If you’re someone who has recently discovered that you’re facing mild to moderate hearing loss, you might be eager to get your hands on the best hearing aid option available in the market for yourself. But what seems feature-rich is not always the suitable option for you. People have different lifestyles and habits, and this can make a wrong hearing aid choice particularly annoying for many. It is important to be well aware of common problems faced by hearing aid wearers before making the decision to buy from a particular brand of hearing aids.
As pioneers of the hearing aid industry, we have selected a few crucial questions you must ask your hearing aid provider so that your investment gives you the best returns. Most hearing aid companies are not completely transparent about their product and hide important details. With these questions, you can assess whether a hearing aid provider has the option best fit for you.
What are the different styles of hearing aids available?
Most companies have three styles of hearing aids available: In-The-Ear (ITE), Receiver-In-Canal (RIC), and Behind-The-Ear (BTE). While all of these hearing aids work perfectly fine and do not have an advantage over each other in terms of performance, the aesthetics and style of each are different.
ITE Hearing Aids
If you prefer sleek and discreet hearing aids not visible to anyone, you should go with the ITE hearing aids as they stay completely hidden inside your ear thanks to a small form factor.
RIC Hearing Aids
Maybe you’re not comfortable with ITE hearing aids, you might want to see RIC hearing aids. Many people suggest through experience that RIC hearing aids have the most natural sound, so if you do not mind a small wire above your ear, you’re all set.
BTE Hearing Aids
BTE hearing aids have the biggest form factor out of all three, and that is because it is designed to be a workhorse. BTE hearing aids are objectively the most powerful option in terms of sound amplification as they are more exposed in order to capture more sound signals from the environment. If you prefer performance over style, go with BTE hearing aids.
How much do the hearing aids cost?
Medical hearing aids cost anywhere around $3000 to $5000. However, medical hearing aids are not recommended for mild to moderate hearing loss as they are used only in cases of severe hearing loss (70 dB+).
Don’t fall for the value trap
The price point of a company’s hearing aid and other assistive listening devices can tell you a great deal about the company. Many companies try to secure customers by offering ridiculously low price points, but the fact of the matter is that any hearing aid that features modern features like feedback cancellation costs the company a good amount in terms of material and R&D.
Luxury brands are ripping you off
On the other hand, many companies are completely ripping off customers claiming that their hearing aid products fall in the ‘luxury’ category. The greatest luxury you can find in a hearing aid is that it fits and works as intended with modern digital features. So be aware of the sharks.
What you should look for?
A good industry standard price point for digital hearing aids and assistive listening devices is around the $200 to $500 mark.
What financing options are available?
Most hearing aid companies offer different financing options for their products but fail to mention them to you most of the time. If you are intimidated by the price of a hearing aid, you can easily ask the sales rep, or contact the company online for an extensive financing plan keeping in mind your comfort.
For example, Hear-Hi offers a financing plan of $26.99/month for its Acuity Duo True Wireless Assistive Hearing Amplified Earphones which originally cost around $299 as a one-time payment.
What kind of aftercare services do you provide?
While modern digital hearing aids do not require much maintenance, it is still a good idea to inquire about the company’s aftercare services. Many digital hearing aids go through battery failure and the battery in digital hearing aids can only be replaced by a professional.
It is important to know about different types of batteries, their problems, and charging options in hearing aids before purchase but in case you run into a problem, the manufacturer should be able to offer a good repair package, competitive to the third-party market.
How many years will the hearing aid last (warranty)?
Digital hearing aids can last you a long time. But make sure to ask for a warranty from the company. In case your hearing aids stop working or start lacking in performance within the warranty period, hearing aid manufacturers can fix or replace your hearing aids as per their policy.
Keep in mind that good hearing aids have a battery that can maintain its health for at least two years with appropriate charging and maintenance from the customer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the important features of hearing aids?
Features like noise reduction and natural speech enhancement are standard in most hearing aids today. But if you frequently find yourself in situations with a lot of echo, distortion, whistling noises, and high-pitched tones, it may be worth investing in hearing aids with advanced or premium noise reduction and feedback cancellation.
What type of hearing aid has the best sound quality?
RIC (Receiver-In-Canal) hearing aids are considered the most natural-sounding hearing aids among all other form factors. But if you are someone who is looking for that extra ‘oomph’, you should go with BTE (Behind-The-Ear) hearing aids as they have the highest amplification capability among all hearing aids.