There are a couple separate ways to think about the term “cheap hearing aids”. For someone 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 adage “You get what you pay for”.
Regrettably, differentiating between a thrifty purchase and an item of negligible value is often challenging. This is especially relevant in terms of hearing aids.
The adage “you get what you pay for” is particularly potent with hearing aids. This doesn’t always mean opting for the top-tier option, but instead, scrutinizing offerings that boast a price tag too enticing to be authentic. Companies marketing inexpensive hearing devices often leave out important details about their products that consumers should know about.
Cheaper hearing aids are pretty much only amplifiers
Cheap “hearing aids” typically provide limited functionality, primarily amplifying or reducing overall volume. When you merely amplify everything, the sounds you want to hear better are amplified but so are undesirable background noise you don’t want.
If everything is louder, it totally defeats the purpose of having a hearing aid.
Contrastingly, a high-quality, contemporary hearing aid goes beyond mere volume adjustment. It minimizes background sound while skillfully managing sound and improving clarity. Authentic hearing aids are tuned to your specific hearing needs, closely simulating 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.
Sadly, there are many devices out there that market themselves as hearing aids when they are technically personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named such because they can only amplify sound.
Most reputable companies comply. But there are some vendors, particularly online, that may be misinformed about what defines the difference between hearing aids and PSAPs, and consequently, they put out misleading claims about their products. You might even find some that state that they’re approved by the FDA when that’s actually not true.
They aren’t helpful for the majority of kinds of hearing loss
Most individuals who lose their hearing will gradually lose certain frequencies of sound before others. For example, you might have no trouble hearing a man with a low voice, but struggle with a woman’s or child’s voice, finding it difficult to comprehend.
A cheap hearing device usually results in overall volume amplification. But just cranking up the overall volume will not be sufficient for individuals who have a tough time hearing specific frequencies. And turning up the overall volume could lead to additional damage to your hearing because the frequencies you don’t have trouble with will be roaring in your ears.
High-quality hearing aids provide a solution by being programmable to make up for the loss of specific frequencies. They can instantly adjust the frequency you struggle to hear to one that is more audible, delivering a more tailored and reliable hearing experience.
Feedback can be a problem
You won’t get a custom fit with cheap hearing aids. Without that custom fit, you’ll generate a feedback loop. As the speaker in your ear jiggles around, the microphone picks up the sound. This will result in a deafening screech.
They normally don’t have cellphone support
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. Attempting to amplify a cheap hearing aid while on the phone leads to capturing not just the caller’s voice but also the sounds of your ear, lips, clothing, and hair brushing against the phone, making it even more difficult to hear the person on the other end.
In contrast, digital hearing aids utilize telecoil or Bluetooth technology, establishing a wireless connection between your hearing aid and the phone. This state-of-the-art feature ensures that when your daughter speaks on the other end, her voice is sent directly into your hearing aids, improving clarity and overall communication.
They were never meant to treat hearing loss
Most people would probably be surprised by this. PSAPs were never designed for individuals with hearing loss. They were designed to help individuals who have relatively good hearing hear things a little louder.
If you have very mild hearing loss then cheap devices might help a little. But individuals who actually need hearing aids won’t find these cheaper devices that useful.
Finding quality, affordable hearing aids
There are many ways to get hearing aids affordably. They may even be covered by insurance or other third parties. There are also affordable brands, leasing programs, and financing options. The first step is to get a hearing test if you suspect you might have hearing loss. Make an appointment with us so we can help you find the best and most affordable hearing aids for your level and type of hearing loss.