Programmable Hearing Aids

Programmable hearing aids are a step up in technology from conventional hearing aids. These instruments have an analog circuit that can be adjusted (programmed) by your hearing healthcare professional on a computer. This allows for greater flexibility and fine-tuning of the hearing aids to the patient's needs. They also feature automatic volume control.

Programmable hearing instruments offer an improvement in technology and sound from conventional hearing instruments. Although programmable hearing aids can be adjusted by a computer, they do not offer the degree of flexibility or the fast processing that a digital hearing instrument has.

Programmable hearing aids - introduction

Professionals order programmable hearing aids by selecting which manufacturer and which programmable circuit they think will work best with the patient's hearing loss and lifestyle. When the hearing health care professional receives a programmable instrument from the manufacturer, the professional connects the hearing instrument to a computer and sets a listening program in the hearing aid based upon the patient's hearing loss. While being fit with the hearing aids, the patient reports likes/dislikes to the professional for immediate changes. Since everyone has different needs and a different hearing loss, it can take a few follow-up visits to set the program where it matches the patient's needs. Most programmable hearing aids have automatic volume control so the patient only needs to wear the instruments and listen.

If changes in a person's hearing should occur, adjustments can be made to the listening program by the hearing health care professional in the office.

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How programmable hearing aids work

Many programmable hearing aids are easy to wear and some automatically adjust volume based on the level of the incoming sound. This circuitry automatically makes soft sounds louder and loud sounds softer. The microphone gathers the sound information. The amplifier makes adjustments to the sound based on the program the professional set in the hearing aid. The receiver (speaker) then transmits the altered sound to your ear.

Hearing health care professionals can make adjustments to the sound quality of these instruments through re-programming.

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Costs of programmable hearing aids

Programmable hearing aids are a great choice when the patient does not want to compromise quality but cannot afford the more advanced digital hearing instruments. They range from $1300 to $1700.

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Other types of hearing aids

Hearing aid styles

Conventional hearing aids
Programmable hearing aids
Digital hearing aids
Disposable hearing aids
Completely-in-the-canal (CIC)
In-the-canal (ITC)
In-the-ear (ITE)
Behind-the-ear (BTE)


To download a Free Hearing Aid Buyer's Guide, click here. For more information about hearing loss and hearing aid help, please contact us at 1-800-866-6240 or email us.