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Thread: What is it about analog sound you like best?

  1. #21
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    When I used to listen (before my hearing became kaput) to analog vs digital I was convinced that analog filtered the rough edges of most musical instruments like for example the hiss of a violin. Ed

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    I find that my analog Acoustitone Pros sound more natural and open than my digital Phonak Xtras, even though my speech comprehension is somewhat better with the Phonaks. If you wear hearing aids all day and overall sound quality is important like it is for me as opposed to mainly speech comprehensibility, then I think analogs are superior. There is a lot more to hearing than merely understanding speech, especially if you are visually impaired like me. Gerald
    You could put your current analogue aids into a test box in order for their behaviour to be precisely measured.

    A pair of digital aids could then be programmed to 100% match your existing aids.

    You would not be able to tell the difference, as the 'clone' would be a 100% 'workalike' of your current analogue aids.

    There is no 'magic analogue genie' in analogue aids - it's just that digital aids WILL sound different because of the way they are normally programmed. You WOULD expect improvements & differences in circuits & systems after 15 years of digital aid development.

    Sure, you can tell the digitals to emulate 15 year old technology - but why would you want to do this?

    Note: In reality there are a few cases when I will do this for clients : if someone has grown up with plain analogues from a young age then their brain is totally wired for analogue aid sound input. It is very hard for someone who has had analogue aids from the age of 5 all the way to say 50 to unlearn the analogue sound. This is however a brain & education issue and not a fault in the design of modern hearing aids.
    Last edited by EnglishDispenser; 11-28-2011 at 04:39 PM.
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  3. #23
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    That is very interesting ... makes sense.
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  4. #24

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    I think it is important to understand that all sound is analog, even if it comes out of a digital aid.

    Further, as another poster mentioned, there is no magic genie in an analog aid, and a good digital aid could reproduce the exact sound of an analog aid if you wanted it to.

    But that would be like me setting the new LED TV I just bought to black and white, and then turning the sharpness down so my HD looked like SD. Why would I do that?

    It should be possible with all patients to transition them from an analog aid to a digital, provide a sound that they like, and still provide additional benefits of digital technology (for example feedback cancellation).

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    I think it is important to understand that all sound is analog
    To be painfully pedantic, err, no. Sound is quantised - Google 'phonon'.
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnglishDispenser View Post
    To be painfully pedantic, err, no. Sound is quantised - Google 'phonon'.
    Aye, the output of a class-D receiver is a demodulation of a pulse-width modulated signal.
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  7. #27

    Default Love analog hearing aids! Hi technology not for everyone!

    I'm 71 & began wearing 1 aid in mid 30s, wearing 2 aids in 40s. I have hi frequency loss [all in my family have same loss]. For me, analog aids have a much more natural sound with no delays or processing as digitals. I'm in process of getting new aids & the hi tech aids are "pushed" on customers. Digitals give me headache, ear aches, make my head spinn & even affect my vision. Audiologists do not seem to understand why, making me feel very "whimpy" & they continue to tell me to just keep trying to adjust to the problems of digitals. Not everyone wants their lives dictated by hi technology & learn to work all the gadgets that accompany digital aids. I crave the natural sounds of my voice & the families voices. I don't like the delays in changing/processing of the digitals. Analog are just more comfortable, kinda like my old 'jammies. It's difficult to explain to anyone not hard of hearing, but I compare digital to getting the latest hi tech computer system with glare & learning new systems when Windows 98 looks beautiful & does the simple tasks necessary [I have both due to working & W'98 is still my favorite & most beautiful screen]. In short, analog much more resembles natural hearing with much less hassle [especially for we seniors] than the digital. Digital is too challenging for me & does not offer better hearing in return. I want to relax & enjoy life, not constantly learning new technology which give me headache, earache, balance problems/etc. Most important to me also, is control with an on/off switch & volume control. Digitals want to think for me. I want to think for myself & be in control of my hearing/life. I think the reason there are not more responses to this thread is that most of us who are hearing impaired don't realize all the information online and/or be in denial. Hearing impaired persons are twice as tired at the end of the day as so much energy is used just to hear/understand speech & we probably do not sit in front of a computer as much. I do a lot of online research, but only research hearing when I have a problem. I need to stay updated so I won't get so stressed out when time to get new aids/problems. I do hope the values of analog aids will be noticed & more analog aids made available to consumers. Probably not enough profit for this to happen though. Hi tech=hi $$$.

