Affordable or Cheap Hearing Aids – What’s the Difference?

Display of over the counter hearing aids at a pharmacy.

Saving money just feels good, right? Getting a good deal can be invigorating, and more gratifying the better the bargain. So letting your coupon make your buying decisions for you, always chasing after the least expensive products, is all too easy. When it comes to buying a pair of hearing aids, chasing a bargain can be a big mistake.

If you require hearing aids to treat hearing loss, choosing the “cheapest” option can have health repercussions. After all, the entire point of using hearing aids is to be able to hear clearly and to prevent health problems associated with hearing loss including cognitive decline, depression, and an increased risk of falls. Choosing the correct hearing aid to suit your hearing needs, lifestyle, and budget is the trick.

Tips for choosing affordable hearing aids

Cheap and affordable aren’t always the same thing. Affordability, and functionality, are what you should be keeping your eye on. This will help you keep within your budget while allowing you to find the correct hearing aids for your personal requirements and budget. These tips will help.

Tip #1: Research before you buy: Affordable hearing aids exist

Hearing aids have a reputation for taking a toll on your wallet, a reputation, however, is not always reflected by reality. Most hearing aid makers will partner with financing companies to make the device more budget friendly and also have hearing aids in a variety of prices. If you’ve started searching the bargain bin for hearing aids because you’ve already decided that really good effective models are too expensive, it could have serious health consequences.

Tip #2: Find out what your insurance will cover

Insurance might cover some or all of the expenses associated with getting a hearing aid. Some states, in fact, have laws requiring insurance companies to cover hearing aids for kids or adults. Asking never hurts. There are government programs that often supply hearing aids for veterans.

Tip #3: Your hearing loss is unique – choose hearing aids that can calibrate to your hearing needs

In some ways, your hearing aids are a lot like prescription glasses. The frame is rather universal (depending on your sense of fashion, of course), but the prescription is calibrated for your particular needs. Similarly, hearing aids might look the same 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, in many cases, results that are even remotely helpful). These are more like amplification devices that increase the volume of all frequencies, not just the ones you’re having problems hearing. Why is this so significant? Hearing loss is usually irregular, you can hear certain frequencies and sounds, but not others. If you make it loud enough to hear the frequencies that are low, you’ll make it painful in the frequencies you can hear without amplification. Simply put, it doesn’t really solve the problem and you’ll end up not using the cheaper device.

Tip #4: Not all hearing aids have the same features

It can be tempting to think that all of the modern technology in a good hearing aid is just “bells and whistles”. The problem is that if you wish to hear sounds properly (sounds such as, you know, bells and whistles), you probably need some of that technology. The sophisticated technology in hearing aids can be tuned in to the user’s level of hearing loss. Background sound can be filtered out with many of these modern designs and some can connect with each other. Additionally, considering where (and why) you’ll be using your aids will help you decide on a model that fits your lifestyle.

It’s crucial, in order to compensate for your hearing loss in a reliable way, that you have some of this technology. Hearing aids are much more sophisticated than a basic, tiny speaker that amplifies everything. Which brings us to our last tip.

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

Okay, repeat after me: A hearing aid is not the same thing as an amplification device. If you get nothing else from this article, we hope it’s that. Because hearing amplification devices try very hard to make you think they work the same way as a hearing aid for a fraction of the cost. But that simply isn’t true.

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

  • Gives the user the ability to control the basic volume but that’s about all.
  • Turns up the volume on all sounds.
  • Is usually built cheaply.

A hearing aid, conversely:

  • Will help you safeguard the health of your hearing.
  • Can create maximum comfort by being molded to your ear.
  • Can reduce background noise.
  • Has batteries that are long lasting.
  • Can identify and boost specific sound types (like the human voice).
  • Is tuned to amplify only the frequencies you have trouble hearing.
  • Has highly skilled specialists that program your hearing aids to your hearing loss symptoms.
  • Has the capability to adjust settings when you change locations.

Your hearing deserves better than cheap

Everybody has a budget, and that budget is going to restrict your hearing aid choices no matter what price range you’re looking in.

That’s why we tend to highlight the affordable part of this. When it comes to hearing loss, the long term benefits of hearing loss treatment and hearing aids is well documented. That’s why you should work on an affordable solution. 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.