The word “cheap” has dual meanings. For somebody on a small budget, it means “affordability”. But we’ve all heard the saying “You get what you pay for”, and in this example, the term “cheap” indicates low-quality hearing aids.
Unfortunately, deciding if you’re getting a great deal from whether you’re purchasing a very low-quality device can be tricky. When it comes to hearing aids, this couldn’t be more valid.
The adage “you get what you pay for” is particularly relevant with hearing aids. This means eliminating the devices that are priced in the “too good to be true” range, not necessarily going for the most costly option. Companies marketing inexpensive hearing devices often omit essential details about their products that consumers should know about.
Cheaper hearing aids are basically only amplifiers
Cheap “hearing aids” typically offer limited functionality, mainly amplifying or decreasing overall volume. When you simply amplify everything, the sounds you want to hear better are amplified but so are unwanted background sounds you don’t want.
The purpose of having a hearing aid is totally defeated if it also amplifies unwanted sound.
Contrastingly, a high-quality, modern hearing aid goes beyond simple volume adjustment. It expertly manages sound, enhancing the clarity of desired sounds while tuning out background sound. Authentic hearing aids are tailored to your specific hearing needs, closely mimicking natural hearing with increased accuracy.
Hearing aids vs. PSAPs
The Food and Drug Administration has written guidelines for companies who sell hearing devices and have strict rules as to what can be labeled hearing aids.
Unfortunately, many personal sound amplification products PSAPs are falsely advertised as hearing aids even though they only amplify sound.
There are lots of legitimate and reputable providers that comply with proper marketing. But you may find some uninformed salespeople or products on Amazon or eBay that deceive consumers into believing that these devices meet the definition of a hearing aid. You may even find some that claim that they’re approved by the FDA when that’s actually false.
They’re not inclusive for the majority of types of hearing loss
Most people who lose their hearing will gradually lose specific frequencies of sound before others. For instance, you may 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 comprehend.
A cheap hearing device typically results in overall volume amplification. But simply cranking up the total volume will not be sufficient for people who have a tough time hearing certain frequencies. Furthermore, turning up the volume substantially to hear the sound of your granddaughter playing on the floor may result in your adult son’s speech sounding like a roar, potentially adding 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.
Feedback can be a problem
You won’t get a custom fit with cheap hearing aids. A feedback loop is often the consequence of poorly fitting hearing aids. As the speaker in your ear wiggles around, the microphone picks up the sound. What does this sound like? An ear-shattering screech.
They typically won’t help you on your cellphone
When people are looking for a budget-friendly device, they frequently sacrifice functionality like Bluetooth connectivity. When thinking about phone connectivity, the lack of Bluetooth is a huge obstacle. Attempting to amplify a cheap hearing aid while on the phone leads to capturing not just the caller’s voice but also the sounds of your ear, lips, clothing, and hair brushing 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. Overall communication and clarity will be enhanced so you can be sure you will hear your daughter’s voice on the phone.
They were never intended to treat hearing loss
The majority of individuals would most likely be surprised by this. PSAPs were never designed for people with hearing loss. They were made to help people who have relatively good hearing hear things a bit louder.
If you have very slight hearing loss then cheap devices might help a little. But individuals who actually need hearing aids won’t find these cheaper devices that helpful.
Where can you get quality affordable hearing aids?
Getting affordable quality hearing aids is not hard. They might even be covered by insurance or other third parties. There are also affordable brands, leasing plans, and financing possibilities. The first step is to get a hearing assessment if you suspect you may have hearing loss. Call us today for a consultation, we can help decide what’s best for you, depending on your amount and type of hearing loss, and make sure you get a pair that won’t break the bank!