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    We all tend to crave for The Good Old Days .... but we simply can't block 'progress'.

    Digital technology, mobile phones, Facebook, the Web, bad manners, junk food are now unavoidable.

    However your point about digital hearing aid processing delays is valid - there is no delay in analogue aids.

    Nevertheless the effect of any processing delay will be minimal - it is of the order of 8 milliseconds.

    It might - just might - be detectable in the case of open fits or in the case of a single aid being worn.

    However open fit analogue aids are very, very rare.

    So if you wear just ONE digital aid AND you have hearing in BOTH ears then you MIGHT possibly notice odd effects ... mainly in left-right localisation.

    From your post you it seems that you simply don't like technology ... fair enough, but it will colour your views of digital hearing aids.

    You also seem averse to over-processed sound. Some users indeed do not like this aspect of digital processing ... BUT ... be aware that digital aids can usually be programmed to be much 'calmer' if required.

    Perhaps a solution would be to release digital aids which are specially tailored for ex-analogue users? (The old GN Resound Metrix digital aids fitted this niche perfectly : good digital processing ... but NOT over processed)

    One thing is for sure, analogue aids are finished, over, history.

    I can't speak for the USA, but here in the UK digital technology has taken over almost everything: digital radio broadcasting, digital TV broadcasting, digital mobile phones, digital cordless phones, digital car ignition systems, digital everything.

    Hearing aids aren't excluded from this major social / cultural/ technological change.
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  9. #29
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    I disagree with the statement that a digital hearing aid can 100% be programmed to sound like an analog... This is simply too many variables in perception of sound to make this accurate.

    However, there seems to be a decent selection of high power digital hearing aids and even regular power digital hearing aids that are able to mimic the sound of the analog hearing aids. The primary issue with digital hearing aids seems to be rooted in the programming of them.

    After studying this analog vs. digital problem for quite some time, I have learned that digital hearing aids sound unnatural to the experienced analog user due to the fact of underamplification. Those of us who have used/programmed analog hearing aids will remember that the hearing aids initially came set for full range sound as per our prescribed matricies. Most times, after adjusting the trimpots the sound did not vastly change. It still sounded quite nice and normal even to the non-hearing impaired ear.

    Today's digital hearing aids are capable of so much more and this is their achillies heel for the analog user. First fit programming generally will underpower low frequencies, which makes for an unpleasant and unnatural sound (generally described as a tinny sound). Gain handles require to be turned up 50% or more in the low frequencies to make the sound palatable for these users.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by HearingAidHelper; 12-04-2011 at 09:20 AM.
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  10. Default

    I disagree with the statement that a digital hearing aid can 100% be programmed to sound like an analog... This is simply too many variables in perception of sound to make this accurate.
    Sorry, incorrect.

    and even regular power digital hearing aids that are able to mimic the sound of the analog hearing aids. The primary issue with digital hearing aids seems to be rooted in the programming of them.
    Huh? This contradicts your first comment.

    It still sounded quite nice and normal even to the non-hearing impaired ear.
    You mean: especially to the non-hearing impaired ear.

    Ordinary ears love old aid designs ... as they use LINEAR technology which has now been superceded by NON linear technology.

    First fit programming generally will underpower low frequencies, which makes for an unpleasant and unnatural sound (generally described as a tinny sound). Gain handles require to be turned up 50% or more in the low frequencies to make the sound palatable for these users.
    No, first fit settings are designed to give an OPTIMAL setting. However if you are used to primitive analogue technology then you will miss the (unrequired) bass that they used to give you.

    However, as you point out, we can 'bend' the aid settings away from optimum so that they sound primitive. It's your call : you're the paying customer.
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