New guide demystifies hearing aid features

By Clint McLean

When you work with hearing aids every day, it is easy to forget that, to our clients, some features can sound like they were pulled from the pages of a sci-fi novel. Beamforming. Environmental adaptation. T-coil. Data logging.

These unfamiliar names can make it difficult for consumers to research possible options when in the market for new hearing aids. And it’s unrealistic to expect audiologists to explain every feature or possibility across multiple devices and brands.

But a new resource from National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) offers a solution that puts knowledge in the hands of consumers.

The new NALguide, Hearing aid features explained, is a cheat sheet of common terms and features consumers may come across when considering devices. The guide is organized into six categories, with explanations and related words for everything from binaural directionality to remote programming. It makes a great first stop for people to get an overview of possibilities and a sense of which options are of interest to them.

Of course, every brand has their own preferred — and usually trademarked — term for each feature, so it will often be up to the HCP to translate those feature wishes into the appropriate devices(s). But when used ahead of an appointment with their hearing care professional (HCP), the guide could put important information into consumers’ hands and let them truly partner with their HCP on choosing the device that is right for them.

Find the guide here on the NAL website.