The word “cheap” has dual meanings. For someone on a small budget, it means “affordability”. On the other hand, it indicates low-quality, turning a seemingly economical purchase into a not-so-smart choice, epitomized by the adage “You get what you pay for”.
Regrettably, differentiating between a thrifty purchase and an item of negligible value is frequently tricky. This is especially true in the realm of hearing aids.
The saying “you get what you pay for” is especially relevant with hearing aids. This means eliminating the devices that are priced in the “too good to be true” zone, not necessarily opting for the most expensive option. Companies marketing inexpensive hearing devices frequently leave out important details about their products that customers should be aware of.
They usually just amplify sound
Increasing the overall volume is generally the only thing cheap “hearing aids” are capable of. When you just amplify everything, the sounds you want to hear better are amplified but so are undesirable background sounds you don’t want.
The purpose of having a hearing aid is completely defeated if it also amplifies unwanted sound.
A modern state-of-the-art hearing aid, in comparison, does a lot more than just crank the volume up. It decreases background noise while skillfully managing sound and improving clarity. Authentic hearing aids are tailored to your particular hearing needs, closely mimicking natural hearing with better accuracy.
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.
Sadly, there are many devices out there that are advertised as hearing aids when they’re technically personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named this because they can only amplify sound.
There are lots of legitimate and reputable providers that comply with correct marketing. But you may find some uninformed salespeople or products on Amazon or eBay that mislead consumers into thinking that these devices meet the classification of a hearing aid. You might even find some that state that they’re approved by the FDA when that’s actually not true.
For most types of hearing loss they won’t be helpful at all
The gradual loss of hearing often involves difficulty with certain frequencies instead of a sudden complete loss. For instance, you may have no trouble hearing a man with a low voice, but have difficulty with a woman’s or child’s voice, finding it difficult to comprehend.
You get overall amplification with cheap hearing aids. But simply cranking up the overall volume will not be sufficient for people who have a hard time hearing certain frequencies. Moreover, turning up the volume considerably to hear the sound of your granddaughter playing on the floor might lead to 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 can instantly adjust the frequency you struggle to hear to one that is more audible, providing a more customized and reliable hearing experience.
You might get a lot of feedback
Cheap hearing aids are typically not custom fit to your ears. Without that custom fit, you’ll generate a feedback loop. The microphone picks up the sound from the speaker in your ear as it jiggles around. What does this sound like? An ear-shattering screech.
They usually don’t have cellphone support
Functionality is often sacrificed when choosing budget devices, and this holds true for many inexpensive hearing aids lacking Bluetooth connectivity. When considering phone connectivity, the lack of Bluetooth is a major obstacle. Attempting to amplify a cheap hearing aid while on the phone results in capturing not only the caller’s voice but also the sounds of your ear, lips, clothing, and hair rubbing against the phone, making it even more challenging to hear the person on the other end.
On the other hand, digital hearing aids utilize telecoil or Bluetooth technology, creating a wireless connection between your hearing aid and the phone. Overall communication and clarity will be improved so you can be sure you will hear your daughter’s voice on the phone.
They’re not made for individuals with hearing loss
This may come as a shock because so many individuals think otherwise. PSAPs were never designed for individuals with hearing loss. They were designed to amplify sound for people who have fairly good hearing.
Cheap devices might help a little if you only have slight hearing loss. But they won’t be of much use for individuals who actually need hearing aids.
Where can you get quality affordable hearing aids?
There are lots of ways to get hearing aids affordably. They may even be covered by insurance or other third parties. You can also find financing possibilities, leasing plans, and more affordable brands. The first step is to get a hearing test if you suspect you may have hearing loss. Make 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.
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