Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

What is the next move when you’ve realized that you need hearing aids? Hearing aids will soon become an essential part of your life, so finding the right kind makes a difference. High-quality hearing aids can be purchased from a hearing aid specialist, but the cheaper flimsy ones can be found only on the internet. Only you can decide how much you are prepared to spend and what quality of hearing aids you are willing to purchase. When searching for hearing aids, what sacrifices are you willing to make.

Cheap Internet Knockoffs Are Not Actually Hearing Aids

Hearing assistance devices that can be purchased from the internet are not really a bargain and their not actually hearing aids. They don’t work very well or very effectively. What money you save on the device itself, you lose by having to continuously replace the batteries, and you will replace them a lot.

These cheap devices will help amplify sound, which is one basic feature of hearing aids but they don’t do anything else. Modern, top quality digital hearing aids incorporate different technologies to deliver a device customized to your exact needs. You can decide to go cheap and purchase one online but you will miss out on several essential features.

Your new hearing aids are an investment in your future and you need to understand them that way. Hearing impacts every aspect of your life so it’s not the place to try and save money. Be sure to get the hearing aids you really need. Even if you can’t afford them there may be other solutions.

Analog Vs. Digital

A better quality, more dependable sound is produced by digital hearing aids and they’re more consistent too. It’s not even worth spending the time to look at analog units.

If you shop at a reputable hearing aid retailer, all of the units will be digital. You need to be careful because analog devices are still in existence if you don’t know what to look for. Low-quality analog signals are what the older hearing aids process. The sound quality is very inconsistent with old analog units.

Choosing The Perfect Features

There are actually two sides to hearing aid shopping: features and style. You want features that make your life easier in a style that is comfortable. A few standard features to consider include:

  • Noise reduction
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Remote controls
  • Bluetooth
  • Direct audio input
  • Environmental noise control
  • Directional microphones
  • Telecoils
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Synchronization
  • Variable programming

Consider the Styles

When you start researching hearing aids, you’ll see there are numerous styles on the market. Luckily, there are so many styles to choose from that finding a style that works for your needs is almost a guarantee. The various styles of hearing aids include:

  • Open Fit
  • In-the-Ear (ITE)
  • Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
  • Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
  • In-the-Ear (ITE)
  • Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)

fairly obvious description of each style is provided by the names. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s just where the piece goes. An ear-mold rests at the ear’s opening and has clear tubing which attaches it to the BTE.

Alternatively, ITE hearing aids sit, you guessed it, inside of the ear. It’s a single unit that goes in the opening of the ear canal. There is nothing behind the ear. ITC indicates “in the canal” and they are very similar to ITE’s but ITC’s go further into the ear canal so you can’t see them so much.

RIC and RIE, as the name suggests, have a receiver unit that rests in the ear and connects by a wire to a piece behind it. These hearing aids are less conspicuous than a BTE.

Lastly, open fit units are BTE devices but rather than connecting to an ear-mold, a thin tube goes into the ear canal. This style is a good choice for anyone who doesn’t like the feel of something inside their ear.

Your task is to assess each of these options and figure out which of them is most important to you. For instance, if you use your phone or a computer regularly, you will probably want a device that has Bluetooth capability. If you listen to seminars and lectures, telecoil is an excellent way to go and you won’t have to keep shelling out money for new batteries if you get a hearing aid with a rechargeable one.

Lastly, Your Buying Options Should be Considered

Most qualified retailers will offer custom fitting and a free trial period. That’s where you will want to go to buy your hearing aids. The truth is, when it comes to hearing aids, you can’t be certain until you try them, so having the opportunity to wear them for a while helps.

A quality hearing aid will come with a good warranty so be sure to check that out as well. What does it cover? Will you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or does the warranty only cover parts and maybe labor?

Before buying hearing aids make an appointment with a hearing care specialist for a checkup and hearing test, too. Your hearing trouble might not call for hearing aids.