What’s the Difference Between Affordable and Cheap Hearing Aids?

Display of over the counter hearing aids at a pharmacy.

It just feels great to find a bargain, right? Getting a good deal can be invigorating, and more gratifying the bigger the bargain. So letting your coupon make your shopping decisions for you, always going after the least expensive items, is all too easy. But chasing a bargain when it comes to buying hearing aids can be a big mistake.

If you need hearing aids to treat hearing loss, going for the “cheapest” option can have health consequences. Avoiding the development of health problems such as depression, dementia, and the danger of a fall is the whole point of using hearing aids in the first place. The key is to find the hearing aid that best suits your lifestyle, your hearing needs, and your budget.

Tips for finding affordable hearing aids

Cheap and affordable aren’t necessarily the same thing. Affordability, and functionality, are what you should be looking for. This will help you stay within your budget while enabling you to find the ideal hearing aids for your personal needs and budget. These tips will help.

You can obtain affordable hearing aids.

Hearing aid’s reputation for being extremely expensive is not always reflected in the reality of the situation. Most manufacturers sell hearing aids in a number of price points and work with financing companies to make their devices more affordable. If you’ve already decided that the most reliable hearing aids are too expensive, you’re probably more inclined to search the bargain bin than look for affordable and effective options, and that can have a long-term, negative impact on your hearing and overall health.

Tip #2: Ask what’s covered

Some or even all of the expense of hearing aids may be covered by your insurance. As a matter of fact, some states require that insurance cover them for both kids and adults. Asking never hurts. There are government programs that often provide hearing aids for veterans.

Tip #3: Look for hearing aids that can be calibrated to your hearing loss

Hearing aids are, in some ways, a lot like prescription glasses. Depending on your sense of fashion, the frame comes in a few options, but the exact prescription differs greatly from person to person. Similarly, hearing aids may look alike cosmetically, but each hearing aid is calibrated to the individual user’s hearing loss needs.

You won’t get the same benefits by grabbing some cheap hearing device from the clearance shelf (or any useful results at all in many cases). These are more like amplifiers that increase the volume of all frequencies, not only the ones you’re having problems hearing. Why is this so important? Hearing loss is often irregular, you can hear some frequencies and voices, but not others. If you boost all frequencies, the ones you have no problem hearing will be too loud. You will probably end up not using this cheap amplification device because it doesn’t resolve your real problem.

Tip #4: Not all hearing aids do the same things

It can be tempting to believe that all of the modern technology in a quality hearing aid is simply “bells and whistles”. But you will need some of that technology to hear sounds clearly. The sophisticated technology in hearing aids can be tuned in to the user’s level of hearing loss. Many modern designs have artificial intelligence that helps block out background noise or connect with each other to help you hear better. Also, selecting a model that fits your lifestyle will be simpler if you factor in where (and why) you’ll be using your hearing aids.

It’s essential, in order to compensate for your hearing loss in a reliable way, that you have some of this technology. A little speaker that turns the volume up on everything is far from the sophistication of a modern hearing aid. And that brings up our last tip.

Tip #5: A hearing amplification device is not a hearing aid

Okay, say this with me: a hearing amplification device is not a hearing aid. If you get nothing else from this article, we hope it’s that. Because the manufacturers of amplification devices have a financial interest in convincing the consumer that their devices work like hearing aids. But that just isn’t the case.

Let’s break it down. A hearing amplification device:

  • Is usually built cheaply.
  • Turns the volume up on all sounds.
  • Provides the user with little more than basic volume controls (if that).

A hearing aid, however:

  • Has long-lasting batteries.
  • Can be programmed with different settings for different locations.
  • Is adjusted specifically to your hearing loss symptoms by a highly qualified hearing specialist.
  • Can be shaped specifically to your ears for maximum comfort.
  • Can minimize background noise.
  • Will help you preserve the health of your hearing.
  • Boosts the frequencies that you have a hard time hearing and leaves the frequencies you can hear alone.
  • Can identify and boost specific sound types (like the human voice).

Your ability to hear is too important to go cheap

Regardless of what your budget is, that budget will determine your options depending on your overall price range.

This is why an affordable solution tends to be the focus. The long-term advantages of hearing aids and hearing loss management are well recognized. This is why an affordable solution is where your attention should be. Just remember that your hearing deserves better than “cheap.”

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.