Hearing Aid Glossary


The audiogram is a graph on which the hearing professional records a patient’s auditory threshold by frequency. The audiogram is used initially to program the hearing device prior to fitting.

Compression Amplification

Compression amplification is designed to automatically reduce or compress the volume of sound when the loudness of sound causes discomfort to the wearer.

Digital Hearing Aid

Digital hearing aids are uniquely able to process and separate out troublesome background noise while simultaneously enhancing critical speech signals necessary for understanding. Because a more precise prescription is possible, your Hearing Professional will be able to bring you closer to normal hearing than is possible with traditional analog instruments.

Directional Microphone

A directional microphone is more sensitive to sounds originating in front of the wearer, thereby enhancing the reception and understanding by the hearing aid wearer.


A decibel is a unit for measuring and describing sound intensity or loudness.


Feedback is the annoying squeal or whistling that is produced when the microphone picks up an amplified signal from the receiver and amplifies it again. Modern Feedback Cancellation Managers effectively eliminate feedback.


The amount in dB that the incoming signal is increased to match the patient’s hearing loss.


The microphone converts the incoming analog sound signal into electrical energy that can be utilized by the digital processing circuit to digitally modify the signal, according to the hearing loss characteristics of the wearer.

Multi-channel Technology

A hearing aid with multi-channel circuitry processes the incoming sound into separate and unique bands, then independently adjusts the sound intensity in each band. The result is a hearing aid that more successfully meets the prescriptive hearing needs of the wearer.

Open-fit Hearing Aids

This style of hearing aid is designed to eliminate occlusion in the ear canal, which results in a more natural and comfortable listening experience.


The hearing aid receiver converts the modified electrical signal from the digital processing circuit back into an analog sound signal that is then directed into the ear through the receiver port.


A telecoil is a specialized component inside a hearing device that can provide significant benefit to people with hearing loss. A telecoil picks up only the electromagnetic signal emitted by the telephone handset to make it easier for the wearer to hear clearly on the telephone.

Volume Control

The volume control is a feature that allows the hearing aid wearer to manually adjust the amount of gain necessary to meet their needs. A volume control can also take the form of a potentiometer or hand-held remote control. Typically located on the faceplate of a custom device or on the spine of a RIC or BTE hearing aid.