You already realize that you need hearing aids, so what do you do next? Finding the right hearing aids is an important choice since they will play a major part in your life. Quality hearing aids can be purchased from a hearing aid specialist, while the cheaper flimsy ones can be found only on the internet. Only you can decide how much you can afford to spend and what quality of hearing aids you are willing to invest in. What should you look for when investing in hearing aids?
Cheap Internet Imitations Are Not Actually Hearing Aids
While they seem to be a bargain, those poor quality internet hearing assistance devices will end up costing you more. They are not efficient and they don’t function that well. What money you save on the device itself, you lose by having to continuously replace the batteries, and you will replace them a lot.
The only function that these cheaper devices perform is sound amplification. Customization to your exact needs can be accomplished with the combined technologies found inside of a modern high-quality digital hearing aid. Several significant features will be sacrificed if you decide to get a cheap online device.
Your new hearing aids are an investment in your future and you need to see them that way. It’s great to try to save some money, but it’s not a good idea when it involves something that impacts every part of your life like your hearing. If you are unable to afford good quality hearing aids, there might be other ways for you to get them, so don’t settle for something that is not what you really need.
Digital Vs. Analog
A better quality, more reliable sound is produced by digital hearing aids and they’re more consistent too. It’s not even worth spending the time to consider analog units.
It’s likely that all of the hearing aids you see at a quality retailer will be digital. You need to be careful because analog devices are still out there if you don’t know what to look for. Analog makes reference to the type of signal the hearing aid gets and the quality. Analog hearing aids have some major problems with consistent sound quality.
Finding The Very Best Features
Features and style are the two elements of hearing aid shopping. You want a comfortable style that offers features that make your life better. Some standard features to think about include:
- Wireless connectivity
- Directional microphones
- Environmental noise control
- Direct audio input
- Remote controls
- Rechargeable batteries
- Variable programming
- Noise reduction
Take Into Consideration The Different Styles
You will discover, when you begin researching hearing aids, that there are lots of styles to choose from. Luckily, there are so many styles to pick from that finding a style which works for your situation is almost guaranteed. The various styles of hearing aids include:
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
- Open Fit
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
The names provide an apt definition for each style. BTE hearing aids consist of a piece that sits behind the ear. It attaches to clear tubing and an ear-mold that rests at the opening of the ear canal.
Did you already work out that ITE devices go “inside of the ear”? It’s a single unit that goes in the opening of the ear canal. Nothing goes behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but they go deeper into the ear, making them harder to see.
RIC and RIE, as the name implies, have a receiver unit that rests in the ear and then connects by a wire to a piece that attaches behind it. These types of hearing aids are less conspicuous than a BTE.
Lastly, open fit units are BTE devices but instead of connecting to an ear-mold, a tiny tube goes into the ear canal. This format works well for anyone who doesn’t like the feel of something stuck in their ear.
Looking at all of these options, you need to determine which style and options will fit your needs the most. Bluetooth capability, for instance, is a feature you would want if you use your phone or a computer frequently. Rechargeable batteries save you money on replacement batteries and telecoil is great if you have to listen to lectures or seminars a lot.
Finally, Consider Your Buying Options
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. It’s hard to be confident that you are making the right choice if you don’t have a chance to try your hearing aids before you purchase them.
You should also take a close look at the warranty that comes with the hearing aids. What kind of coverage does it come with? Some pay only for replacement parts, some cover the labor, also, and what about a new hearing aid if something goes wrong?
Before purchasing hearing aids schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional for a checkup and hearing test, too. Your hearing issue might not call for hearing aids.