The best modern hearing aids are packed with technically advanced features and innovative tools to enrich your life and daily communications. And, yes, some of the premium models can seem expensive. That’s why many people ask an obvious question. Do cheap hearing aids work? Are cheap hearing aids any good?
Many people still believe the myth that hearing aids are overpriced but most reputable hearing manufacturers produce various hearing aid models with a range of prices to make them affordable. Plus, various government financial aid and medical insurance programmes can provide substantial support.
Nonetheless, global trade and online resellers are now flooding the market with cheap imports. So, the question remains; are cheap hearing aids any good? Naturally, you need to decide what you want from your hearing aid? Then you need to ask if a cheap hearing aid will do that for you?
What can you expect a hearing aid to do?
Obviously, you want your hearing aid to help you hear better. And if you lead a simple life you may just need a hearing device that will help you engage in quiet one on one conversations or hear the television more easily. In this case, the lower priced products from reputable manufacturers will be more than adequate.
There is a great deal of truth in the old adage; you get what you pay for. And if you settle for one of the really cheap hearing devices sold online then you may find the results are worse than useless. Many of the really cheap hearing devices sold online fail because they are:
- Poorly made from inferior materials
- Uncomfortable and poorly fitted
- Unsuitable for your specific hearing loss
- Very basic with no customisation possible
- Lacking backup and expert support
Modern technology means that modern hearing aids can offer so much more. House of Hearing recommends only the most trusted hearing aid brands that offer real value with advanced customisation features, noise protection, wireless connectivity, automatic listening level adjustment, and so much more.
Qualified audiologists are trained to help you find the perfect hearing aid for your needs and your budget. Our House of Hearing audiologists and technicians can show you what a difference a well-designed and fitted hearing aid from a reputable brand can make.
Cheap may mean cheap and nasty
Some people believe the hearing aid price myth but buying cheap hearing devices online may mean you get much less than you bargained for. That’s because the cheap mass-produced hearing aids come from developing nations where they rely on inferior plastics and extremely basic moulding techniques to produce cut-price products.
Sub-standard electronics and unreliable programmes are also typical features of cheap hearing devices. Cheap aids may fail at any time and have a low life expectancy. They also lack the advanced features that premium hearing aids offer.
Cheap hearing aids lack the advanced noise filters and sudden noise protection features of more expensive models. In fact, cheap hearing aids are capable of producing sudden loud sounds that may damage your hearing further.
On the other hand, trusted brand hearing aids use space age technology and materials such as titanium to produce lightweight, super tough, high performing hearing aids that boast comfort and real value.
Purchasing hearing aids online
Purchasing your hearing aids online might appear to offer really good value for money but the reality is you can miss out on priceless support. You may find it difficult to communicate with the right people when there is a problem with your aids.
Cheap imported aids typically offer very little in terms of a warranty and it may be extremely difficult to get a refund on faulty goods. You may find the company no longer exists and at the very least you will have to pay shipping to return the devices for testing.
Hearing aid performance is one area where most people find a significant difference between reputable brand hearing aids and cheap imported hearing devices.
Many cheap imported hearing aids use analogue or poor quality digital amplification to make the sounds louder. The aids will simply amplify everything you hear equally. The cheap hearing device will amplify the train screeching to a stop as much as it will amplify the words of the person speaking to you.
The reality is that most cheap hearing devices offer little more than a cheap amplifier. The absence of any features such as customised programmes and advanced connectivity make cheap aids very poor value.
Well-known brands such as Phonak, Oticon, Starkey, Siemens, and Widex devote enormous financial and research resources to developing and improving their products. It’s thanks to these development programmes that modern hearing aids are making such extraordinary advances.
When you invest in a high quality hearing aid you can expect features such as:
- Directional microphones—you can choose to focus on one voice against a sea of background noise
- Dual microphones—hear sounds in both ears for clearer more accurate location detection
- Tinnitus white noise generator—helps reduce and eliminate those painful tinnitus noises
- Speech enhancement—smart algorithms enhance speech sounds
- Listening programmes—automated settings adapt to a wide range of situations
- Automatic protection against sudden noises, feedback and reduction of wind noise
Comfort and ongoing support
Cheap materials and mass production also mean those cheap hearing aids purchased online will probably not fit well. And online support will be unable to help you much with fitting or adjustment advice.
When you partner with a House of Hearing audiologist and choose a reputable hearing aid brand you benefit from our expert fitting programme and ongoing support. Your audiologist will ensure that your hearing aid is perfectly comfortable and set up to suit your lifestyle requirements.