There are a couple separate ways to interpret the term “cheap hearing aids”. For someone on a small budget, it means “affordability”. Conversely, it indicates 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 getting a really low-quality device can be difficult. When it comes to hearing aids, this couldn’t be more valid.
With hearing aids, the saying “you get what you pay for” rings particularly valid. This doesn’t always imply opting for the top-tier option, but rather, looking closely at products that boast a price tag too enticing to be legitimate. Companies marketing cheap hearing devices often omit essential details about their products that consumers should be aware of.
They usually just amplify sound
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.
If everything is louder, it totally defeats the purpose of using a hearing aid.
On the other hand, a high-quality, contemporary hearing aid goes beyond mere volume adjustment. It skillfully manages sound, improving the clarity of desired sounds while tuning out background sound. Genuine hearing aids are tailored to your specific hearing needs, closely mimicking natural hearing with greater 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 market themselves as hearing aids when they’re technically personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named such because they can only amplify sound.
Most reputable companies follow the rules. But you might find some uninformed salespeople or products on Amazon or eBay that deceive consumers into believing that these devices meet the classification of a hearing aid. You may even find some that claim that they’re FDA-approved when that’s actually false.
They aren’t inclusive for most types of hearing loss
The gradual loss of hearing frequently involves difficulty with certain frequencies instead of a sudden total loss. For example, you might have no problems hearing a man with a low voice, but struggle with a woman’s or child’s voice, finding it challenging to comprehend.
You get overall amplification with cheap hearing aids. But simply turning up the overall volume will not be sufficient for individuals who have a tough time hearing particular frequencies. And turning up the overall volume could result in additional damage to your hearing because the frequencies you don’t struggle 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 personalized hearing experience by shifting frequencies you can’t hear very well to frequencies you hear better.
You might get a lot of feedback
You won’t get a custom fit with cheap hearing aids. Without that custom fit, you’ll generate a feedback loop. The microphone picks up the sound from the speaker in your ear as it wiggles around. This will result in a deafening screech.
They typically won’t help you on your cellphone
When people are looking for a budget-friendly device, they often sacrifice functionality like Bluetooth connectivity. When thinking about phone connectivity, the absence of Bluetooth is a major hurdle. With cheaper hearing devices, when you attempt to amplify phone calls, your device will amplify every little sound, like your ears or lips rubbing 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 aren’t made for people with hearing loss
Most people would probably be surprised by this. PSAPs were never made for people with hearing loss. They were designed to help individuals who have relatively good hearing hear things a bit louder.
Cheap devices might help a little if you only have minor hearing loss. But they won’t be of much use for people 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. You can also find financing possibilities, leasing plans, and more affordable brands. The first step is to get a hearing test if you think you may have hearing loss. Schedule an appointment with us so we can help you get the best and most affordable hearing aids for your level and type of hearing loss.