The term “cheap” carries dual meanings. For someone 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”.
Unfortunately, deciding if you’re getting a great deal from whether you’re buying a really low-quality device can be difficult. When it comes to hearing aids, this couldn’t be more relevant.
The saying “you get what you pay for” is particularly relevant with hearing aids. This doesn’t necessarily imply opting for the top-tier option, but rather, scrutinizing products that boast a price tag too appealing to be genuine. Companies marketing inexpensive hearing devices often leave out important details about their products that consumers should know about.
They usually just amplify sound
Cheap “hearing aids” typically offer limited functionality, mainly amplifying or decreasing overall volume. If you boost the volume to hear the TV better, you’ll also get background noises like the dishwasher, a fan in another room, a barking dog, or the sound of your house shoes going across the floor.
If everything is louder, it totally defeats the purpose of using a hearing aid.
A contemporary state-of-the-art hearing aid, in comparison, does a lot more than just crank the volume up. It skillfully manages sound, enhancing the clarity of desired sounds while reducing background noise. Authentic hearing aids mimic natural hearing with great accuracy and are custom programmed to your specific hearing needs.
Hearing aids vs. PSAPs
There are stringent 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 technically personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named such because they can only amplify sound.
There are lots of legit and reputable companies that comply with proper marketing. But there are some vendors, especially online, that may be misinformed about what characterizes the difference between hearing aids and PSAPs, and consequently, they put out misleading statements about their products. Some even inaccurately advertise that they are FDA-approved.
They aren’t inclusive for most types of hearing loss
The progressive loss of hearing often involves difficulty with specific frequencies rather than a sudden total loss. You might have a hard time understanding a small child or a woman, for instance, but you have no problem understanding a man with a low voice.
You get overall amplification with cheap hearing aids. But just turning up the overall volume will not be adequate for individuals who have a hard time hearing certain frequencies. And turning the overall volume up could lead to additional damage to your hearing because the frequencies you don’t have trouble with will be booming in your ears.
High-quality hearing aids offer a solution by being programmable to compensate for the loss of particular frequencies. They can instantly adjust the frequency you struggle to hear to one that is more audible, delivering a more customized and effective hearing experience.
You might get a lot of feedback
You won’t get a custom fit with cheap hearing aids. A feedback loop is frequently the outcome of poorly fitting hearing aids. 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 people are looking for a budget-friendly device, they often sacrifice functionality like Bluetooth connectivity. When considering phone connectivity, the lack of Bluetooth is a huge obstacle. With cheaper hearing devices, when you attempt to amplify phone calls, your device will amplify every little sound, like your ears or lips brushing on the phone, or clothing and hair.
More advanced hearing aids are digital and use Bluetooth connectivity to connect directly to your phone. Overall communication and clarity will be improved so you can be sure you will hear your daughter’s voice on the phone.
They were never meant to treat hearing loss
The majority of people would most likely be surprised by this. PSAPs were never made for individuals 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 help for individuals who actually need hearing aids.
Finding quality, affordable hearing aids
Getting affordable quality hearing aids is not hard. Insurance or other third parties may cover them. There are also affordable brands, leasing programs, and financing options. The first step is to get a hearing assessment if you suspect 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 degree and type of hearing loss.