If you’ve decided that you need to buy hearing aids, what’s your next move? Finding the correct hearing aids is an important decision since they will play a major part in your life. There are different kinds of hearing aids available including some pretty cheap ones that are found only on the Internet. If you truly think that you can get a quality device for less money from the internet, then the sacrifice will be how well you hear, and that’s your choice. What should you look for when investing in hearing aids?
Cheap Internet Knockoffs Are Not Really Hearing Aids
While they seem to be a bargain, those poor quality internet hearing assistance devices will wind up costing you more. They are very poor in quality and don’t perform very well. Batteries can be expensive when you need to replace them all the time.
The only feature that these cheaper devices have is sound amplification. You get several different technologies in a modern high-quality hearing aid which can be customized to your precise needs. Several essential features will be sacrificed if you choose to get a cheap online device.
You need to recognize that your new hearing aids will be an investment in your future. Hearing impacts every part of your life so it’s not the place to try and save money. If you can’t afford quality hearing aids, there might be other ways to get them, so don’t settle for something that is not what you really need.
Digital Vs. Analog
Digital hearing aids offer better quality sound that is much more reliable. If you come across analog hearing aids, move on and shop for the digital units, instead.
If you go to a reputable hearing aid retailer, all of the units will be digital. You have to be careful because analog devices are still out there if you don’t know what to look for. Analog refers to the kind of signal the hearing aid receives and the quality. With analog hearing aids, the quality of the sound isn’t consistent.
Finding The Perfect Features
When you go shopping for hearing aids think about the two aspects which are features and style. You want a comfortable style that offers features that make your life easier. Some common features to consider include:
- Directional microphones
- Environmental noise control
- Noise reduction
- Rechargeable batteries
- Variable programming
- Direct audio input
- Wireless connectivity
- Remote controls
Consider the Styles
There are a lot of styles available to you, as you will see when you begin researching hearing aids. Luckily, there are so many styles to pick from that finding a style that works for your situation is almost guaranteed. Some of the different styles are:
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Open Fit
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
A pretty good definition of each style is provided by the names. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s exactly where it goes. A clear piece of tubing connects the BTE to an ear-mold that sits in the opening of the ear canal.
On the other hand, 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. Nothing attaches behind the ear. ITC indicates “in the canal” and they are very much like ITE’s but ITC’s go further into the ear canal and that means that you can’t see them so much.
RIC devices and RIE devices have a “receiver in the canal” and a “receiver in the ear” respectively, which are then connected to a unit behind the ear. Both styles tend to be less conspicuous than BTE hearing aids.
As opposed to having ear-molds, open fit devices, which are a kind of BTE, have a little tube that goes into the ear canal. Having something inside the ear is awkward for some people. If this is the case, an open fit unit, which has a thin tube going into the ear from a BTE, would be the smartest choice.
Looking at all of these options, you need to decide which style and options will best fit your needs. For example, Bluetooth is a useful function to have, especially if you use your smartphone or computer regularly. Rechargeable batteries save you money on replacement batteries and telecoil is good if you have to listen to lectures or seminars a lot.
Finally, Consider Your Buying Options
A certified retailer that has a free trial period and offers custom fitting is the best place to buy your new hearing aids. Having a chance to try your new hearing aids before you purchase them will give you confidence that you are making the correct decision.
A quality hearing aid has a good warranty so make sure you look into that 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 possibly labor?
Make an appointment with a hearing specialist for a checkup and hearing test before you purchase your hearing aids. Not all changes to your hearing call for purchasing hearing aids.