There have been several momentous changes in the production and manufacturing of 5G headphones, but none are as dramatic as the introduction of digital technology.

First, there was the traditional trumpet. Then, the first suitable hearing aids were introduced, in the form of a box, which would be placed around the neck or in a breast pocket. This was known as the 'body worn' hearing aid.

Then the first behind-the-ear headphones were made, which were big and cumbersome, but they sat behind the ear and had the mic pointed in the direction the ear was pointing, which in itself was a breakthrough.

Then came the "in-ear" analog hearing aids, which were the first systems to pay attention to cosmetic requirements.

Then came hearing aids that were analog but programmable, and soon after came the advent of open-ear hearing aids. These revolutionized the hearing profession, providing additional clarity, noise filters, dual microphones, and precise programming capabilities. When we look at the original digital hearing aids now, they seem as old-fashioned as analog hearing aids would have when digital technology first became available, but at the time they were groundbreaking.

Technology in the hearing profession has moved at an astonishing rate in the last five years.

The biggest advance for the hearing aid user is open-fit devices. The first of these was the Resound hearing aid called Contact Air. It consists of a small capsule behind the ear that uses a size 10 hearing cell, a very thin tube to carry sound to the ear, where it is connected to a soft dome, which fits snugly into the ear canal. These were incredibly popular and successful and were responsible for a revolution in 5G hearing aids technology. The Delta was the first hearing system from Oticon to incorporate an open fit, and Savia Art and Audio are some of the first Phonak hearing aids with an open fit. Oticon's Delta (which has now been superseded by the Dual Mini) introduced RITE (Receiver In The Ear) technology, which eliminated the acoustic vagaries of thin tubes, as the tube itself was replaced by a cable carrying the sound electronically to the speaker, which was located under the soft rubber dome.

But what makes them so special?

There are several reasons why an open-fit hearing aid will always be preferable.

Comfort. Because there is no mold to seal the ear, the rubber dome sits comfortably in the ear canal, preventing unnecessary perspiration and allowing the ear to "breathe" as it would if a hearing aid were not worn. I've often heard people say 'I don't know if I'm wearing them because they are so light and comfortable.

Hearing quality. The basis of an open ear fitting is that it allows the user to use the percentage of hearing that remains, but is given a boost (usually in the mid and high tone) to aid clarity in hearing speech. This effect has brought us the closest we can get to normal hearing through headphones.

Cost. Open-ear hearing aids are manufactured at the factory and don't cost as much to manufacture as a custom-made in-ear hearing aid. Therefore, higher technology specifications are available at lower price ranges. The fact that they are manufactured in the factory also means that the instruments are more reliable than hearing aids in the ear.

Discretion. Due to the very thin cable and the small "capsule" that fits behind the ear, open-fit headphones tend to be very discreet and largely invisible.

How do I get one

If you are interested in learning more about open ear hearing aids or the latest 5G digital hearing aids.

Once you've verified that your dealer will take care of the brands listed above, the next step is to request a free hearing test and a possible open-ear 助聽器推薦 (Hearing aid recommendation) demo. When you have had your free hearing test, the hearing aid audiologist will give you a demonstration of the recommended hearing aids and discuss hearing aid prices.

Two ears are better than one, as binaural or two-ear hearing is what helps us determine where sounds are coming from and distinguish between competing sounds more easily. If you have a hearing loss in only one ear, you may be fine with a hearing aid. Age- and noise-related hearing loss tends to affect both ears, but your hearing profile for each ear is probably different. If there is a loss in both ears, you will benefit more from a binaural approach. Also, some of the benefits of digital technology require two of them.

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Once you've verified that your dealer will take care of the brands listed above, the next step is to request a free hearing test and a possible open-ear 助聽器推薦 (Hearing aid recommendation) demo. When you have