The term “cheap” carries dual meanings. On the one hand, it indicates affordability, a wise option for a budget-conscious person. But we’ve all heard the phrase “You get what you pay for”, and in this case, the word “cheap” suggests low-quality hearing aids.
Unfortunately, determining whether you’re getting a great value from whether you’re purchasing a really low-quality device can be tricky. This is especially relevant in the realm of hearing aids.
The adage “you get what you pay for” is particularly potent with hearing aids. This means weeding out the devices that are priced in the “too good to be true” zone, not necessarily going for the most expensive choice. Companies marketing inexpensive hearing devices often omit important details about their products that consumers should be aware of.
Cheaper hearing aids are pretty much only amplifiers
Increasing the overall volume is typically the only thing cheap “hearing aids” can handle. When you merely 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 comparison, does a lot more than simply turn the volume up. It reduces background sound while skillfully managing sound and improving clarity. Authentic hearing aids mimic natural hearing with great accuracy and are custom programmed to your particular hearing needs.
Hearing aids vs. PSAPs
The Food and Drug Administration has written guidelines for companies who sell hearing devices and have stringent 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 technically personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named this because they can only amplify sound.
There are many legit and reputable companies that comply with correct marketing. But you may 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. Some even inaccurately advertise that they are approved by the FDA.
They aren’t inclusive for the majority of types of hearing loss
The slow loss of hearing usually involves trouble hearing specific frequencies rather than a sudden complete loss. For example, 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 difficult to understand.
A cheap hearing device usually results in overall volume amplification. However, if you struggle with certain frequencies, merely increasing the volume proves insufficient. And turning the overall volume up could lead to additional 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 particular frequencies providing a much better solution. They can instantly adjust the frequency you struggle to hear to one that is more audible, delivering a more tailored and effective hearing experience.
Feedback can be an issue
You won’t get a custom fit with cheap hearing aids. Without that custom fit, you’ll generate a feedback loop. The microphone picks up the sound from the speaker in your ear as it jiggles around. What does this sound like? An ear-shattering screech.
They normally won’t help you on your cellphone
Functionality is often sacrificed when choosing budget devices, and this holds true for lots of inexpensive hearing aids lacking Bluetooth connectivity. The lack of Bluetooth becomes crucial 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 lips or ears rubbing against the phone, or clothing and hair.
In comparison, digital hearing aids use telecoil or Bluetooth technology, creating a wireless connection between your hearing aid and the phone. This state-of-the-art 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 aren’t designed for people with hearing loss
The majority of individuals would most likely be surprised by this. PSAPs were never made for individuals with hearing loss. They were designed to amplify sound for people who have relatively good hearing.
If you have very slight hearing loss then cheap devices may help a little. But they won’t be of much help for individuals who actually need hearing aids.
Finding quality, affordable hearing aids
There are many ways to get hearing aids affordably. Insurance or other third parties may cover them. You can also find financing options, leasing programs, 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 figure out what’s best for you, depending on your level and type of hearing loss, and make certain you land a pair that won’t break the bank!