There are a couple different ways to think about the term “cheap hearing aids”. For someone on a small budget, it means “affordability”. Conversely, it implies low-quality, turning a seemingly economical purchase into a not-so-smart decision, epitomized by the saying “You get what you pay for”.
Unfortunately, deciding if you’re getting a great value from whether you’re purchasing a really low-quality device can be challenging. This is especially relevant in terms of hearing aids.
With hearing aids, the axiom “you get what you pay for” rings particularly valid. This means eliminating the devices that are priced in the “too good to be true” range, not necessarily opting for the most costly choice. Companies marketing inexpensive hearing devices frequently omit essential details about their products that consumers should be aware of.
Cheaper hearing aids are pretty much only amplifiers
Cheap “hearing aids” usually offer limited functionality, primarily amplifying or decreasing overall volume. When you just amplify everything, the sounds you want to hear better are amplified but so are unwanted background noise you don’t want.
If everything is louder, it entirely defeats the purpose of having a hearing aid.
On the other hand, a high-quality, modern hearing aid goes beyond simple volume adjustment. It skillfully manages sound, enhancing the clarity of desired sounds while reducing background sound. Authentic hearing aids are tailored to your particular hearing requirements, closely mimicking natural hearing with better accuracy.
Hearing aids vs. PSAPs
The Food and Drug Administration has written guidelines for companies who sell hearing devices and have stringent rules as to what can be called hearing aids.
Unfortunately, many personal sound amplification products PSAPs are wrongly advertised as hearing aids even though they just amplify sound.
There are lots of legitimate and reputable companies that comply with appropriate marketing. But there are some vendors, particularly online, that may be misinformed about what characterizes the difference between hearing aids and PSAPs, and as a result, they put out misleading statements about their products. You may even find some that claim that they’re FDA-approved when that’s actually not true.
For the majority of kinds of hearing loss they won’t be effective at all
The gradual loss of hearing frequently involves difficulty with specific frequencies rather than an abrupt total loss. You may have a hard 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 usually results in total volume amplification. But just cranking up the total volume will not be adequate for people who have a tough time hearing specific frequencies. And turning the overall volume up could result in 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 make up 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.
You may get a lot of feedback
You won’t get a custom fit with cheap hearing aids. Without that custom fit, you’ll create a feedback loop. The microphone picks up the sound from the speaker in your ear as it wiggles around. What does this sound like? An ear-shattering screech.
They normally won’t help you on your cellphone
Functionality is frequently sacrificed when opting for budget devices, and this holds true for lots of inexpensive hearing aids lacking Bluetooth connectivity. The absence of Bluetooth becomes critical when considering phone connectivity. Attempting to amplify a cheap hearing aid while on the phone leads to 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.
In contrast, digital hearing aids utilize telecoil or Bluetooth technology, establishing a wireless connection between your hearing aid and the phone. Overall communication and clarity will be enhanced so you can be certain you will hear your daughter’s voice on the phone.
They aren’t made for individuals with hearing loss
The majority of individuals would most likely be surprised by this. These amplifiers were never intended to treat hearing loss. They were designed to help people who have relatively good hearing hear things a little louder.
If you have very mild hearing loss then cheap devices might help a little. But people who actually need hearing aids won’t find these cheaper devices that useful.
Finding quality, affordable hearing aids
There are lots of ways to get hearing aids affordably. They might even be covered by insurance or other third parties. There are also affordable brands, leasing plans, and financing options. If you think you have hearing loss, start by getting checked out. Call us today for a consultation, we can help decide what’s best for you, depending on your level and type of hearing loss, and make sure you land a pair that won’t break the bank!