Through the use of sound amplification, both analog hearing aids and digital hearing aids can better your hearing. The way the sound is handled is the major difference between the 2. Analog hearing aids employ three steps in the sound amplification process. initially, sounds are captured via a microphone. Secondly, the sound is turned up through an amplifier. Lastly, the sounds are delivered to your ear through a speaker. With digital hearing aids, a 4th step is added to the process. With digital hearing aids, sound is collected, amplified, and then PROCESSED prior to being delivered to your ear through a speaker.
The processing is what makes digital superior to analog. The processing is done by a small computer inside the hearing aid which manipulates the sound. The processing can adjust the sounds in a number of ways. Volume can be increased or decreased. Noise reduction can get rid of various sounds from the background. Each frequency can even be adjusted in much the same way as a stereo equalizer.
Programming can simply be done to digital hearing aids to adjust for particular hearing losses. So, if your hearing deteriorates further over time, the hearing aid can be reprogrammed to meet your new hearing loss. The programming can even be adjusted for selected ranges in sound. This versatility is the reason digital hearing aids are superior to analog. Nothing is carved in stone with digital hearing aids. It can be like having 100 hearing aids in one when you have a digital hearing aid. Analog hearing aids cannot adjust to your hearing loss over time, but digital hearing aids can.
Because of the added features of digital another difference is price. Since analog hearing aids can only make sounds louder or softer, they are cheaper in the short term. On the other hand, digital hearing aids, being much more versatile, are a better long term buy. With reasonable care and regular cleaning digital hearing aids should keep going for a lot of years.
High end digital models can be several thousand a pair, whereas cheap hearing aids that are digital can cost under $500. I'm sure the benefits of digital versus analog hearing aids are now clear despite differences in cost.