If you’ve decided that you need to invest in hearing aids, what will you do next? Finding the correct hearing aids is an important choice since they will become such a major part of your life. If you find some hearing aids that are only available on the internet, then you can be sure they are likely to be pretty flimsy. Only you can decide how much you are prepared to spend and what quality of hearing aids you are willing to invest in. When you are shopping for hearing aids, there are some sacrifices that you should be ok with, but is your hearing one of them?
Those Internet Knockoffs
Cheap hearing assistance devices are not really the bargain they would appear to be. They don’t work very well or very effectively. Batteries can get expensive if you need to replace them all the time.
Amplifying sound is the only thing these poor-quality devices do. You get several different technologies in a modern high-quality hearing aid that can be completely customized to your exact needs. You will miss out on quite a few essential features if you decide to purchase a cheap internet device.
Your new hearing aids are an investment in your future and you need to understand them that way. It’s great to try to save some money, but not when it comes to something that impacts every aspect of your life like your hearing. If you can’t afford quality hearing aids, there may be other ways for you to get them, so don’t settle for something that is less than what you really need.
Digital Vs. Analog
A higher quality, more reliable sound is delivered by digital hearing aids and they’re more consistent also. Analog units are out-of-date and are not worth even considering.
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 in existence if you don’t know what to look for. Analog refers to the type of signal the hearing aid gets and the quality. The sound quality is very inconsistent with analog devices.
Looking For The Perfect Features
There are really two aspects to hearing aid shopping: features and style. You want a comfortable style that provides features that make your life better. A few standard features to consider include:
- Environmental noise control
- Wireless connectivity
- Direct audio input
- Noise reduction
- Rechargeable batteries
- Remote controls
- Directional microphones
- Variable programming
Take Into Consideration The Different Styles
When you get started researching hearing aids, you’ll see there are numerous styles available to you. Thankfully, there are so many styles to choose from that finding a style that works for your needs is almost guaranteed. Some of the different styles are:
- Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
- Open Fit
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
- Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
- Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
- In-the-Ear (ITE)
The names give a pretty good definition of each style. BTE means “behind the ear” and that’s just where the piece goes. A clear piece of tubing connects the BTE to an ear-mold which rests in the opening of the ear canal.
Did you already figure out that ITE devices go “inside of the ear”? This device is at the opening of the ear canal and is just one unit. Nothing goes behind the ear. ITC devices are very similar but go deeper inside the ear, making them harder to see.
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. 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. If you can’t deal with the feeling of having something stuck inside your ear, this format is a good choice for you.
Thinking about all of these options, it’s time to determine which style and options will fit your needs the most. Bluetooth functionality, for example, is a function you would want if you talk on your phone or a computer regularly. You can 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 purchase your hearing aids. Having a chance to try your new hearing aids before you purchase them will give you confidence that you are making the best choice.
A good warranty will come with a quality hearing aid, make sure to look for that. What kind of coverage does it come with? Do you get a new hearing aid if something goes wrong or will the warranty only cover parts and possibly labor?
Before picking out hearing aids schedule an appointment with a hearing care specialist for a checkup and hearing test, too. Not all changes to your hearing call for purchasing hearing aids.