AI and Hearing Aids – The Synergy

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

When somebody mentions artificial intelligence (AI), it might conjure thoughts of your favorite sci-fi movie. But today, AI is a reality that we all need to get accustomed to. With regard to hearing aids, this is particularly true. Gone is the time of one-size-fits-all hearing aids that just increase the volume of sounds around you. AI is at the root of modern hearing aids.

What is artificial intelligence?

AI is a form of technology that uses sophisticated algorithms to generate new results from inputs of data. AI is capable of using an algorithm to engage in a type of learning called “machine learning”. Once the algorithm is working correctly, there’s no need to “program” the AI to produce each individual result.

In the case of hearing aids, AI algorithms can help your hearing aids adapt to your personal needs depending on your behaviors, lifestyle, habits, and level of hearing loss. Your hearing aids will be more effective at increasing your ability to hear as a result.

How can AI help hearing aids work more effectively?

At first, this could seem a bit abstract. Hearing aids do seem to have a straightforward function, after all. How can things be improved by adding AI to the mix? Well, you know that row of big knobs and buttons that people use to mix music in recording studios? (You’ve probably seen them in movies.) Your hearing aid includes one of those! (It’s minuscule.) Better sound quality can be obtained by altering these settings. AI-powered hearing aids change these digital dials and switches automatically, enhancing the way you hear without any work on your part.

This AI hearing aid imitates human brain response using a rich neural network. Without even being programmed to, these devices react to real-time conditions because of this.

This is the same technology that lets streaming services recommend movies based on your viewing history, though it most likely sounds like futuristic technology initially. AI is also found in cars and the emAIls auto-sorted into your inbox. The more you use these devices, the more reliable they become at making correct decisions.

New advancements in AI hearing aids

Hearing aids nowadays are helping you hear even better with new developments in AI technology. Some of the best instances include the following:

  • Edge mode: This is an assist mode which can be initiated by the user. Basically, when you have a hard time hearing, you can activate something called Edge Mode. This then triggers the AI algorithm and the algorithm will get to work trying to make your hearing clearer.
  • Helping you hear through facemasks: Conversations were definitely more difficult during the pandemic when everybody was wearing a facemask. AI algorithms can automatically amplify those voices behind the facemask, helping those with hearing aids hear better and remain safe at the same time.
  • 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 example, can often be difficult on a hearing aid. But even in a loud environment, you’ll be capable of hearing more clearly what the person across from you is saying as AI filters out unwanted information.
  • Acoustic environment classification: Every room you go into has its own distinctive acoustic characteristics. Some of those qualities are good for your hearing aids; some are bad for your hearing aids. You will hear better in just about any environment with AI technology making practical automatic adjustments.

Hearing aid producers and scientists are continuously innovating new hearing aid technologies, so this may be just the beginning.

AI for the discipline of audiology

AI has become somewhat of a buzzword these days. Everybody’s heard it, which is okay, but the trouble is that AI does different things depending on the applications. So, what does AI mean for the field of audiology?

Making hearing aids even more helpful for patients is one of the first and most evident things that researchers are tackling. New technologies, such as machine learning and deep neural networks, are included in this research. But hearing aids aren’t all there is to it. In the future, AI might be able to help with diagnosing hearing loss or even helping patients prevent future hearing loss.

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

The benefits of AI-assisted hearing aids

AI is being integrated into hearing aids not because it’s the hot new fad, unlike other industries. These machine learning algorithms provide some considerable benefits to patients. Among those benefits are the following:

  • Health tracking and fall prevention: If you happen to fall while you’re wearing your hearing aids, your AI-assisted devices may be able to detect the significance and seriousness of your tumble. In some cases, these hearing aids may be programmed to automatically notify authorities or loved ones in the event of a severe fall. Should you be drinking more water, exercising more, eating healthier? AI can make your health data easier to understand.
  • You have more control over how you hear: Many AI-assisted hearing aids give you the option to turn off those algorithms. This means hearing aid wearers will have more control over the clarity of sound they hear. And this normally means a better all-around hearing experience.
  • Helping you listen to devices: Microphones from cell phones, speaker phones, televisions, and other array devices can cause your hearing aids to feedback. This feedback can be filtered out by machine learning algorithms so the sound you actually want to hear is the only sound you will hear.
  • Social engagement: With regard to managing social interaction, individuals who utilize AI-assisted hearing aids tend to be more successful, according to some research. The speech that they hear will be clearer in a wide variety of settings, which most likely accounts for better social interaction. Having said that, it’s not entirely clear that AI is the defining factor in keeping your social life afloat. 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 individuals who use these AI-assisted hearing aids. Imagine you were at a party having a discussion. If you had an older-style hearing aid, it would just boost the volume up. This isn’t helpful because the conversation you actually care about will get drowned out by background noise. With AI, the hearing aid can listen to the noise around you and respond the way your brain would, dulling background noise and focusing on your friends’ voices.

AI will create a location-by-location program to address the various types of sounds it detects. If you return to a specific location or sound profile, AI can initiate these algorithms. Other hearing aids with AI are programmed with everyday sounds in order to better define and amplify important sounds.

Here are some other practical benefits to AI-assisted hearing aids:

  • You won’t be aggravated because you can’t hear (at least, not as frequently).
  • The cognitive burden will be decreased.
  • Your quality of life will get better.

You will be able to spend time with friends again, watch your favorite shows, and take good care of your brain, in other words.

Cost vs. reward

There was a time when AI wasn’t offered in the vast majority of hearing aids due to the costs involved. An algorithm is, in fact, an intricate math equation. However, partially because of the preponderance of the technology, prices for AI hearing aids are beginning to go down.

That isn’t saying that those hearing aids will absolutely come down in price soon and you still might wind up wanting a model that doesn’t include AI capabilities. Obviously, the decision making is in the hands of the patient. But AI features are becoming more widely available and prevalent.

Deciding what’s best for you

For someone who lives alone and doesn’t go out much, hearing aids with AI might not be worth the extra cost. But AI makes a huge difference for people who are socially involved and go out into loud situations a lot.

For somebody who uses traditional hearing aids and still gets fatigued easily in social scenarios, AI hearing aids would be really helpful. AI-powered hearing aids decrease the listener’s fatigue and make social situations more enjoyable. AI technology can also send alerts to your phone when the doorbell rings, alert others that you have fallen, and track your steps. Hearing aids will continue to improve as AI technology improves.

How can AI technology help you? Give us a call to schedule an appointment!


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.