You already know that you need hearing aids, so what do you do next? Hearing aids are going to become an important part of your life, so selecting the right type matters. Quality hearing aids can be purchased from a hearing aid specialist, but the cheaper flimsy ones can only be found on the internet. It’s up to you to decide what you expect from the device and how much you can afford to pay. What should you look for when investing in hearing aids?
Those Cheap Internet Knockoffs
Hearing assistance devices which can be purchased from the internet are not really a bargain and their not really hearing aids. They are not efficient and they don’t function that well. What you save on the device itself, you lose by having to continuously replace the batteries, and you will replace them a lot.
The only feature which 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 specific needs. You can decide to go cheap and get one online but you will miss out on important features.
You need to see your new hearing aids for what they are – an investment in your future. It’s great to try to find a bargain, but not when it concerns something that impacts every aspect of your life like your hearing. Be certain to get the hearing aids you really need. Even if you can’t afford them there could be other solutions.
Analog Vs. Digital
A better quality, more reliable sound is delivered by digital hearing aids and they’re far more consistent also. Analog units are outdated and are not worth considering.
It’s likely that all of the hearing aids you see at quality retailers will be digital. You have to be careful because analog devices are still out there 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 analog units.
Finding The Very Best Features
Features and style are the two factors of hearing aid shopping. You want features that make your life easier in a style that is comfortable. A few standard features to consider include:
- Wireless connectivity
- Noise reduction
- Remote controls
- Rechargeable batteries
- Variable programming
- Environmental noise control
- Direct audio input
- Directional microphones
Consider the Styles
There are a lot of styles available, as you will find out when you get started researching hearing aids. Thankfully, there are so many styles to choose from that finding a style which works for your needs is almost guaranteed. The various styles of hearing aids include:
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Open Fit
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
The names give an apt definition of each style. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s exactly where it goes. A clear piece of tubing attaches the BTE to an ear-mold which rests in the opening of the ear canal.
Did you already figure out that ITE hearing aids 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 go deeper into the ear, making them less visible.
RIC and RIE, as the name indicates, 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 not as obvious as a BTE.
Finally, open fit units are BTE devices but rather than connecting to an ear-mold, a tiny tube goes into the ear canal. Having something inside the ear is awkward for some people. If this is the case, an open fit model, which has a tiny tube going into the ear from a BTE, would be the smartest choice.
When you’ve taken all of these styles and options into consideration, it’s time to decide which one that will best fit your needs. For example, Bluetooth is a useful feature to have, particularly if you use your smartphone or computer a lot. You will save money on replacement batteries if you get a model with a rechargeable battery and a telecoil is ideal for listening to lectures or seminars.
Lastly, Your Buying Options Should be Taken Into Consideration
Most qualified retailers will offer custom fitting and a free trial period. That’s where you want to go to buy your hearing aids. Having a chance to try your new hearing aids before you buy them will give you confidence that you are making the right decision.
You also want to take a close look at the warranty which comes with the hearing aids. What’s covered? Will you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or will the warranty only cover parts and possibly labor?
Make an appointment with a hearing professional for a checkup and hearing test before you buy your hearing aids. Some changes in your hearing don’t require hearing aids.