Understanding Hearing Aid Replacement Parts
Hearing aid replacement parts consist of components that are designed to help the device function properly, such as the power source, receiver, amplifier and microphone. Below are some important facts you should know about these parts when buying a replacement.
How do the Individual Components Function?
The four main hearing aid components function as follows:
- Power source: Every hearing aid uses some sort of power source, which usually comes in the form of a battery. The batteries come in two types, which are rechargeable or disposable.
- Microphone: A microphone is designed to collect sound from the external environment, and will then utilize a computational embedded chip amplifier to transform the sound wave so they become electric signals. They will also adjust and assess sound dependent on ambient noises and the hearing level of the user.
- Amplifier: This device is also referred to as the hearing aid’s processor and will take a microphone’s electrical signals and then transform them to become digital ones, with more or less application dependent on the hearing ability of the user.
- Receiver: Also called the speaker, a receiver is tasked with transforming a microphone’s electrical signals so they become actual sounds. This device can usually be found inside the ear dome or earmold.
These are the main parts that may have to be replaced as time passes, but there are others.
Additional Secondary Components
Other important parts that typically comprise various hearing aids are switches, buttons, domes and earmolds:
- Domes: These are miniature silicone pieces that are shaped like a mushroom. They attach to the tube of the hearing aid, are positioned deep inside the canal, and will adhere to its contours. Domes play a key role in amplifying sound while increasing its frequency range and are most popular among those that have moderate to mild hearing loss.
- Earmolds: These components are derived from plastic which is form fitting that will fit inside the ear canal, where they will seal it from external noise. The fit and shape may vary greatly based on the model your purchase, and whether the user has severe, moderate or mild hearing loss.
- Switches and buttons: These parts usually control things such as volume, but may also allow users to toggle between distinct hearing modes dependent on the background noise which is present. This prevents a situation where the ear canal becomes plugged up.
How Distinct Hearing Devices Use Different Parts
Distinct hearing devices will sometimes use different parts. While inner ear and outer ear hearing devices both utilize hardened shells, ear domes and earmolds, behind-the-ear devices typically use amplifiers that are much stronger with bigger batteries, which helps them manage the lower to higher frequency noise magnification inside the canal.Another distinction between the inner ear and behind ear devices is speaker location. With some products, the speakers will be situated near the ends of thin electric wire, while behind-ear devices often use speakers which are embedded inside a hardened case. In general, BTE devices are most optimal for people who are active and spend a great deal of time outside but who have severe or moderate hearing loss.