The term “cheap” carries dual meanings. For anyone 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 saying “You get what you pay for”.
Regrettably, distinguishing between an economical purchase and an item of negligible value is frequently tricky. With regard to hearing aids, this couldn’t be more relevant.
The saying “you get what you pay for” is particularly relevant with hearing aids. This means weeding out the devices that are priced in the “too good to be true” range, not necessarily opting for the most expensive option. Customers need to recognize that important information is often left out of the marketing campaigns of cheap hearing aids.
They often just amplify sound
Boosting the overall volume is typically the only thing cheap “hearing aids” can handle. When you simply amplify everything, the sounds you want to hear better are amplified but so are undesirable background noise you don’t want.
The purpose of having a hearing aid is entirely defeated if it also amplifies undesirable sound.
A contemporary state-of-the-art hearing aid, in comparison, does a lot more than simply crank the volume up. It expertly manages sound, improving the clarity of desired sounds while tuning out background noise. Authentic hearing aids simulate natural hearing with great accuracy and are custom tuned to your specific hearing needs.
PSAPs vs. Hearing Aids
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.
Regrettably, there are many devices out there that are advertised as hearing aids when they are technically personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), named this because they can only amplify sound.
The majority of reputable companies comply. But you might find some uninformed salespeople or products on Amazon or eBay that mislead consumers into believing that these devices meet the classification of a hearing aid. You might even find some that state that they are approved by the FDA when that’s actually false.
They’re not inclusive for most types of hearing loss
The majority of people who lose their hearing will gradually lose particular frequencies of sound before others. 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 understand.
A cheap hearing device typically results in overall volume amplification. But just cranking up the overall volume will not be adequate for people who have a difficult time hearing specific frequencies. Furthermore, turning the volume up significantly to catch the sound of your granddaughter playing on the floor might lead to your adult son’s voice sounding like a roar, potentially adding to hearing loss if exposed to high volumes for extended periods.
High-quality hearing aids can be programmed to increase particular frequencies providing a much better solution. They provide a more personalized hearing experience by shifting frequencies you can’t hear very well to frequencies you hear better.
Feedback can be an issue
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 jiggles around, the microphone picks up the sound. This will generate a deafening screech.
They typically won’t help you on your cellphone
Functionality is frequently sacrificed when opting for budget options, and this holds true for many inexpensive hearing aids lacking Bluetooth connectivity. When considering phone connectivity, the absence of Bluetooth is a huge hurdle. 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 difficult to hear the person on the other end.
In comparison, digital hearing aids utilize telecoil or Bluetooth technology, establishing a wireless connection between your hearing aid and the phone. This state-of-the-art feature ensures that when your daughter talks on the other end, her voice is transmitted directly into your hearing aids, enhancing clarity and overall communication.
They aren’t designed for people with hearing loss
This might come as a shock because so many individuals think otherwise. These amplifiers were never intended to treat hearing loss. They were made to help individuals who have fairly good hearing hear things a little louder.
If you have very slight hearing loss then cheap devices might help a little. But they won’t be of much use for people who actually need hearing aids.
Where can you get quality affordable hearing aids?
There are many ways to get hearing aids affordably. 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 suspect you may have hearing loss. Call us today for a consultation, we can help figure out what’s best for you, depending on your amount and type of hearing loss, and make sure you land a pair that won’t break the bank!