There are a couple separate ways to interpret the word “cheap hearing aids”. For someone on a tight budget, it means “affordability”. On the other hand, it indicates low-quality, turning an apparently 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 purchasing a really 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” rings particularly relevant. 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. Companies marketing inexpensive hearing devices often leave out important details about their products that consumers should know about.
They usually just amplify sound
Cheap “hearing aids” usually offer minimal functionality, mainly amplifying or decreasing overall volume. When you simply amplify everything, the sounds you want to hear better are amplified but so are undesirable background sounds you don’t want.
If everything is louder, it entirely defeats the purpose of having a hearing aid.
On the other hand, a high-quality, contemporary hearing aid goes beyond mere volume adjustment. It expertly manages sound, improving the clarity of desired sounds while reducing background noise. Genuine hearing aids are tailored to your particular hearing requirements, closely mimicking natural hearing with better accuracy.
Hearing aids vs. PSAPs
There are stringent 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 market themselves as hearing aids when they’re technically personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named this because they can only amplify sound.
There are many legitimate and reputable companies that comply with correct marketing. But there are some vendors, especially online, that may be misinformed about what characterizes the difference between hearing aids and PSAPs, and consequently, they put out misleading claims about their products. 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 difficulty with specific frequencies instead of an abrupt total loss. For instance, you might have no trouble hearing a man with a low voice, but struggle with a woman’s or child’s voice, finding it challenging to comprehend.
You get total amplification with cheap hearing aids. But simply cranking up the total volume will not be sufficient for individuals who have a difficult time hearing specific frequencies. Furthermore, turning up the volume significantly to hear the sound of your granddaughter playing on the floor might lead to your adult son’s voice sounding like a roar, potentially adding to hearing loss if exposed to high volumes for extended periods.
High-quality hearing aids offer a solution by being programmable to make up for the loss of particular frequencies. They offer a more customized hearing experience by shifting frequencies you can’t hear very well to frequencies you hear better.
You might get a lot of feedback
Cheap hearing aids are usually not custom fit to your ears. Without that custom fit, you’ll generate a feedback loop. As the speaker in your ear wiggles around, the microphone picks up the sound. This will generate a deafening screech.
They typically won’t help you on your cellphone
When people are looking for a budget-friendly device, they often sacrifice functionality like Bluetooth connectivity. The lack of Bluetooth becomes critical when considering phone connectivity. Trying to amplify a cheap hearing aid while on the phone results in 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 difficult to hear the person on the other end.
In contrast, digital hearing aids use telecoil or Bluetooth technology, establishing a wireless connection between your hearing aid and the phone. Overall communication and clarity will be enhanced so you can be sure 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 people with hearing loss. They were designed 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 very useful.
Finding quality, affordable hearing aids
There are many ways to get hearing aids affordably. Insurance or other third parties may cover them. There are also affordable brands, leasing programs, and financing options. The first step is to get a hearing assessment if you suspect you may have hearing loss. Schedule an appointment with us so we can help you get the best and most affordable hearing aids for your degree and type of hearing loss.