The term “cheap” carries dual meanings. For somebody on a tight budget, it means “affordability”. But we’ve all heard the phrase “You get what you pay for”, and in this case, the word “cheap” indicates low-quality hearing aids.
Regrettably, distinguishing between an economical purchase and an item of negligible value is often tricky. When it comes to hearing aids, this couldn’t be more valid.
With hearing aids, the saying “you get what you pay for” rings especially valid. This doesn’t always mean picking the top-tier option, but rather, looking closely at products that boast a price tag too appealing to be genuine. Customers need to be aware that essential information is frequently excluded from the marketing campaigns of cheap hearing aids.
Cheaper hearing aids are pretty much only amplifiers
Amplifying the overall volume is usually the only thing cheap “hearing aids” can handle. When you just amplify everything, the sounds you want to hear better are amplified but so are unwanted background sounds you don’t want.
The purpose of having a hearing aid is totally defeated if it also amplifies unwanted sound.
A modern state-of-the-art hearing aid, in contrast, does a lot more than simply turn up the volume. It expertly manages sound, enhancing the clarity of desired sounds while tuning out background sound. Genuine hearing aids are tailored to your distinct hearing needs, closely mimicking natural hearing with better accuracy.
PSAPs vs. Hearing Aids
The Food and Drug Administration has written guidelines for companies who sell hearing devices and have strict rules as to what can be called hearing aids.
Sadly, there are many devices out there that are advertised as hearing aids when they are actually personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named this because they can only amplify sound.
The majority of reputable companies follow the rules. But you might find some uninformed salespeople or products on Amazon or eBay that mislead consumers into believing that these devices meet the classification of a hearing aid. You may even find some that claim that they are FDA-approved when that’s actually not true.
For most kinds of hearing loss they won’t be helpful at all
The gradual loss of hearing frequently involves trouble hearing particular frequencies rather than an abrupt total loss. You may have a hard time understanding a small child or a woman, for example, but you have no problem understanding a man with a low voice.
You get total amplification with cheap hearing aids. But simply turning up the overall volume will not be sufficient for individuals who have a hard time hearing specific frequencies. Moreover, turning the volume up substantially to hear the sound of your granddaughter playing on the floor might lead to your adult son’s speech sounding like a roar, potentially adding to hearing loss if subjected to high volumes for extended periods.
High-quality hearing aids offer a solution by being programmable to compensate for the loss of particular 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 result 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
When individuals are looking for a budget-friendly device, they frequently sacrifice functionality like Bluetooth connectivity. The lack of Bluetooth becomes critical when thinking about phone connectivity. With cheaper hearing devices, when you attempt to amplify phone calls, your device will amplify every little sound, like your ears or lips brushing on the phone, or clothing and hair.
On the other hand, digital hearing aids utilize telecoil or Bluetooth technology, creating a wireless connection between your hearing aid and the phone. This advanced feature ensures that when your daughter speaks on the other end, her voice is transmitted directly into your hearing aids, enhancing clarity and overall communication.
They aren’t designed for individuals with hearing loss
This could come as a surprise because so many individuals think otherwise. These amplifiers were never intended to treat hearing loss. They were made to amplify sound for people who have relatively good hearing.
If you have very mild hearing loss then cheap devices may help a little. But individuals who actually need hearing aids won’t find these cheaper devices that useful.
Where can you get quality affordable hearing aids?
Getting affordable quality hearing aids isn’t difficult. They may even be covered by insurance or other third parties. There are also affordable brands, leasing plans, and financing options. If you suspect you have hearing loss, start by getting checked out. Make an appointment with us so we can help you find the best and most affordable hearing aids for your degree and type of hearing loss.