The term “cheap” carries dual meanings. On the one hand, it implies affordability, a wise choice for a budget-conscious person. Conversely, it indicates low-quality, turning an apparently economical purchase into a not-so-smart decision, epitomized by the adage “You get what you pay for”.
Regrettably, distinguishing between an economical purchase and an item of minimal value is frequently challenging. When it comes to hearing aids, this couldn’t be more valid.
With hearing aids, the saying “you get what you pay for” is particularly true. This doesn’t always imply picking the top-tier option, but instead, scrutinizing products that boast a price tag too enticing to be genuine. Consumers need to be aware that important information is frequently left out of the marketing campaigns of cheap hearing aids.
Cheaper hearing aids are pretty much only amplifiers
Cheap “hearing aids” usually provide limited functionality, mainly amplifying or reducing overall volume. If you boost the volume to hear the TV better, you’ll also pick up background noises like the dishwasher, a fan in another room, a barking dog, or the sound of your house slippers going across the floor.
The purpose of having a hearing aid is entirely defeated if it also amplifies undesirable sound.
On the other hand, a high-quality, modern hearing aid goes beyond simple volume adjustment. It decreases background sound while expertly managing sound and enhancing clarity. Authentic hearing aids are tuned to your specific hearing needs, closely simulating natural hearing with greater accuracy.
Hearing aids vs. PSAPs
There are strict rules about what an advertiser can call a hearing aid as published by the Food and Drug Administration.
Sadly, there are many devices out there that market themselves as hearing aids when they’re actually personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named this because they can only amplify sound.
The majority of reputable providers comply. But there are some vendors, especially online, that might 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’re FDA-approved when that’s actually not true.
For most kinds of hearing loss they won’t be helpful at all
The progressive loss of hearing usually involves trouble hearing specific frequencies instead of 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 challenging to understand.
A cheap hearing device typically results in overall volume amplification. But simply turning up the total volume will not be adequate for people who have a tough time hearing specific frequencies. Moreover, turning up the volume substantially to catch the sound of your granddaughter playing on the floor may result in your adult son’s speech sounding like a roar, possibly contributing to hearing loss if exposed to high volumes for extended periods.
High-quality hearing aids offer a solution by being programmable to compensate for the loss of particular frequencies. They provide a more customized hearing experience by shifting frequencies you can’t hear very well to frequencies you hear better.
You may get a lot of feedback
Cheap hearing aids are typically not custom fit to your ears. 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. This will result in a deafening screech.
They normally won’t help you on your cellphone
Functionality is often sacrificed when opting for budget options, and this is true for lots of inexpensive hearing aids lacking Bluetooth connectivity. When considering phone connectivity, the lack of Bluetooth is a major hurdle. Trying to amplify a cheap hearing aid while on the phone results in capturing not just 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 sophisticated hearing aids are digital and use Bluetooth connectivity to connect directly to your 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, enhancing clarity and overall communication.
They aren’t made for people with hearing loss
Most individuals would most likely be surprised by this. These amplifiers were never meant to treat hearing loss. They were made to amplify sound for individuals who have fairly good hearing.
Cheap devices might help a little if you only have minor hearing loss. But they won’t be of much use for people who actually need hearing aids.
Where can you get quality affordable hearing aids?
There are many ways to get hearing aids affordably. They might even be covered by insurance or other third parties. There are also affordable brands, leasing plans, and financing options. The first step is to get a hearing test if you think you might have hearing loss. Schedule 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.