The word “cheap” carries dual meanings. On the one hand, it implies affordability, a smart option for a budget-conscious individual. But we’ve all heard the saying “You get what you pay for”, and in this case, the word “cheap” indicates low-quality hearing aids.
Unfortunately, deciding if you’re getting a great value from whether you’re getting a very low-quality device can be tricky. When it comes to hearing aids, this couldn’t be more relevant.
With hearing aids, the axiom “you get what you pay for” is especially valid. This doesn’t necessarily imply going for the top-tier option, but rather, looking closely at offerings that boast a price tag too enticing to be authentic. Companies marketing inexpensive hearing devices frequently leave out important details about their products that customers should know about.
Cheaper hearing aids are basically only amplifiers
Increasing the overall volume is usually the only thing cheap “hearing aids” are capable of. When you merely amplify everything, the sounds you want to hear better are amplified but so are undesirable background noise you don’t want.
If everything is louder, it totally defeats the purpose of having a hearing aid.
A modern state-of-the-art hearing aid, in comparison, does much more than simply crank up the volume. It decreases background sound while expertly managing sound and enhancing clarity. Authentic hearing aids simulate natural hearing with great accuracy and are custom tuned to your particular hearing needs.
PSAPs vs. Hearing Aids
The Food and Drug Administration has written guidelines for those who sell hearing devices and have strict rules as to what can be labeled hearing aids.
Regrettably, there are many devices out there that market themselves as hearing aids when they’re actually personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named this because they can only amplify sound.
Most reputable companies comply. But you may find some uninformed salespeople or products on Amazon or eBay that mislead consumers into thinking that these devices meet the definition of a hearing aid. You may even find some that claim that they’re FDA-approved when that’s actually false.
They aren’t inclusive for most kinds of hearing loss
The majority of individuals who lose their hearing will gradually lose specific frequencies of sound before others. For instance, you might have no trouble hearing a man with a low voice, but have difficulty with a woman’s or child’s voice, finding it challenging to comprehend.
You get total amplification with cheap hearing aids. But simply turning up the overall volume will not be adequate for individuals who have a tough time hearing particular frequencies. And turning the overall volume up could result in additional damage to your hearing because the frequencies you don’t have trouble with will be booming in your ears.
High-quality hearing aids offer a solution by being programmable to make up for the loss of specific frequencies. They provide a more personalized hearing experience by shifting frequencies you can’t hear very well to frequencies you hear better.
You might get a lot of feedback
You won’t get a custom fit with cheap hearing aids. A feedback loop is often the consequence of poorly fitting hearing aids. The microphone picks up the sound from the speaker in your ear as it wiggles around. What does this sound like? An ear-shattering screech.
They normally won’t help you on your cellphone
Functionality is often sacrificed when opting for budget devices, and this holds true for lots of inexpensive hearing aids lacking Bluetooth capability. The lack of Bluetooth becomes critical when considering phone connectivity. Attempting to amplify a cheap hearing aid while on the phone leads to capturing not just the caller’s voice but also the sounds of your ear, lips, clothing, and hair brushing against the phone, making it even more difficult to hear the person on the other end.
More sophisticated hearing aids are digital and use Bluetooth connectivity to connect directly to your phone. Overall communication and clarity will be improved so you can be certain you will hear your daughter’s voice on the phone.
They were never meant to treat hearing loss
The majority of people would most likely be surprised by this. PSAPs were never designed for individuals with hearing loss. They were made to help people who have fairly good hearing hear things a little louder.
If you have very mild hearing loss then cheap devices may help a little. But people who actually need hearing aids won’t find these cheaper devices very useful.
Where can you get quality affordable hearing aids?
There are many ways to get hearing aids affordably. Insurance or other third parties might cover them. There are also affordable brands, leasing plans, and financing possibilities. If you think you have hearing loss, begin by getting checked out. Make an appointment with us so we can help you find the best and most affordable hearing aids for your level and type of hearing loss.