Hearing Aid Price Comparison: What Factors to Consider
There are many factors that can have an effect on the overall cost of hearing aids. Hearing aids range from a few hundred to thousand dollars. That for sure leaves you wondering how and what to choose.
This article will help to deliver the precise information on the various factors that influence the digital hearing aid prices.
Before starting, we need to describe in short what hearing aids stand for. They are sound-amplifying devices that are designed to aid people with hearing loss. They allow you to communicate, listen and better participate in your daily activities. Different hearing aids are designed for different lifestyles and levels of hearing loss. They share several electronic components:
A microphone which picks up sound
An amplifier that makes sounds louder and better
A little loudspeaker or receiver that delivers the amplified sound directly into the ear canal
Batteries that give power to the electronic parts
During your consultation with the audiologist, they will alert you why you might need certain features and why some hearing aid sizes and styles might not fit your lifestyle. Each type of hearing aid has its own advantages and disadvantages to consider.
When choosing your hearing aids, you should compare between different brands, ask lot of questions and educate yourself on all the differences between their features. Hearing aid prices can also vary depending on whether they are basic or premium.
Many considerations arise, such as:
Brand vs brand comparisons
Recommendations from other wearers
New emerging and latest technology
More practical and prudent factors include:
Degree of hearing loss
Dexterity- the ability to deal with the device’s size, batteries and volume controls
Primary listening environment
There is inexpensive selection of hearing aid models that provide basic hearing improvement where you can enjoy and appreciate conversations happening in small groups. However, even these hearing aids offer a big variety of functions that you can choose from.
If you wish a wider range of features, you can invest in a premium model with added features.
Typically, models with very high levels of technology and digital capabilities have the highest price. The price of hearing aids is affected by these criteria:
Style of hearing aid
Fitting and dispensing fees
Aftercare and adjustments
Let us have a deeper look at the different factors that affect the overall cost before purchasing a hearing aid.
Improved innovations in hearing aids such as wireless components, telecoil and multiple channels to change the volume of specific frequencies all influence the cost of these hearing aids.
- Telecoils are small metal coils that vibrate when it picks up sounds from phones, TV, loudspeakers or PA system. This allows the sound to be very clear without any background noise.
Type and degree of hearing loss
Many styles of hearing loss are recommended for mild or moderate hearing loss, while others are recommended as best hearing aids for severe hearing loss.
There are five stages of hearing loss:
Mild hearing loss
Moderate hearing loss
Moderately severe hearing loss
Profound hearing loss
Getting yourself tested and figuring out what degree of hearing loss you have helps you understand what type of hearing aid best suits you and accommodates your needs.
It is the most important factor to consider prior to choosing a hearing aid, especially that not every hearing aid is created equally in terms of delivering the right sound quality.
There are many styles of hearing aids: some that fit completely in the ear canal, while others possess a component that sits behind the ear with a small wire that connects with a small speaker in the ear canal.
The size of the ear canal, the configuration of your hearing loss and the aesthetic preference are all determining factors when choosing the hearing aids.
Small hearing aids offer invisibility, but they are not recommended for age-related hearing loss.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) styles have more capabilities in terms of Bluetooth and rechargeability options. They possess all the electronics behind the ear and they send sound through a tube that goes directly into the ear.
In-the-canal (ITC) models fit entirely inside the canal of the ear. They are the least models visible.
In-the-ear (ITE) models are more traditional types and larger than ITC models.
Receiver-in-canal (RIC) models are like BTE hearing aids, but the tube is fixed on the inner curve of the ear instead of the outer. The tube is almost invisible.
Disposable vs rechargeable batteries
Choosing disposable batteries or hearing aids with rechargeable batteries is a personal preference. Rechargeable hearing aids are becoming the more popular ones as they reduce the inconvenience of purchasing batteries and having to constantly change them. They also have a higher cost. Nonetheless, those who travel a lot and don’t have consistent access to power or cannot use a charger all the time may prefer the disposable battery option.
There are certain tools that add to the overall cost, such as:
Low battery indicators
Directional microphones- they allow you to hear whatever is in the direction you are looking at while blocking out busy environments around you
Wind noise management
Support and continuous care
What also affect the cost of hearing aids are hearing consultations, adjustments, fittings, and ongoing care that the audiologist provides. The better the service and the support are, the higher the cost is.
Bluetooth compatibility and hearing aid apps
It allows hearing aids to be paired to a smart device in order to control specific hearing aid settings through an app and/or to stream media and phone calls. Most hearing aid manufacturers have nowadays their own smartphone apps that can be paired with hearing aids, giving them the control to change and make adjustments to the different features available.
Streaming phone calls for instance allows the benefit of hearing through both ears instead of one only and this can be very helpful when it comes to clarity of sound.
Bluetooth option permits the patient to hear without having to remove the hearing aids in order to put different headphones in.
Specific apps have built-in sound therapy, so it is a useful tool that also helps individuals who suffer from tinnitus and are interested in streaming sound therapy.
Hearing aids come in different colors that can match your skin or hair tone. You have the chance to choose the hearing aid color that appeals to you.
Just like any other purchase, you need to weigh your personal budget against your needs and wants. Your audiologist is there for you to advise you on the options and features you should consider that will truly improve your everyday usage of your hearing aids.