The term “cheap” carries dual meanings. On the one hand, it implies affordability, a practical choice for a budget-conscious individual. But we’ve all heard the saying “You get what you pay for”, and in this case, the word “cheap” suggests low-quality hearing aids.
Regrettably, differentiating between a thrifty purchase and an item of minimal value is often challenging. With regard to hearing aids, this couldn’t be more valid.
The adage “you get what you pay for” is especially relevant with hearing aids. This means weeding out the devices that are priced in the “too good to be true” range, not automatically opting for the most costly option. Consumers need to recognize that important information is often left out of the marketing campaigns of cheap hearing aids.
Cheaper hearing aids are pretty much only amplifiers
Cheap “hearing aids” typically offer minimal functionality, mainly amplifying or reducing overall volume. When you merely 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 undesirable sound.
A modern state-of-the-art hearing aid, in comparison, does much more than just turn up the volume. It reduces background sound while expertly managing sound and enhancing clarity. Real hearing aids mimic natural hearing with great accuracy and are custom tuned to your particular hearing needs.
PSAPs vs. Hearing Aids
There are stringent rules about what an advertiser can call a hearing aid as written by the Food and Drug Administration.
Unfortunately, many personal sound amplification products PSAPs are incorrectly sold as hearing aids even though they only amplify sound.
The majority of reputable providers comply. But you may 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. Some even inaccurately advertise that they are FDA-approved.
They aren’t helpful for most kinds of hearing loss
The majority of people who lose their hearing will slowly lose certain frequencies of sound before others. For example, 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 difficult to understand.
A cheap hearing device usually results in total volume amplification. But, if you have trouble with particular frequencies, just boosting the volume will be inadequate. And turning up the overall volume could lead to additional damage to your hearing because the frequencies you don’t struggle with will be booming in your ears.
High-quality hearing aids provide a solution by being programmable to compensate for the loss of specific 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 create a feedback loop. As the speaker in your ear wiggles around, the microphone picks up the sound. What does this sound like? An ear-shattering screech.
They usually don’t have cellphone support
When people are looking for a budget-friendly device, they frequently sacrifice functionality like Bluetooth capability. The absence of Bluetooth becomes crucial when thinking about phone connectivity. Trying 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.
More advanced hearing aids are digital and utilize Bluetooth connectivity to connect directly to your phone. Overall communication and clarity will be improved so you can be certain you will hear your daughter’s voice on the phone.
They were never meant to treat hearing loss
Most people would probably be surprised by this. PSAPs were never designed for people with hearing loss. They were designed to help individuals who have relatively good hearing hear things a bit louder.
Cheap devices may help a little if you only have slight hearing loss. But they won’t be of much help for individuals who actually need hearing aids.
Finding quality, affordable hearing aids
There are lots of ways to get hearing aids affordably. Insurance or other third parties might cover them. You can also find financing possibilities, leasing plans, and more affordable brands. The first step is to get a hearing assessment if you suspect you might have hearing loss. Make an appointment with us so we can help you find the best and most affordable hearing aids for your level and type of hearing loss.