Understanding your hearing aids

We have found from discussions that we have with our clients that there are a lot of questions raised regarding the types of settings available on hearing aids. We would like to share these with you.

Volume control and hearing aid settings

The majority of behind the ear hearing aids on the NHS have a button on the rear which will allow you to change volume or alternate settings once these facilities have been activated by your NHS hearing aid provider.

  • Volume button – this allows you to alter the volume to make certain environments easier to manage for example, turning the volume down if you walk into a busy shopping centre. Resetting the aid to the optimum volume is as simple as opening and closing the battery compartment.

Most behind the ear NHS hearing aids can be programmed with up to four settings. These vary but the most popular one is the loop or what was originally called the T switch or telecoil. Here are some of the settings you can ask for:


This is the main setting on your hearing aid, this is standard

Loop or Telecoil (often referred as the T switch)

This switches off your microphones and will allow you to hear sound transmitted directly to your aids from an external source. This is ideal in places like banks and government buildings which can be extremely busy. You can also use loop facilities in theatres, cinemas and in places of worship. There is also equipment available that can allow you to hear the television directly into your hearing aids and some phones also work best using this setting as it improves clarity.

Loop & Microphone

Whereas the loop programme cuts off the microphones allowing you hear more clearly. This setting allows you to use a television loop device and still hear conversation and other sounds such as the doorbell and telephone, making the experience less isolating.

Directional microphones

Modern hearing aids can adapt to your environment but sometimes this is not enough, making certain settings very difficult such as going to the pub, visiting a busy restaurant, going shopping or travelling on public transport. One of the settings on the hearing aid could be adapted to switch off the rear microphone, giving you more focus on sounds in front of you.

Music setting

If you are a fan of music but you find that your hearing aids produce a sound which is too artificial or “tinny” (often so that speech can be clearer), then you can ask for a music setting which will allow you to hear a more natural sound when you are listening to music.

There may be a very valid reason why your hearing aid doesn’t have volume control or settings. Sometimes these can be a bit fiddly and may not suit some people or if you are new to hearing aids then you need to get used to the optimum volume as you may have become used to hearing at a lot lower volume due to your hearing loss.

If you have any queries about which settings would suit you then please speak to your audiologist or give us a call.

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