A pair of RITE open dome hearing aids beside a strawberry
It helps to have a basic understanding of the more important hearing aid features available
A pair of RITE open dome hearing aids beside a strawberry
It helps to have a basic understanding of the more important hearing aid features available

Hearing aid features explained

Different models and manufacturers have their strengths and weaknesses, so choosing the best solution requires some understanding of the trade-offs involved. It is important, however, not to get too caught up in comparing detailed specifications as they may not compare well across brands.

Your Audiologist will guide you through these considerations.

On this page

  1. Bluetooth wireless connectivity to TVs and other devices
  2. Waterproof sports models
  3. Channels
  4. Directionality
  5. Ear-to-ear communication
  6. Bandwidth
  7. Programs
  8. Life learning
  9. Remote control
  10. Rechargeable batteries

Bluetooth wireless connectivity to TVs and other devices

Bluetooth is the wireless technology that connects phones to cars and the cordless hands-free things that you see stuck in businessmen's ears downtown. This same technology is available to stream sounds from many different devices straight to your hearing aid (see figure below).

Imagine watching TV: your spouse thinks it's too loud, but you think it's impossible to hear. Just turn on your streamer and adjust the volume with your streamer remote and the sound goes up - but only in your ears, delivered via your hearing aids. This is amazing technology in a very small package.

A diagram showing hearing aids connected to a phone, computer, mp3 player, radio and TV via the hearing aid streamer remote control device

Waterproof sports models

The past 2 years have seen waterproof, sweatproof, dustproof, shockproof models become available. If you lead an active lifestyle and value flexibility in the circumstances you can use your hearing aid, these may be the right choice for you. As an example, check out the Siemens Aquaris [external link].


Each channel in a hearing aid can be tailored to a specific sound frequency range. More channels provide increased flexibility for your Audiologist when personalising your hearing aid.


Microphone directionality provides dramatically improved hearing especially in background noise situations. All modern hearing aids have directional microphones, but some adapt better in complex situations.

Ear-to-ear communication

Over 80% of hearing aid users are fitted binaurally, meaning an aid is worn in each ear. E2E or 'ear-to-ear' enables the aids to communicate with each other, improving hearing quality. Ignore this feature if you will wear a hearing aid in one ear only.


The range of sound frequencies capable of being amplified by the hearing aid.


These are the ‘situational pre-sets’ programmed into your aid. For example, you might have separate programs for restaurants, business meetings, phone conversations and music appreciation. Programs are selected manually or automatically, depending on the aid.

Life learning

Everyone’s life involves a different mix of hearing situations. This feature lets your hearing aid remember your mix, and adapt itself accordingly.

Remote control

Do you like having full control over volume and programs? Some people love this, while others want the hearing aid to automatically adapt to their surroundings.

Rechargeable batteries

Some people like the convenience of charging their aids like a mobile phone, while others prefer the flexibility of disposable batteries.