The term “cheap” has dual meanings. For anyone on a tight budget, it means “affordability”. On the other hand, it indicates low-quality, turning a seemingly economical purchase into a not-so-smart choice, epitomized by the adage “You get what you pay for”.
Unfortunately, deciding if you’re getting a great deal from whether you’re getting a very low-quality device can be difficult. When it comes to hearing aids, this couldn’t be more valid.
The adage “you get what you pay for” is especially potent with hearing aids. This means weeding out the devices that are priced in the “too good to be true” zone, not automatically opting for the most costly option. Consumers need to recognize that essential information is often excluded from the marketing campaigns of cheap hearing aids.
Cheaper hearing aids are basically only amplifiers
Cheap “hearing aids” generally provide minimal functionality, mainly amplifying or reducing overall volume. When you simply amplify everything, the sounds you want to hear better are amplified but so are unwanted background sounds you don’t want.
If everything is louder, it entirely defeats the purpose of using a hearing aid.
A contemporary state-of-the-art hearing aid, in comparison, does a lot more than just turn up the volume. It expertly manages sound, improving the clarity of desired sounds while tuning out background sound. Genuine hearing aids are tuned to your distinct hearing requirements, closely mimicking natural hearing with increased accuracy.
PSAPs vs. Hearing Aids
There are strict rules about what an advertiser can call a hearing aid as written by the Food and Drug Administration.
Regrettably, there are many devices out there that are advertised as hearing aids when they’re technically personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named such because they can only amplify sound.
Most reputable companies follow the rules. But you might find some uninformed salespeople or products on Amazon or eBay that deceive consumers into thinking that these devices meet the classification of a hearing aid. Some even falsely advertise that they are approved by the FDA.
They aren’t inclusive for the majority of kinds of hearing loss
Most individuals who lose their hearing will slowly lose certain frequencies of sound before others. You might have a difficult 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. However, if you struggle with certain frequencies, just boosting the volume will be inadequate. Furthermore, turning the volume up significantly to hear the sound of your granddaughter playing on the floor might lead to your adult son’s speech sounding like a roar, possibly adding to hearing loss if subjected to high volumes for extended periods.
High-quality hearing aids can be programmed to increase particular frequencies providing a much better solution. They can instantly adjust the frequency you struggle to hear to one that is more audible, providing a more tailored and effective hearing experience.
You might get a lot of feedback
Cheap hearing aids are generally not custom fit to your ears. A feedback loop is often the outcome of poorly fitting hearing aids. The microphone picks up the sound from the speaker in your ear as it wiggles around. This will result in a deafening screech.
They normally won’t help you on your cellphone
Functionality is often sacrificed when choosing budget devices, and this holds true for many inexpensive hearing aids lacking Bluetooth connectivity. 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 only the caller’s voice but also the sounds of your ear, lips, clothing, and hair rubbing against the phone, making it even more challenging to hear the person on the other end.
More advanced hearing aids are digital and utilize Bluetooth connectivity to connect directly to your phone. This advanced feature ensures that when your daughter talks on the other end, her voice is sent directly into your hearing aids, enhancing clarity and overall communication.
They were never intended to treat hearing loss
This might come as a shock because so many people 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 bit louder.
Cheap devices might help a little if you only have minor hearing loss. But individuals who actually need hearing aids won’t find these cheaper devices very helpful.
Finding quality, affordable hearing aids
There are lots of ways to get hearing aids affordably. Insurance or other third parties may cover them. You can also find financing possibilities, leasing plans, and more affordable brands. If you think you have hearing loss, start by getting checked out. Call us today for a consultation, we can help decide what’s best for you, depending on your level and type of hearing loss, and make sure you get a pair that won’t break the bank!