You already recognize that you need hearing aids, so what do you do next? Hearing aids are about to become an important part of your life, so choosing the right kind makes a difference. If you find some hearing aids that are only available from the internet, then you can be fairly certain that they are probably pretty flimsy. Only you know how much you are prepared to spend and what quality of hearing aids you are willing to purchase. When shopping for hearing aids, there are some sacrifices that you should be ok with, but is your hearing one of them?
Cheap Internet Imitations Are Not Actually Hearing Aids
Internet hearing assistance devices are not really the bargain they seem to be. They are very low-quality and don’t work very well. Batteries will be expensive if you need to replace them all the time.
These cheap devices will amplify sound, which is the basic feature of hearing aids but they don’t do anything else. Modern, high-quality digital hearing aids integrate various technologies to deliver a device customized to your needs. You can go cheap and purchase one online but you will miss out on important features.
You need to recognize that your new hearing aids are an investment in your future. If you can’t hear well it can make your life very difficult and could wind up costing you money, so it’s a bad choice to go cheap with your hearing aids. There might be other ways you can get hearing aids if you can’t afford them, so make sure you get the ones you really need.
Analog Vs. Digital
Digital hearing aids deliver higher quality sound that is more reliable. It’s not even worth spending the time to consider analog units.
It’s likely all of the hearing aids you see at quality retailers will be digital. It’s worthwhile to know analog devices are still out there, though, and to understand the difference between the two. Low-quality analog signals are what the older hearing aids work with. Analog hearing aids have major problems with consistent sound quality.
Looking For The Ideal Features
Features and style are the two elements of hearing aid shopping. You want a comfortable style that comes with features that make your life easier. A few standard features to consider include:
- Wireless connectivity
- Variable programming
- Environmental noise control
- Remote controls
- Directional microphones
- Rechargeable batteries
- Noise reduction
- Direct audio input
Consider the Styles
There are many styles available, as you will realize when you begin researching hearing aids. That’s great news since it means there is definitely a style that will be perfect for your needs. Some of the different styles are:
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
- Open Fit
To get a pretty good idea of each style just take a look at the names. BTE hearing aids consist of a piece that sits behind the ear. An ear-mold sits at the ear’s opening and has clear tubing which connects it to the BTE.
As is obvious by its name, ITE devices go “in the ear”. This device is at the opening of the ear canal and is just one unit. Nothing attaches behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but go deeper into the ear, making them less visible.
RIC and RIE, as the name suggests, have a receiver unit that rests in the ear and then connects by a wire to a piece behind it. These hearing aids are not as obvious as a BTE.
Finally, open fit units are BTE devices but instead of connecting to an ear-mold, a thin tube goes into the ear canal. This format works well for anyone who doesn’t like the feeling of something inside their ear.
Your job is to assess each of these options and determine which of them matter the most to you. As an example, Bluetooth is a useful feature to have, especially if you use your smartphone or computer a lot. You can save money on replacement batteries if you get a model with a rechargeable battery and a telecoil is great for listening to lectures or seminars.
Finally, Consider Your Buying Options
Most qualified retailers will offer custom fitting and a free trial period. That’s where you want to go to buy your hearing aids. Truthfully, when it comes to hearing aids, you can’t be sure until you try them, so having the chance to wear them for a while helps.
A quality hearing aid will come with a good warranty so make sure you check that out as well. What’s covered? Do you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or will the warranty only cover parts and possibly labor?
Make an appointment with a hearing professional for a checkup and hearing test before you purchase your hearing aids. There could be several reasons you might notice a change in your hearing and you may not even need hearing aids.