The word “cheap” carries dual meanings. For anyone on a tight budget, it means “affordability”. Conversely, it implies low-quality, turning a seemingly economical purchase into a not-so-smart choice, epitomized by the saying “You get what you pay for”.
Unfortunately, determining whether you’re getting a great deal from whether you’re purchasing a really low-quality device can be difficult. This is particularly relevant in the realm of hearing aids.
With hearing aids, the saying “you get what you pay for” rings particularly valid. This means eliminating the devices that are priced in the “too good to be true” zone, not necessarily going for the most expensive choice. Customers need to be aware that important information is often excluded from the marketing campaigns of cheap hearing aids.
Cheaper hearing aids are pretty much only amplifiers
Cheap “hearing aids” typically provide minimal functionality, mainly amplifying or reducing overall volume. If you amplify the volume to hear the TV better, you’ll also get background noises like the dishwasher, a fan in another room, a barking dog, or the sound of your house shoes going across the floor.
If everything is louder, it completely defeats the purpose of having a hearing aid.
A contemporary state-of-the-art hearing aid, in contrast, does much more than simply crank up the volume. It reduces background sound while skillfully managing sound and enhancing clarity. Genuine hearing aids are tuned to your particular hearing needs, closely mimicking natural hearing with greater accuracy.
PSAPs vs. Hearing Aids
The Food and Drug Administration has drafted guidelines for companies who sell hearing devices and have stringent rules as to what can be labeled hearing aids.
Unfortunately, many personal sound amplification products PSAPs are wrongly advertised as hearing aids even though they just amplify sound.
Most reputable providers comply. But you might find some uninformed salespeople or products on Amazon or eBay that deceive consumers into thinking that these devices meet the definition of a hearing aid. You may even find some that claim that they are FDA-approved when that’s actually not true.
They’re not inclusive for most types of hearing loss
The slow loss of hearing often involves trouble hearing particular frequencies instead of a sudden complete loss. For instance, you might have no problems 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. However, if you struggle with particular frequencies, merely boosting the volume will be insufficient. And turning the overall volume up could lead to added damage to your hearing because the frequencies you don’t struggle with will be booming in your ears.
High-quality hearing aids can be programmed to boost selected frequencies providing a much better solution. They provide a more personalized hearing experience by shifting frequencies you can’t hear very well to frequencies you hear better.
Feedback can be a problem
Cheap hearing aids are typically not custom fit to your ears. Without that custom fit, you’ll create a feedback loop. As the speaker in your ear wiggles around, the microphone picks up the sound. This will result in a deafening screech.
They normally don’t have cellphone support
Functionality is frequently sacrificed when choosing budget options, and this is true for lots of inexpensive hearing aids lacking Bluetooth capability. When considering phone connectivity, the absence of Bluetooth is a major hurdle. Trying to amplify a cheap hearing aid while on the phone results in capturing not just the caller’s voice but also the sounds of your ear, lips, clothing, and hair rubbing 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 enhanced so you can be certain you will hear your daughter’s voice on the phone.
They aren’t designed for people with hearing loss
This may come as a surprise because so many individuals think otherwise. These amplifiers were never intended to treat hearing loss. They were designed to help people who have fairly good hearing hear things a little louder.
Cheap devices might help a little if you only have slight hearing loss. But individuals who actually need hearing aids won’t find these cheaper devices very useful.
Finding quality, affordable hearing aids
Getting affordable quality hearing aids isn’t hard. Insurance or other third parties may cover them. There are also affordable brands, leasing programs, and financing possibilities. The first step is to get a hearing assessment if you suspect you might have hearing loss. Call us today for a consultation, we can help figure out what’s best for you, depending on your amount and type of hearing loss, and make sure you land a pair that won’t break the bank!