What's Inside a Hearing Aid

Today’s hearing aids are smaller and more powerful than ever before. But don’t let the small size fool you; amazing technology is housed inside every hearing aid. Let’s take a look at the internal components to see how powerful high-tech hearing aids are able to dramatically improve speech understanding and listener comfort.

Simply stated, hearing aids consist of a microphone, flexible printed circuit board, battery, receiver and antenna. The parts are listed below and numbered to correspond with the diagram.

1. First, the microphone picks up the sound from the environment and converts it into an electrical signal. Hearing aids can have more than one microphone, which is referred to as a directional microphone system. This system is designed to prioritize sound in front of the listener, key for maintaining comfort in noisy environments. Digital technology converts the incoming signal from the microphones into digital code. That code is then analyzed and adjusted based on the listener’s environment and degree of hearing loss.

2. The flexible printed circuit board consists of more than 60 different components and integrated circuits. It is often thought of as the brains of the hearing aid. In a Halo hearing aid, the flexible printed circuit board contains both the digital signal processing chip and the radio used to communicate with the iPhone.

Fun fact: The processing power of the printed circuit board inside a Halo hearing aid is magnitudes greater than the computers aboard the Apollo 11 space shuttle that landed on the moon!

3. The battery provides the power for the hearing aid.

4. The receiver converts the amplified electrical signal into sound and delivers it into the ear without distorting or limiting the sound.

5. The antenna is used by the radio to transmit and receive radio frequency signals. The antenna is designed to conform to the shape of the hearing aid and tuned to 2.4 GHz .

Learn more about the different technologies available in hearing aids by visiting our hearing aid styles page

By Beth McCormick, Au.D.

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