The term “cheap” carries dual meanings. For somebody on a tight budget, it means “affordability”. On the other hand, 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, distinguishing between a thrifty purchase and an item of minimal value is frequently tricky. This is especially true in terms of hearing aids.
With hearing aids, the saying “you get what you pay for” rings especially relevant. This doesn’t necessarily mean opting for the top-tier option, but instead, looking closely at products that boast a price tag too appealing to be authentic. Consumers need to recognize that essential information is often left out of the marketing campaigns of cheap hearing aids.
Cheaper hearing aids are basically only amplifiers
Boosting the overall volume is typically the only thing cheap “hearing aids” can handle. If you boost the volume to hear the TV better, you’ll also pick up background noises including the dishwasher, a fan in another room, a barking dog, or the sound of your house slippers moving across the floor.
If everything is louder, it completely defeats the purpose of having a hearing aid.
Contrastingly, a high-quality, modern hearing aid goes beyond mere volume adjustment. It minimizes background noise while expertly managing sound and improving clarity. Authentic hearing aids mimic natural hearing with great accuracy and are custom programmed to your particular hearing needs.
PSAPs vs. Hearing Aids
There are stringent rules about what an advertiser can call a hearing aid as published by the Food and Drug Administration.
Regrettably, there are many devices out there that are advertised as hearing aids when they’re actually personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named such because they can only amplify sound.
Most reputable companies comply. But you might find some uninformed salespeople or products on Amazon or eBay that mislead consumers into believing that these devices meet the definition of a hearing aid. Some even falsely advertise that they are FDA-approved.
They’re not helpful for the majority of kinds of hearing loss
The progressive loss of hearing usually involves difficulty with specific frequencies rather than an abrupt complete loss. You may have a difficult time understanding a little kid or a woman, for example, but you have no issue understanding a man with a low voice.
A cheap hearing device typically results in total volume amplification. However, if you have trouble with specific frequencies, merely boosting the volume will be inadequate. Moreover, turning the volume up substantially to hear the sound of your granddaughter playing on the floor may lead to your adult son’s speech sounding like a roar, possibly contributing to hearing loss if exposed to high volumes for prolonged periods.
High-quality hearing aids offer a solution by being programmable to compensate for the loss of particular frequencies. They provide a more personalized hearing experience by shifting frequencies you can’t hear very well to frequencies you hear better.
Feedback can be an issue
You won’t get a custom fit with cheap hearing aids. Without that custom fit, you’ll create a feedback loop. As the speaker in your ear wiggles around, the microphone picks up the sound. What does this sound like? An ear-shattering screech.
They normally won’t help you on your cellphone
When individuals are looking for a budget-friendly device, they frequently sacrifice functionality like Bluetooth connectivity. When thinking about phone connectivity, the absence of Bluetooth is a huge hurdle. 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.
More sophisticated hearing aids are digital and utilize Bluetooth connectivity to connect directly to your phone. This advanced 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’re not designed for individuals with hearing loss
The majority of individuals would most likely be surprised by this. PSAPs were never made for people with hearing loss. They were made to amplify sound for people who have fairly good hearing.
If you have very mild hearing loss then cheap devices might help a little. But they won’t be of much use for people who actually need hearing aids.
Finding quality, affordable hearing aids
Obtaining affordable quality hearing aids is not difficult. Insurance or other third parties may cover them. You can also find financing options, leasing plans, and more affordable brands. If you suspect you have hearing loss, begin by getting checked out. 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.