment classification: Every room you go into has its own distinct acoustic characteristics. Your hearing aids can deal with some of those properties, but others it doesn’t do so well with. You will hear better in nearly any environment with AI technology making practical automatic adjustments.
  • Noisy room filters: If you’re in a location that has a lot of echoes, or is excessively loud, new AI technology algorithms can separate out room noise. Cross talk, for instance, can often be hard on a hearing aid. But with an AI filtering out non-essential information, you’ll be able to hear more clearly what the individual across from you is saying, even in a crowded or noisy setting.
  • Edge mode: This is a user initiated, AI assist mode. Essentially, you can activate something called edge mode whenever you’re having a difficult time hearing. When this is initiated AI will begin working on cleaning up what you’re hearing.
  • Helping you hear through facemasks: Conversations were certainly tougher during the pandemic when everybody was wearing a facemask. AI algorithms can automatically amplify those voices behind the facemask, helping individuals with hearing aids hear better and remain safe at the same time.

This is most likely only the start of the advancements scientists and manufacturers are making.

How is AI utilized in the field of audiology?

AI has become somewhat of a buzzword these days. Depending on the context, AI does different things, which can occasionally cause confusion. So, what does AI mean for the discipline of audiology?

Making hearing aids even more useful for patients is one of the first and most obvious things that researchers are working on. New technologies, like machine learning and deep neural networks, are included in this research. But it isn’t just hearing aids. Helping patients hear better and even diagnosing hearing loss are some things that AI will likely do in the future.

As the technology expands and becomes more dependable, patients can expect to see artificial intelligence in more of their devices.

AI-assisted hearing aids and their advantages

AI is being integrated into hearing aids not because it’s the hot new fad, unlike other industries. These machine learning algorithms offer some significant advantages to patients. Here are some of those benefits:

  • Health tracking and fall prevention: When you’re wearing a hearing aid and you take a tumble, your AI-assisted device can determine the seriousness of your fall. If there is a serious fall, these hearing aids can, in some cases, alert the Authorities. Should you be drinking more water, exercising more, eating healthier? AI can make your health data easier to interpret.
  • You have more control over how you hear: Many AI-assisted hearing devices give you the option to turn those algorithms on or off. This means hearing aid wearers will have more control over the quality of sound they hear. And this normally translates into hearing better more frequently.
  • Social engagement: Studies have shown that people who use AI-assisted hearing aids are more successful with regard to managing their social involvement. This is most likely because the speech they hear is clearer in a larger number of environments. Having said that, it’s not entirely clear that AI is the defining factor in keeping your social life healthy. It probably just helps people better preserve the relationships they already have.
  • Helping you listen to devices: Microphones from cell phones, speaker phones, televisions, and other array devices can cause feedback in your hearing aids. Machine learning algorithms can help filter out this feedback, so all you will hear is the sound you actually want to hear.

What this means for patients

These benefits frequently result in real-world advantages for people with these AI-assisted hearing aids. Imagine you were at a party having a conversation. If you had an older-style hearing aid, it would just crank the volume up. And unfortunately, background noise also gets boosted making it impossible to hear voices. With AI, the hearing aid can tune in to the noise around you and react the way your brain would, lowering background noise and focusing on your friends’ voices.

AI will create a location-by-location program to deal with the various types of sounds it detects. These programs help when you return to a specific location or sound profile. Other hearing aids with AI are programmed with everyday sounds in order to better define and amplify important sounds.

Some of the other practical advantages of AI-assisted hearing aids include the following:

  • Your quality of life will get better.
  • Your brain will experience a reduced cognitive load.
  • You won’t be frustrated because you can’t hear (at least, not as often).

In other words, it’ll be simpler to follow along with your favorite shows, hang out with your favorite people, and take care of your favorite brain.

Reward vs. cost

There was a time when AI was not available in the vast majority of hearing aids because of the costs involved. An algorithm is, after all, a complex math equation. However, in part because of the prevalence of the technology, prices for AI hearing aids are starting to go down.

That’s not saying that those hearing aids will definitely come down in price soon and you still might wind up wanting a model that doesn’t have AI functionality. Clearly, the decision making is in the hands of the patient. But AI functions are becoming more widely available and prevalent.

Figuring out what choice is best for you

For somebody who lives alone and doesn’t go out very much, hearing aids with AI may not be worth the extra cost. To somebody who is socially involved and finds themselves in conditions with lots of competing sounds, however, it makes a huge difference.

For somebody who uses traditional hearing aids and still gets exhausted easily in social situations, AI hearing aids would be really helpful. Social situations are easier and the user will feel less fatigued with AI hearing aids. AI technology can also send alerts to your phone when the doorbell rings, alert others that you have fallen, and track your steps. As technology and AI develop, hearing aids will continue to too.

How can AI technology help you? Make an appointment with us right away.


The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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