Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

If you’ve recognized that you need to invest in hearing aids, what will you do next? Hearing aids are going to become an essential part of your life, so finding the right kind matters. There are different kinds of hearing aids available including some pretty cheap ones that are found only on the Internet. If you really think that you can buy a quality device for less from the internet, then the sacrifice is how well you hear, and that’s your choice. When searching for hearing aids, what sacrifices are you willing to make.

Those Internet Knockoffs

Hearing assistance devices that can be found on the internet are not really a bargain and their not really hearing aids. They don’t function very well or very efficiently. Batteries can be expensive when you need to replace them all the time.

These cheap devices will amplify sound, which is the basic function of hearing aids but they don’t do anything else. Customization to your specific needs can be accomplished with the combined technologies found in a modern high-quality digital hearing aid. You can go cheap and buy one online but you will miss out on important features.

You have to appreciate your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. Hearing impacts every facet of your life so it’s not the place you want to look to save money. If you think you can’t afford quality hearing aids, there may be other ways to get them, so don’t settle for something that is not what you really need.

Analog Vs. Digital

Digital hearing aids offer higher quality sound that is more dependable. If you run across analog hearing aids, move on and shop for the digital units, instead.

It’s likely that all of the hearing aids you find at quality retailers will be digital. If you don’t know the difference you might mistake an analog unit for a digital. Analog means the kind of signal the hearing aid gets and the quality of the sound. Analog hearing aids have major issues with consistent sound quality.

Looking For The Perfect Features

When you go looking for hearing aids consider the two aspects which are features and style. You want a comfortable style that offers features that make your life better. A few standard features to consider include:

  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Noise reduction
  • Synchronization
  • Variable programming
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Telecoils
  • Bluetooth
  • Environmental noise control
  • Directional microphones
  • Remote controls
  • Direct audio input

Take Into Consideration The Different Styles

There are many styles available to you, as you will see when you get started researching hearing aids. Luckily, there are so many styles to pick from that finding a style which works for your needs is almost a guarantee. Some of the different styles are:

  • Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
  • In-the-Ear (ITE)
  • Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
  • Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
  • In-the-Ear (ITE)
  • Open Fit

To get a fairly good idea of each style just take a look at their names. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s exactly where it goes. A clear piece of tubing attaches the BTE to an ear-mold that sits in the opening of the ear canal.

Alternatively, ITE hearing aids sit, as you may have guessed, inside of the ear. This device is at the opening of the ear canal and is just one unit. Nothing attaches behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but go deeper into the ear, making them less visible.

RIC devices and RIE devices have a “receiver in the canal” and a “receiver in the ear” respectively, which are then connected to a piece behind the ear. These types of hearing aids are not as obvious as a BTE.

Instead of having ear-molds, open fit models, which are a kind of BTE, have a little tube that goes into the ear canal. If you don’t like the feeling of something stuck inside your ear, this style is a good choice for you.

After taking all of these styles and options into consideration, it’s time to decide which one that would be best for you. Bluetooth functionality, for example, is a function you would want if you use your phone or a computer regularly. Rechargeable batteries save you money on replacement batteries and telecoil is good if you have to listen to lectures or seminars a lot.

Finally, Consider Your Buying Options

You want to purchase your hearing aids from a qualified retailer, one that custom fits the devices and offers a free trial period. Having the opportunity to try out your new hearing aids before you purchase them will give you confidence that you are making the best decision.

You should also look closely at the warranty that comes with the hearing aids. What does it cover? Will you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or does the warranty only cover parts and possibly labor?

Before purchasing hearing aids schedule an appointment with a hearing care specialist for a checkup and hearing test, also. Some changes in your hearing don’t call for purchasing hearing aids.