5 Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Hearing Aids
Updated: Sep 23
Are you looking for the best hearing aid on the market? We wish we could give you a simple answer, but the best hearing aid for you is determined by your specific hearing loss, your needs, and your lifestyle. So, let's get into what you should think about in order to find the perfect match.
How is my personal hearing loss?
Hearing loss is extremely personal. You may have mild hearing loss in one ear, or you may have severe hearing loss in both ears. This all affects the hearing aid's capacity; the more severe your hearing loss, the more power you require from your hearing aid. And this will have an impact on the size and models available to you.
What size and style would be appropriate for me?
Hearing aids are available in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors, so you should consider which style best suits your needs. Do you want to conceal your hearing aid? Or do you wear it proudly? BTEs (behind-the-ear) and RICs are placed behind your ears (receiver-in-canal). The RICs, on the other hand, are much smaller. CICs (completely-in-canal) are very small and sit directly in your ear canal. They are available in a variety of colors to match your skin tone.
It is also critical to consider handling. If you have dexterity issues, a larger BTE hearing aid may be easier to use than a small RIC or a tiny CIC.
What features do I require?
You can get hearing aids that simply help you hear better. And you can get hearing aids that stream sound directly from TV, track your activity levels, and help you personalize sound using AI... they'll almost serve you coffee! Consider your way of life. Do you binge-watch TV shows? Do you go for a run every day? Are you interested in new technology and can operate your smartphone with your eyes closed? Perhaps you simply want to hear the conversations going on around you better.
Consider your mobility and whether you live a long distance from a hearing care professional. Some hearing aids can be fine-tuned remotely via video streaming, eliminating the need to visit a hearing care professional. If you live far away from one, this can be a huge benefit.
What kind of power source do I want?
Disposable batteries, rechargeable batteries, and fuel cell technology (coming soon!) are the three main ways to power your hearing aids.
Disposable batteries must be changed on a regular basis and can be difficult to handle, especially if you have poor eyesight or dexterity issues. In that case, you might want to go with a more adaptable solution. Hearing aids with rechargeable batteries are easier to use because no batteries must be removed. As long as you have a power outlet and remember to charge your hearing aids, you can use them all day and charge them at night.
The most recent approach to powering hearing aids is fuel cell technology. Instead of charging a battery, you re-energies a fuel cell with fuel cell technology. Instead of plugging the hearing aid into a power outlet, you insert it into an off-grid refill unit. The fuel cell can be recharged in 20 seconds and can last for 24 hours, making it especially useful if you're an active person who lives in the fast lane - or if you have dexterity or memory issues.
How does it sound?
You'll need to try on different hearing aids for this one because each hearing aid, or at least each brand, has its own distinct sound. However, in general, aim for a clear sound that is as close to what the sound is like in real life as possible - with no distortion. What you want is a good, natural sound.
Some hearing aids include features that allow you to improve the sound around you as it changes. Consider whether your listening situation changes frequently throughout the day, such as when you're listening to music, conversing, or driving. It's also possible that you're mostly in the same listening situation and don't require your hearing aid to constantly adjust the sound - in that case, there's another option for you.
Some advanced hearing aids also include apps that use machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to help you personalize the sound in a simple way that doesn't require much effort on your part.