Woman suffering from hearing loss choosing a hearing aid.

What is the plan when you’ve recognized that you need to get hearing aids? Hearing aids are going to become an important part of your life, so choosing the right type matters. There are many different kinds of hearing aids available including some pretty flimsy ones available only on the Internet. It’s up to you to decide what you want from the device and how much you can afford to pay. When shopping for hearing aids, there are some sacrifices that you should be ok with, but is your hearing one of them?

Cheap Internet Knockoffs Are Not Actually Hearing Aids

Internet hearing assistance devices are not really the bargain they would appear to be. They don’t get the job done very well or very efficiently. Batteries can get expensive when you need to replace them all the time.

Amplifying sound is the only thing these low-quality devices do. Modern, quality digital hearing aids combine different technologies to deliver a device customized to your needs. You will miss out on quite a few important features if you decide to purchase a cheap internet 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 find a bargain, but it’s not a good idea when it concerns something that impacts every aspect of your life like your hearing. If you are not able to 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.

Analog Vs. Digital

A better quality, more reliable sound is delivered by digital hearing aids and they’re far more consistent also. It’s not even worth spending the time to look at analog units.

Reputable sellers don’t even have analog hearing aids at this time. You should be careful because analog devices are still in existence if you don’t know what to look for. Analog means the type of audio signal the hearing aid receives and the quality of the sound. The sound quality is very inconsistent with old analog models.

Looking For The Ideal Features

Features and style are the two elements when hearing aid shopping. You want a comfortable style that provides features that make your life easier. A few standard features to consider include:

  • Environmental noise control
  • Noise reduction
  • Synchronization
  • Remote controls
  • Bluetooth
  • Direct audio input
  • Directional microphones
  • Variable programming
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Telecoils

Consider the Styles

When you start researching hearing aids, you’ll see there are many styles available. There is certainly a style that will meet your needs, and that’s the great news. Some of the different styles are:

  • Behind-the-Ear (BTE)
  • In-the-Ear (ITE)
  • Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC)
  • In-the-Ear (ITE)
  • Receiver-in-the-Ear (RIE)
  • Open Fit

The names give an apt definition for each style. BTE hearing aids include a piece that sits behind the ear. An ear-mold rests at the ear’s opening and has a clear tube that connects it to the BTE.

As is obvious by its name, ITE devices go “in the ear”. It’s a single unit that sits in the opening of the ear canal. Nothing attaches 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 connects by a wire to a piece that attaches behind it. Both styles tend to be less conspicuous than BTE hearing aids.

Instead of having ear-molds, open fit devices, which are a kind of BTE, have a thin tube that goes into the ear canal. This style works well for people who don’t like the feel of something inside their ear.

After going over all of these options, it’s time to decide which style and options will best fit your needs. Bluetooth capability, for example, is a function you would want if you talk on your phone or a computer frequently. Rechargeable batteries save you money on replacement batteries and telecoil is effective if you have to listen to lectures or seminars a lot.

Finally, Consider Your Buying Options

You should go to a qualified retailer to buy your hearing aids, One that offers a free trial period and custom fits the device. Having a chance to try out your new hearing aids before you purchase them will give you confidence that you are making the right decision.

A good warranty will come with a quality hearing aid, make sure to look for that. What does it cover? Some pay only for replacement parts, some cover the labor, as well, and what about a new hearing aid if can’t be fixed?

Before purchasing hearing aids make an appointment with a hearing care specialist for a checkup and hearing test, also. Some changes in your hearing don’t require hearing aids.