AI and Hearing Aids – the Synergy

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

You may think of your favorite sci-fi movie when someone mentions artificial intelligence (AI). But today, AI is a reality that we all need to get accustomed to. With regard to hearing aids, this is especially true. Gone is the time of one-size-fits-all hearing aids that merely raise the volume of sounds around you. Modern-day, high-end hearing aids use AI.

Artificial intelligence – what exactly is it?

AI is a complex computer algorithm that utilizes data inputs to produce new results. In this way, AI algorithms engage in a kind of learning, appropriately called “machine learning”. With AI the user doesn’t have to program every individual result because the algorithm does that by itself.

In the case of hearing aids, AI algorithms can help your hearing aids adjust to your personal requirements depending on your behaviors, lifestyle, habits, and degree of hearing loss. This makes your hearing aid more effective at improving your hearing.

How does AI help hearing aids work more effectively?

At first, this might seem a little abstract. Hearing aids do seem to have a basic function, after all. How can adding AI to the mix improve things? Well, you know that row of big knobs and switches that people use to mix music in recording studios? (You’ve most likely seen them in movies.) There’s a little tiny one of those inside of your hearing aid. Altering these settings can produce better quality sound. With hearing aids that are powered by AI, these settings are changed automatically without needing you to do anything.

This AI hearing aid imitates human brain response using a rich neural network. As a result of this, these hearing aids react in real-time to situations without being programmed to deal with them.

This might sound like space-age science, but it’s the same fundamental technology that allows streaming services to recommend programming based on your viewing history. AI is also found in cars and the emails auto-sorted into your inbox. The more you make use of these devices, the more reliable they become at making correct decisions.

AI hearing aids – new advances

Hearing aids these days are helping you hear even better with new advancements in AI technology. Here are some of the best examples:

  • Helping you hear through facemasks: During the pandemic, everyone was masking up, which was good, but definitely made talking with a hearing aid more challenging. AI algorithms can automatically amplify those voices behind the facemask, helping individuals with hearing aids hear better and stay safe at the same time.
  • Edge mode: This is a user initiated, AI assist mode. Essentially, when you have a difficult time hearing, you can activate something known as Edge Mode. This then activates the AI algorithm and the algorithm will start working to make your hearing clearer.
  • Noisy room filters: New AI algorithms can help to filter out room noise in a variety of loud or echo-prone settings. Cross talk, for example, can often be difficult on a hearing aid. But even in a noisy environment, you’ll be able to hear more clearly what the individual across from you is talking about as AI filters out unwanted information.
  • Acoustic environment classification: Unique audio properties come with each specific room you go into. Some of those properties are good for your hearing aids; some are bad for your hearing aids. With AI technology, your hearing aid can effortlessly make automatic adjustments that allow you to hear better in just about any environment.

This is probably only the beginning of the developments scientists and manufacturers are making.

How is AI utilized in the discipline of audiology?

AI has become somewhat of a buzzword these days. Depending on the application, AI does different things, which can sometimes result in confusion. So, what does AI mean for the discipline of audiology?

Making hearing aids even more helpful for patients is one of the first and most evident things that researchers are working on. New technologies, like machine learning and deep neural networks, are a big part of this research. But hearing aids aren’t all there is to it. In the future, AI might be able to help with detecting hearing loss or even helping patients avoid future hearing loss.

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

The advantages of AI-assisted hearing aids

In contrast to some other industries, AI is not being incorporated into hearing aids simply because it’s the popular new thing. Some significant advantages to patients are provided by these machine learning algorithms. Among those advantages are the following:

  • 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 really want to hear.
  • You have more control over how you hear: You can turn on AI or turn it off with most AI-assisted hearing aids. This means hearing aid wearers will have more control over the quality of sound they hear. And this normally means a better all-around hearing experience.
  • Health tracking and fall prevention: If you happen to fall while you’re wearing your hearing aids, your AI-assisted devices might be capable of detecting the significance and seriousness of your tumble. In some cases, these hearing aids may be programmed to automatically alert authorities or loved ones if there is a major fall. AI can also make your health data easier to understand, helping you identify when you should be moving more, eating healthier, or just hydrating more.
  • Social engagement: In terms of dealing with social interaction, individuals who use AI-assisted hearing aids tend to be more successful, according to some studies. This is most likely because the speech they hear is clearer in a wider variety of settings. But that doesn’t automatically mean AI will make-or-break your social life. It probably just helps people better preserve the relationships they already have.

What this means for patients

These benefits often translate into real-world advantages for people who use these AI-assisted hearing aids. Imagine you are having a conversation at a party. An older hearing aid would make everything louder. This isn’t practical because the conversation you actually care about will get drowned out by background noise. An AI hearing aid is intelligent and will be able to identify and boost a person’s voice while lowering undesired noise.

AI will generate a location-by-location program to deal with the various kinds of sounds it picks up. If you go back to a specific location or sound profile, AI can initiate these programs. In order to better define and amplify important sounds, some AI hearing aids are programmed with day-to-day sounds.

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

  • You will feel less frustrated because you will be able to hear better.
  • Your brain will have a reduced cognitive burden.
  • You will have improved quality of life.

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

Cost vs. reward

Because of the costs, AI wasn’t available in most hearing aids until recently. An algorithm is, in fact, a complex math equation. But prices are coming down, partly due to the prevalence of the technology.

This doesn’t mean that every hearing aid you want may have AI, or even that those hearing aids will automatically be less expensive in the near future. Clearly, the decision making is in the hands of the patient. But AI features are becoming more readily obtainable and prevalent.

Finding out what choice is best for you

Hearing aids with AI may be overkill for someone who lives by themselves and stays put a lot. To somebody who is socially active and finds themselves in scenarios with lots of competing sounds, however, it makes a huge difference.

Hearing aids with AI are also helpful for somebody who is quickly worn out in social situations where the task of keeping up with conversations using a traditional hearing aid is exhausting. Social situations are easier and the user will feel less tired with AI hearing aids. When the doorbell rings, or when you have a fall AI technology can alert you or a loved one and it can even track your steps. As technology and AI improve, hearing aids will continue to as well.

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.